Minister’s Muslim radio row referred to European court

A Christian minister who was dropped by a radio station after Muslim listeners complained about his show has had his case referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Mahboob Masih, a Church of Scotland minister, was dismissed after hosting an on-air debate between another Christian presenter and a Muslim speaker on whether Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life”.

Bosses at the publicly-funded station, aimed at the Asian community in Glasgow, told Revd Masih that “certain people were unhappy in the Muslim community” about the show.

“We were told we tried to create friction in the community, which we vehemently denied”, Revd Masih said.

“I personally did not make any comment on which the whole storm was created.”

The two Christian presenters agreed to apologise on air “to avoid further conflict” but Revd Masih was dismissed after he refused to offer a further apology at a local mosque.

Revd Masih took the Glasgow-based station, Awaz FM, to an Employment Tribunal earlier this year on grounds of religious discrimination.

However, because Revd Masih presented the show on a voluntary basis, employment judge Raymond Williamson said the ECJ should decide whether employment discrimination rules apply.

The judge said: “I ask myself the question, ‘can it be right that the respondent, a creature of statute, partly funded out of public funds and set up with the aim of promoting social cohesion, should be able to discriminate on religious grounds against the volunteer staff it is obliged to engage as a condition of its licence?'”

Speaking earlier this year on the case, Revd Masih said: “I thought it was completely unfair, and they were discriminating against a minority community, Asian Christians.”

He commented: “I experienced this sort of thing as a Christian in Pakistan, but didn’t expect it here.”

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