Dutch Muslim broadcasters pull the plug

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Two Muslim broadcasting organisations – NMO and NIO -- will cease transmissions from 1 September 2010.

The Netherlands – Two Muslim broadcasting organisations in the Netherlands are to cease transmissions from September 2010.

The two companies, Dutch Muslim Broadcaster (NMO) and the Dutch Islamic Broadcasting (NIO), have not requested a renewal of their public broadcasting licence for the next five-year period.

NIO programme director Mustafa Aarab told the press on Tuesday: "I will lock the door behind me on 31 August 2010."

The two broadcasters decided not to renew their licences following multiple conflicts within the umbrella organisation, Islamic Broadcasting Foundation Care, that was set up specifically to mediate between them, said Abderrahman Farsi from NMO.

The administrative problems between the two broadcasters also started in 2007 when the two were forced to share an hour airtime. The amount of time was meant to be divided by two broadcasters but turned out otherwise.

"Our names are tainted, it's better to start anew," Farsi said.

The Dutch media authority has meanwhile received requests by five other Islamic organisations who want to take the place of NMO and NIO.

The authority said that in accordance with the Media Act, no more than one of them will be given airtime, which will be decided on by 1 January 2010.

Dutch public broadcasting is organised on the principle of representation, with some 10 broadcasting associations being allotted airtime on public channels commensurate with their membership. Each broadcasting company has to represent a significant section of society.

The Islamic broadcasters are vying for a small percentage of airtime that is set aside for associations representing religious groups.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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