WASHINGTON (Nov. 8)
A Swedish jury has found Radio Islam, a non-profit, public access radio program broadcast in Stockholm, guilty on 21 counts of airing neo-Nazi and anti-Jewish propaganda, including denial of the Holocaust.
Sentencing is expected next week and could result in the closure of the program, which is transmitted by a Moslem association.
B’nai B’rith International welcomed the verdict, which, according to its executive vice president, Thomas Neumann, “is a great victory over the forces of anti-Semitism in Sweden, and it sends a strong international message as well.”
BBI President Seymour Reich raised the issue in Auust with Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson, who promised the matter would be dealt with by the judicial system.
It was the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center that first urged the Swedish authorities to prosecute “Radio Islam.”
A November 1987 complaint by the Wiesenthal Center resulted in an April 1988 warning to Radio Islam’s director, Ahmed Rami, from Swedish Attorney General Hans Stark.
Rami was ordered to cease and desist from hateful rhetoric. He ignored the warning, however, and went on to broadcast denials of the Holocaust and charges that Jews worshiped only money. The attorney general brought Radio Islam to court, charging it with “incitement against an ethnic minority.”
According to Lars Maren, director of the Swedish Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, Swedish Radio is “open for local non-profit-making associations that can exercise an almost unlimited freedom of expression in their programing.”
A jury has now decided that Radio Islam abused that right.