Arnab’s channel apologises, but CNN-NEWS18 issues clarification

NEW DELHI: Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV channel on Saturday acted with dignity when it quickly apologised for wrongly calling a noted Jamaat-e-Islami India chief Maulana Jalaluddin Umri a terrorist.

In contrast, CNN-NEWS18 channel owned by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Group has chosen to issue an extraordinary clarification in response to allegations of blasphemy by Muslim groups.

The statement by CNN-News18 defended its decision to broadcast the three most revered mosques (Makkah, Madina and Al-Aqsa) for Muslims under the ‘JeM terror factory’ headline.

The statement said that any criticism should be directed at the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), since the channel had sourced the images of the Holy mosques from the outfits’s propaganda video.

The statement said, “The footage used in our broadcast is clearly watermarked with a JeM logo and was clearly referred to as a propaganda video. The use of the video has drawn ire from certain quarters. But given the context it was used, any religious offence and outrage should be directed at the JeM.”

In its broadcast on Saturday 1 March, the CNN-News18 channel flashed images of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Masjid-e Nabawi in Madina and Al-Aqsa mosque implying that they were part of Jaish terror factory, the unearth the properties belonging to Jaish chief Masood Azhar.

This has angered several Muslim groups with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board terming the broadcast was as mischievous to defame Islam.

AIMPLB has accused Ambani’s CNN-News18 of committing blasphemy against Masjids in Makkah, Madina and Qudsa and demanded both the channel to apologise for its incredibly inflammatory broadcast targeting Muslims across the globe.

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Angry reactions also evoke on social media with many accusing the channel of deliberately insulting Islam to provoke Muslims just before the elections.