London, Sep. 1 (ANI): The case of a Christian preacher, who had alleged that a Muslim community radio station sacked him on religious discrimination grounds, has been referred to the European Court of Justice.
Church of Scotland Minister Mahboob Masih, 37, presented a show for Awaz FM on a voluntary basis, The Scotsman reports.
Masih told an employment tribunal that his services were terminated following a "lively" debate on air about religion and the views of a prominent Muslim speaker.
Masih said he presented his show as normal on a Saturday morning last July with fellow presenter Afzal Umeed and an on-air guest. He was later told: "certain people were unhappy in the Muslim community".
"We were told we tried to create friction in the community, which we vehemently denied. I personally did not make any comment on which the whole storm was created. After listening to the show a few times, it was demanded that we apologise. We said we would do it to avoid further conflict with management."
Masih said he believed that if they had not apologised, they would have been barred from presenting the programme again.
After apologising live on air, Masih said he was asked to go to the local mosque and offer an apology again. "I said I would not be willing to go to the mosque because this is inappropriate."
Denying the discrimination, the station, the station argued that the tribunal has no powers to hear the case, as Masih is not an employee.
Javed Ullah, a director of the community radio station, which has an estimated 55,000 listeners, 60 per cent of whom are Muslim, denied he told Masih that the Prophet Mohammed was insulted in a discussion on his radio show.
Employment judge Raymond Williamson ruled that the case should be referred to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling on whether Masih's status as a volunteer was protected by anti-discrimination legislation. (ANI)