The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Angry mob torches Iraqi TV station for broadcasting music show on day of Ashura Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Angry mob torches Iraqi TV station for broadcasting music show on day of Ashura

Videos circulated showed angry protesters outside the central Baghdad premises of Dijla TV station [Twitter]

Date of publication: 31 August, 2020

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
A mob stormed and set fire to an Iraqi television station Monday over its airing of a 'festive' programme on a religious day of mourning.
Dozens of angry protesters in Iraq stormed and set fire to a local TV station for allegedly broadcasting a "festive programme with music" on Ashura - a day of mourning for Shia Muslims who commemorate the death of Imam Hussein, one of Shia Islam's most important figures.

Videos circulated showed angry protesters outside the central Baghdad premises of Dijla TV station, which aired a regular scheduled programme that included singing and dancing on Sunday.

The show irked some Iraqis who saw the move as an insult to their religious beliefs.

Dijlah swiftly apologised, saying it was an "unintended" mistake, with calls for the channel to be taken off air for a month as "punishment", according to local reports.

A warrant was issued on Monday for the arrest of Dijlah's administrative head Jamal Al-Karbuli - who spends most of his time outside Iraq - for "intentionally insulating the rites of a religious sect".

According to Iraq's penal code, insulting religion can carry a prison sentence of up to three years.

Several Dijlah employees resigned in protest after the broadcast, and half a dozen Iraqi provinces immediately banned the channel. 

The court also asked Iraq's Communications and Media Commission (CMC), which regulates the work of press outlets, to take action. 

In January, the CMC ordered Dijlah to close for a month following its coverage of anti-government protests. 

Masked gunmen raided the station's Baghdad office in the first week of rallies in October 2019. Three months later and one of its correspondents and a cameraman were gunned down in the southern city of Basra.

On Sunday, thousands of Shia Muslims marked Ashura by marching towards the holy shrines of Imam Hussein and Imam Abbas in Karbala, Iraq.

For Shia, who represent over 10 percent of the world's 1.8 billion Muslims, the remembrance of Hussein is an emotional event that sees many believers weep over his death at the Battle of Karbala in present-day Iraq.

Hussein died on 10 October, 680 AD in Karbala.

The event contributed massively to the schism that led to the split between the Sunni and Shia sects of Islam. Ashura falls the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic lunar calendar.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay connected

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More