State TV Channel Chief Sacked over Program Insulting to Sunnis

Logo of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB)

The manager of an Iranian state TV channel has been removed from his post following the broadcast of a program which was insulting to Sunni Muslims.

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Abdol-Ali Ali-Askari instructed Director of the IRIB’s TV Department Morteza Mirbaqeri to dismiss the manager of Channel 5 as well as the channel’s broadcast manager.

The decision was made after a eulogist, on the birthday anniversary of second Shiite Imam, Hassan ibn Ali (PBUH), insulted three of the four Muslim caliphs and one of the wives of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Ali-Askari underlined that the centrerpiece of the IRIB’s policy has always been to respect the Islamic community.

“Given the negligence with regards to the sudden (live) broadcast of these words, which hurt the feelings of Sunni brothers, sisters and scholars, the manager of the channel and its broadcast manager must be fired immediately,” the IRIB president wrote in his instruction to the Director of the IRIB’s TV Department, which oversees the activities of Channel 5, one of several channels working under the department’s supervision.

Earlier in the day, the eulogist Ahad Qadami was summoned to a court in Tehran over the insult, which the Judiciary says was “intentional”. He was later released on bail.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has, time and again, underlined that the Sunni community and individuals revered by them, including Prophet Muhammad’s wife Aisha and Sunni caliphs who were contemporaries of Prophet Muhammad, must never be disrespected.

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