KRG To Close Down All Local Pro-Radical Channels

Fuad Hussein KRG's chief of staff

Erbil (Basnews) – The Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) is currently working with the Ministries of Endowment & Religious Affairs and Culture to find a legal mechanism with which to close down all local television channels which promote radical (Takfiri) ideologies in the Kurdistan Region.

The government is busy with this process; the Kurdistan Journalists’ Syndicate has also filed a lawsuit to shut down a local Kurdish magazine which it claims is spreading radicalism among Kurdish youths.

Currently, there are more than ten local TV channels belonging to Islamic political parties on which a number of religious men, Muslim clerics and so-called scholars express their pro-extremist views.

Some social experts have warned the KRG that promoting Islam in such a way will bring about chaos and hatred in society and disrupt social freedom in Kurdistan. It would pave the way for other radical groups like Islamic State (IS) to attract youths and indoctrinate them.

An official source from the KRG confirmed to BasNews, “The KRG is trying to find a legal way through the Prosecutor General of the region to respond to the calls of journalists, intellectuals and activists to prohibit local media channels espousing religious intolerance and violence.”

Kamal Muslim, the KRG Minister of Endowment and Religion Affairs told BasNews, “Closing down these channels is not in our authority, only the Prime Minister can make such a decision.

“We endorse such a decision being made to restrict media from being sources of religious hatred and radicalism, since social peace and freedom is our priority. Any attempt to agitate against a peaceful life is unacceptable in Kurdistan.”

Halgurd Abdulwahab, Press General Director in the Ministry of Culture added, “It depends on the size of their crime. According to law these channels can only be suspended for a specific period of time not forever.”

Legal sources, however, tell BasNews that the fact the Kurdistan Region is currently at war with IS militants, with those media channels indirectly serving the enemy, there is a possibility these channels could be closed down through the courts.

Azad Hamadamin, the head of the Kurdistan Journalists’ Syndicate pointed out, “We are aware that no one has the authority but the court to close down these channels. Our syndicate, however, has already asked the Prosecutor General of the KRG to shut down a local Kurdish magazine which continuously promotes extremism.”

Mohamad Majid, a Kurdish intellectual and activist told BasNews “In democratic countries there isn’t room for extremism, if we are to claim democracy then we should not allow people to spread radical ideologies and provoke us to violence.”