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.

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)