A radio station in Leeds is apologizing for a host who incited hatred and violence against the LGBT community. Last August, Radio Asian Fever hosted Muslim presenter Rubina Nasir, a.k.a. Sister Ruby, for a Ramadan special, in which she discussed passages from the Koran and how they condemned homosexuality.
Digital Spy has selections from Sister Ruby’s comments, which were given in Urdu:
“What should be done if they do [practice homosexuality]? If there are two such persons among you, that do this evil, the shameful act, what do you have to do? Torture them; punish them; beat them and give them mental torture”…
During the program, she added: “Allah states, ‘If they do such a deed [i.e. homosexuality], punish them, both physically and mentally.’ Mental punishment means rebuke them, beat them, humiliate them, admonish and curse them, and beat them up. This command was sent in the beginning because capital punishment had not yet been sent down.”
British media regulator Ofcom declared these comments, in particular, “could be objectively and reasonably regarded as not only condoning but encouraging violent behavior against homosexual people,” and fined the station £4,000.
Jabbar Karim, managing director for Radio Asian Fever, which caters to the UK’s South Asian community posted a reply on the station’s website:
We at Fever FM would like to sincerely apologize to the Gay community and to everyone else who have found this news disturbing. This was a one off incident which will never be repeated and one person does not represent our Community station. Over the last 5 years of broadcasting we have educated, informed and entertained the local community of Leeds, we have helped to raise nearly half a million pound for various charities, given Leeds a platform for local views and concerns. We are also a springboard for local and new talent. Fever FM is proud of many wonderful achievements, one of our previous volunteer is now a presenter on BBC Asian Network, and another volunteer has made it into the Bollywood movies.
The Management Committee is very shocked, confused and embarrassed that such negative lectures were broadcast on our station, for this goes against all that we stand for.
Sister Ruby joins us only on the religious dates and we have never had any concerns about her lectures before. We have always been concise of the programmes that we broadcast especially religious ones, in the last couple of years we had stopped asking volunteers to read, agree and sign an agreement form which states that no one can or is allowed to be-little, slander or attack any person, group, sect or business. However we still verbally explain our rules and ask everyone to use commonsense, and to seek advice if not sure about anything.
For the reason of not seeking permission or advise on the lectures about the gay community and mixed marriages, the management decided in 2011 that Sister Ruby would not be asked to present any shows on Fever FM and that we will re-introduce agreement forms for everyone to read, agree, sign and keep a copy,
We will educate each volunteer about the agreement and rules, especially in their native language. The agreement and rules of Radio Asian Fever states that no presenter or guest is allowed to belittle, slander or attack any person, group, sect or business including callers, if this rule is not complied with then the presenter will be suspended from the airwaves and the matter brought in front of the management committee to investigate and decide whether to expel the presenter entirely.
We at Fever FM hope everyone accepts our apologies and understands that no permission was given or any permission sought. It really sadden me to read the comments on pinknews.co.uk and how quick the readers were to judge Fever FM and suggest our community radio license be revoked, without knowing our view or our stand on this issue.
What do you think—was Radio Fever Asia irrespn