Radio Accused of Propagating Christianity

The attorney-general of the Transitional National Government, Ilyas Hasan Mahmud, has accused HornAfrik, the largest and most popular radio station in Mogadishu, of propagating Christianity, a senior official of the radio told IRIN. The accusation stems from BBC programmes with some Christian content, aired on HornAfrik, sources in Mogadishu told IRIN.

Muhammad Mahmud Ilmi, HornAfrik director, told IRIN: "We do carry BBC and CNN programmes on our radio and television, but we don't have any editorial control over them." Ilmi said the attorney-general's accusation was "irresponsible and inflammatory", and that such charges made by a senior official in a place like Somalia was "tantamount to inciting mob justice".

Ilmi added that almost 43 percent of HornAfrik's output consisted of Islamic religious programmes, which reflected "our sensitivity to our audience, which is Muslim". He said HornAfrik would take legal action to clear its name and reputation. "This is a serious charge, and we will demand that the attorney-general prove it in a court of law," Ilmi told IRIN.