UK Muslim TV channel linked to al-Qaida cleric al-Awlaki

Islam Channel, a London-based satellite broadcaster, has been accused with providing a platform for Anwar al-Awlaki, an extremist cleric with ties to al-Qaida, Major Hasan of the Fort Hood shooting, and Abdulmutallab, who recently tried to blow up a plane on a flight to Detroit. Islam Channel is said to have advertised a box set of DVDs of Awlaki’s sermons and events at which he was supposed to speak. Furthermore, the channel’s website facilitates download of other Awlaki sermons, such as “Stop Police Terror”, “Brutality Towards Muslims” and “It’s a War against Islam”.

Islam Channel is the largest Islamic program airing in the UK, claiming to be “the voice of authority for Muslims in the UK”. The channel denies having given a platform to Awlaki and removed the links on the website. Many Muslim scholars have expressed concern, such as Dr. Irfan al-Alawi of the Centre for Islamic Pluralism, who fears that young people might get radicalized or Maajid Nawaz, a former presenter on the Islam Channel who is now director of the counter-extremism thinktank Quilliam and who attributes the channel to have a large influence, and with that, responsibility.