A UK based radio station was fined £4000 after one of its presenters said that gay people were ‘evil’ and should be ‘punished, rebuked, beaten and humiliated.’
Sister Ruby, real name Rubina Nasir made the comments in August 2011 on Fever 107.3 FM which is a station which serves the South Asian community in Leeds.
Pinknews reports, that Nasir said:
‘What should be done if they do it? [practice 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.’
She went on to say:
‘Allah states, ‘If they do such a deed [i.e. homosexuality], punish them, both physically and mentally. Mental punishment means rebuke them, beat them, humiliate them, admonish and curse them, beat them up. This command was sent in the beginning because capital punishment had not yet been sent down.’
Ofcom, the independent competition and regulator authority for the UK’s communications industry slapped the company with the fine after receiving complaints from listeners.
n a statement from Fever FM Jabbar Karim, the managing director said:
“We at Fever FM would like to sincerely apologize [sic] to the Gay community and to everyone else who have found this news disturbing. This was a one off incident which will never be repeated and one person does not represent our Community station.”
“Sister Ruby joins us only on the religious dates and we have never had any concerns about her lectures before. We have always been concise of the programmes that we broadcast especially religious ones, in the last couple of years we had stopped asking volunteers to read, agree and sign an agreement form which states that no one can or is allowed to be-little, slander or attack any person, group, sect or business. However we still verbally explain our rules and ask everyone to use commonsense [sic], and to seek advice if not sure about anything.”
Fever FM has received grants by Leeds City Council, the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) and The Tudor Trust, which The Gay UK has approached for comment on the fine and any future funding of the radio station.
BIG said that they had provided funds in January 2010 for Fever FM to buy radio broadcast equipment and that it was no longer funding the radio station. The Tudor Trust funded the station for 3 years until 2011 when the incident happened. It no longer provides funds for the station and has asked that the station take ‘Proactive steps’ to ensure that its ‘broadcasts live up to community radio guidelines’.
A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said:
“Leeds is a city made up of many people and communities, and it is our aim to make sure that it is welcoming and accessible to everyone.
“We support many different community ventures, but can confirm that Fever FM isn’t currently receiving any funding from us.
“Leeds City Council does not endorse homophobic behaviour or attitudes, and all the organisations that we fund or commission to carry out work on our behalf have to sign up to the principles of our equality policy. We would ask Fever FM to exercise more editorial control in the future to make sure that it operates within community radio guidelines.”