A screenshot from the TV series 'Muslim Perspectives.'.
(photo credit: B'NAI BRITH CANADA)
The Canadian VisionTV network, owned by ZoomerMedia, pulled from its airwaves a TV series titled Muslim Perspectives after a campaign by B’nai Brith Canada.
The show was hosted by Imam Zafar Bangash, a controversial religious leader who has come under fire in the past for his inflammatory statements. Bangash, who is a fervent supporter of the Iranian government and a regular on the state-run Press TV, is the director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought and the president of the Islamic Society of York Region. He has referred to Zionists as “satan,” “racists” and “parasites” and called for Palestine to be liberated from the Zionists and for Israel to be abolished.
Bangash has also reportedly incited against homosexuals, and opposed the expansion of gay rights. Episodes of Muslim Perspectives included discussions of Hezbollah rockets destroying Israel, and claims that Israel was working with the US and Saudi Arabia to wage war and control geopolitics.
A spokeswoman for ZoomerMedia confirmed to The Jerusalem Post
on Monday that the show was pulled due to the complaints, but declined to elaborate further.
VisionTV is a “specialty channel that airs multi-faith, multi-cultural and trusted family-friendly programs,” the network states, which aim to “educate, inspire, entertain and express a diversity of perspectives.”
As recently as Friday, Muslim Perspectives was listed as a current show on the VisionTV website, but as of Monday it no longer appeared. The show was described simply as a “half hour Islamic TV series.”
On Sunday, B’nai Brith Canada welcomed the network’s decision.
“Muslim Perspectives, starring radical imam Zafar Bangash, will no longer be able to poison the minds of impressionable viewers with antisemitic conspiracy theories and anti-Israel rhetoric,” wrote B’nai Brith CEO Michael Mostyn in an open letter to supporters. “Thanks to you, our loyal supporters, as well as the principled actions of the broadcaster, Muslim Perspectives will no longer be able to promote content that encourages division between the Muslim and Jewish communities rather than fostering dialogue.”
Last week, the Canadian Jewish group circulated a petition calling for the show’s removal. The petition claimed that the show, and a linked magazine, promotes “hateful content targeting members of minority groups such as the Jewish and LGBTQ communities.”
Last year, B’nai Brith said, VisionTV agreed to review all episodes of Muslim Perspectives before they aired, after complaints over their content. But after further complaints and the recent petition, the network canceled the show entirely.
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