UK: Radio station fined after presenter calls gay people ‘evil’

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A radio station in Leeds, which is aimed at the Asian community, has been fined after a presenter advocated homophobic violence and branded gay people as “evil” and “shameful”.

Presenter Rubina Nasir, also known as Sister Ruby, made the comments in August 2011 on Fever 107.3 FM.

Digital Spy reports that she opened her programme, Sister Ruby Ramadan Special 2011, with a verse from the Quran (Sura Al-Nisa, verse 16) and gave her interpretation of this as being highly critical of mixed-faith marriages and also of same-sex relationships.

Sister Ruby went on to discuss various historical events portrayed in the Quran in the context of her main discussion about homosexuality.

At one stage, she said: “What should be done if they do [practise 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.”

Following an investigation by the broadcast regulator OfCom, the Radio Asian Fever Community Interest Company must now pay a fine of £4,000.

Ofcom declared the comments were “likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime”.

Despite the fine, the regulator said that it “would not be appropriate to shorten, suspend or revoke Radio Asian Fever’s licence”.

The station has received funding from Leeds City Council and received a grant from the Big Lottery Fund in January 2010.