Dutch body told to reallocate Islamic TV licence

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A court in Amsterdam has quashed a decision to give a radio and TV licence to Muslim broadcasting group SMON. The court said that the Dutch Media Authority, when allotting broadcasting time to the group in 2009, gave insufficient explanation why this group, rather than a competing one, should be chosen.

The losing contender for the Islamic broadcasting slot on public radio and TV, the similarly named SMO, had appealed against the authority's decision.

The Dutch Media Authority CvdM has said it will reconsider all applications for the Islamic religious broadcasting licence. No such programming is currently produced because SMON's licence was withdrawn in August when the group split over differences in religious interpretation. SMON was an amalgamation of orthodox and liberal Muslim organisations.

A small fraction of broadcasting time on the Netherlands' public radio and TV channels has been set aside for each of the country's religious groups. The slots are allotted to broadcasting organisations which are considered national representatives of their religion.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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