Michael Smith, radio host of 2GB has been given the axe just after being booked to present an afternoon program for three weeks due to offensive comments made about the Prophet Muhammad (s) on air when speaking with Mr Ben Fordham on Thursday 26 June 2014.
On his website, Smith posted a blog titled “Why I won’t be on 2GB on Monday” where he mentioned that David Kidd, 2GB program director called him the night before and said “We won’t be needing you, you can’t call a deity a pedophile.”
This is not the first time Mr Smith has made a rant against Islam that has landed him in hot water. In 2011 he was investigated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority for expressing the same sentiments, but was later cleared.
Mr Smith used this to justify himself “I’ve got an ACMA finding in relation to something I said a while ago, so I can say it with confidence!”. ‘‘The prophet Muhammad was a paedophile, a pederast, a sexual offender, a man who promoted the idea that it was OK to marry a six-year-old and consummate the marriage when the little girl was nine. And that’s written into their books, it’s part of the philosophy … the Koran. It’s factually correct.”
In a press release from the Lebanese Muslim Association, President Samier Dandan said “The fact that someone can be given a regular platform on air, which he uses to insult a figure passionately loved by one quarter of the world’s population is reprehensible in any modern society built on ideals of compassion and acceptance.”
The press release mentioned that Smith “offers nothing new to the diatribe that is thrown onto the Islamic faith..” and [blockquote style=”3"]“To imply that the Prophet was [a[a pedophile or sex offender]s abhorrent and a highly disrespectful misrepresentation of his life. The portrayal ignores the facts..”. “We urge Mr Smith to better educate himself on the tenets of Islam and the life of the Prophet Muhammad.”[/[/blockquote]nd commended 2GB on their decision to cancel Michael Smith’s afternoon program slot.
In the interview, Mr Smith brought up the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, saying “What is the difference with the radical Islamists, with Hizb-ut-Tahrir, things that they do as normal, how the hell do we tolerate Islamism as a legitimate ideology and give it any sort of breathing space?”, he then said “Uthman Badar is a person who promotes paedophilia.”
Amongst calls from listeners outraged by Mr Smith’s comments, Veteran presenter Ray Hadley criticised Smith’s comments ‘‘I want to go on record today and completely distance myself from Mr Smith’s comments… I was insulted by what was said … and I’ve got to speak out against it.’’
Smith’s response to criticism over his comments has not impacted his decision to recant or apologise for causing offence.