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Anger over Lotus FM presenter’s comments on Islam

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The South African Muslim Network (Samnet) has lodged a complaint with the SABC and Human Rights Commission over alleged comments made by a Lotus FM presenter, accused of being Islamophobic.

In a Facebook post, Pauline Sangham allegedly stated that “Islam is a false religion based upon a false book and written by a false prophet’.

Following the outcry on social media, she claimed that her account had been hacked. Sangham, who hosts two shows on the popular Indian lifestyle station, has since been suspended.

On her Facebook page on Monday, she apologized to the Muslim community:

Samnet chairperson Faisal Suliman says his offices have been inundated with complaints from Muslims over the past few days. He says her comments are “untenable”.

“Social media is a powerful platform. The person involved is a presenter and producer and in that capacity, has a huge influence on the public, but also on the station’s content,” he said.

“If she denigrates Islam in the way she has, we can’t see how she can continue in her job where she has so much influence on content and building social harmony, which is part of the mandate of the SABC.”

According to reports, the Muslim Judicial Council were also lodging a complaint with the SABC.
Samnet has also lodged complaints with the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities and the Hate Crimes Working Group.

“We are still contemplating whether we can lay civil charges, so our attorneys are looking at that. This could be done in the Equality Court.”

It’s believed the Ahli Sunnat Wal Jamaat, a South African NPO has formally written to Lotus FM station manager, Alvin Pillay to urge him to issue a public statement in the matter. The organisation has slammed the comments as blasphemous and Islamophobic.  VOC

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