A Brisbane radio station may have to explain why it should keep its licence after an announcer was accused of making anti-Islamic comments.
Former Victorian police officer, now 4BC drive-time announcer, Michael Smith called for Muslim women who wear an Islamic hijab in public to be fined for offensive behaviour. He made the remarks on-air and on the 4BC website, saying: “Any reasonable person would find this offensive.” Islamic Council of Queensland president Suliman Sabdia said Mr Smith’s remarks amounted to “a clear case of intolerance”.
Under the Commercial Radio Code of Practice, a licensee must not broadcast a program likely to incite hatred against or vilify any person or group on the basis of age, ethnicity, nationality, race, gender, sexual preference, religion, or disability. Christine Donnelly from the Australian Communications and Media Authority said Mr Smith’s comments could be a breach of the Code of Practice.
4BC general manager David McDonald said Mr Smith’s remarks were not intended to be anti-religion or anti-Muslim.
Update: See also “Retailers back shock jock Michael Smith’s call for hijab ban” at News.com.au, which reports:
“A radio announcer’s call for a ban on Islamic hijabs has been backed by the Retailers Association. The body has called for all hijabs, helmets and hoodies to be banned in shops and banks for security purposes…. Retailers association executive directorScott Driscoll said it had been a long accepted practice to require customers to remove helmets and other identity obscuring headwear when entering a shop or bank. ‘Retailers should not have to fear any form of retribution or backlash for requiring the removal of any obscuring headwear, including hijabs, as a condition of entry’, Mr Driscoll said.”