Netherlands announces new Islamic broadcaster

The Dutch Media Authority announced that the Dutch Muslim Broadcasting Foundation (SMON) has received the new broadcasting permit for Islam and may begin broadcasting in September 2010.

The decision follows several months of conflict among Islamic broadcasters in the Netherlands, who operate during the percentage of time set aside for religious groups in Dutch media. Internal divisions between previous broadcasters NMO and NIO led to their dissolution.

The Dutch Media Authority has been reviewing applications for the replacement since October 2009, choosing SMON over the Muslim Broadcasting Foundation (SMO) and Joint Muslim Broadcasting Foundation (VMO)

Dutch Islamic broadcasters to shut down

Two Muslim broadcasting organizations will cease operation this year. The Dutch Muslim Broadcaster (NMO) and the Dutch Islamic Broadcasting (NIO) companies have not requested a renewal of their public broadcasting license for the next five-year period.

The two broadcasters decided not to renew their licenses following multiple conflicts within Islamic Broadcasting Foundation Care, the umbrella organization set up specifically to mediate between them, Abderrahman Farsi from NMO told Radio Netherlands. The broadcasters will stop operation in August 2010.

Dutch public broadcasting is organized on the principle of representation, with broadcasting associations being allotted airtime on public channels commensurate with their membership. Each broadcasting company represents a significant section of society. The Islamic broadcasters operate during a small percentage of airtime set aside for associations representing religious groups.

The Dutch media authority has received requests by five other Islamic organizations who want to take the place of NMO and NIO, including Muslim Broadcasting Foundation (Stichting Moslimomroep), Stichting Moslim Omroep Nederland, Stichting Academica Islamica/OUMA, Nederlandse Islamitische Media and Stichting Samenwerkende Islamitische Koepel.