Dutch Muslim Broadcasting Corporation License Revoked

August 13 2010

Muslim broadcasting corporation OUMA Broadcasting Corporation Universal Muslim Association has had its license revoked by the Dutch Media Authority. The license loss comes as a result of conflict between the two parties comprising the new broadcasting company over the appointment of an interim director: TSMON Foundation Muslim Broadcasting Corporation Netherlands and the OUMA foundation, which was formed by the organisation Academica Islamica. OUMA was to start its broadcasts on radio and television on September 1 2010.

Internal Tension Threatens Dutch Muslim Broadcasting Company

Disagreement regarding the appointment of an interim director may lead to the breakup of the Netherlands’ newest Muslim broadcasting company. According to
Dutch broadcasting regulations, religious groups are entitled to airtime every week on national public radio and television channels. As there is just one broadcasting license per religion, broadcasting requires close cooperation between several groups whose views do not always agree. OUMA was created after the downfall of previous Islamic broadcasting organizations and was awarded a five year broadcasting license last year. It encompasses rival factions SMON, which champions the continued leadership of Maurice Koopman from the previous company, and Acadmica Islamica, which claims an agreement not to appoint people involved in the previous broadcasting organization bars Koopman from eligibility. The new OUMA combination will begin broadcasting in September.

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.