Britain's leading Muslim TV channel was accused of encouraging “marital rape” and promoting other intolerant views of women in a report on extremism published today.
The report by think tank Quillam says that the London-based Islam Channel broadcast comments saying that “the idea a woman cannot refuse her husband relations” was “not strange” and was instead part of “maintaining a strong marriage”.Out-of-date to most Brits, perhaps. Very au courant in, say, Saudi Arabia.
It says that the channel also broadcast advice that a wife should not leave her home without her husband's permission and that a woman who wears perfume in public is a prostitute.
The think tank, which is calling for an investigation by broadcasting watchdog Ofcom, also accuses the channel of advertising talks by al Qaeda-supporting preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, who is alleged to have inspired failed Detroit bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and of giving a platform to other extremist Islamists.
The report, which was based on an analysis of broadcasts over three months, also states that Islam Channel's programmes have undermined trust between community groups by airing hostile comments about non-Muslims and those who follow alternative versions of Islam.
The channel's website says that it aims “to present the Islamic viewpoint and values” and provide “authoritative and impartial Islamic information”. It aims to act as an “interface” between Muslims and non-Muslims and remove misconceptions about the religion.
But Talal Rajab, the report's author, said the programmes regularly promoted an “intolerant and out-of-date” form of Islam with unacceptable views. He said: “It is the most-watched Muslim TV channel in the UK. During the three-month period that we monitored its output, it repeatedly promoted bigoted and reactionary views towards women, non-Muslims and other Muslim sects.
“Although the channel does not directly call for terrorist violence, it clearly helps to create an atmosphere in which religiously-sanctioned intolerance and even hatred might be seen as acceptable...
Update: To be clear, what the Koran (which, last time I checked, is still in effect, same as ever) says on the subject of men, women and marital relations is that men are the plow, women are the field, and men can plow their field whenever they desire:
Koran 2:223. "Your wives are a tilth for you, so go into your tilth when you like, and do good beforehand for yourselves; and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, and know that you will meet Him, and give good news to the believers."Good news for male believers, I guess. Not so good news if you happen to be the field, and aren't in any mood to be plowed.