British Muslim TV apologises and fires presenters after furor over conduct on air

1st June 2020   •   article

by Barfi Culture Team | Twitter: @barfi_culture.
Credit: Screenshot
The Sky TV channel British Muslim TV was forced to issue a second apology and promise not to use two male presenters after an online furor over comments they had made.

The controversy was sparked late last week when a video clip of the segment went viral on Twitter.

It was picked up by others too. The two men were named Faz Ali and Jawad Sarwar.

Asia Khatun added: "This is exactly the type of filthy, misogynistic behaviour that Muslim women try to shed light on all the time. It is IGNORED and thrown back in our faces by communities of men who do not want to address the problem, and instead facilitate it on platforms like this."

Not long after, the channel made an apology.

But for many British Muslims this wasn't enough and the controversy continued and highlighted broader issues.

Nearly 200 British Muslims, several of them high profile figures, also signed a letter to Ofcom complaining of the segment.

The letter states: "The clip shows these two men using offensive language and talking about women as sexually subservient objects (gender discrimination)."

It continued: "The comments made were tantamount to sexual harassment and misconduct and these remarks could imply the presenters have been complicit in sexual harassment at BMTV with female staff who were there. It is important to note that although this broadcast was in the early hours of the morning, this was broadcast during Ramadan and at a time when Muslim families would watch this Muslim family channel, as they set about their day to begin their fasting."

The signatories say the channel's initial response was insufficient.

By the weekend the editor-in-chief of British Muslim TV, Joseph Hayat, released a video showing regret over the incident.

He said, "On behalf of British Muslim TV I am sorry; we are sorry. The incident does not reflect the culture here at British Muslim TV hence why I am reaching out directly before you."

He added: "The derogatory and misogynist comments made about women were deeply disdainful and have no place within British Muslim TV nor in society as a whole."

The charity Global One also issued a statement apologising for the incident. The two men also published video apologies on Twitter over the weekend.

Leeds Mosque imam Qari Asim MBE wrote in response: "The unequivocal public apology from @BritishMuslimTV is welcomed, and their strong statement condemning sexist comments & behaviour is appreciated."
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