LONDON - The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) on Saturday termed the BBC decision to disallow an appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) for Gaza a serious derelict of its public duty. MCB urged the Corporation's Governors to urgently reverse its decision, which would severely jeopardise efforts to raise millions of pounds of voluntary contributions for emergency humanitarian assistance in Gaza. MCB Secretary General Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari said, "The excuses given by the BBC are simply untenable and the Governors need to act quickly before the Corporation's image is irretrievably tarnished." The DEC, an umbrella group for 13 aid charities, launched its appeal on Friday saying the devastation in Gaza was "so huge British aid agencies were compelled to act". For the first time in 43 years a DEC appeal has been launched without the support of Britain's major broadcasters. The appeal was effectively sabotaged by the BBC when it made a rare breach of an agreement dating to 1963, saying it would not give free airtime to the appeal. Dr Abdul Bari said: "The need reverse this decision is even more compelling as the BBC's coverage of the carnage in Gaza was very tame and not reflective of the scale of the violations committed there. "In sabotaging the DEC appeal broadcast the BBC is clearly acting against the public interest. As custodians of the public trust in the BBC its Governors must act immediately to avoid the blame of being complicit in denying humanitarian aid to the desperate people of Gaza, he added. AFP adds: The BBC faced intense criticism Saturday from the British government and campaigners after refusing to broadcast a charity appeal to raise emergency funds for people in the Gaza Strip. The BBC is worried that broadcasting the appeal could compromise its impartiality and questions whether aid can be delivered efficiently in Gaza. But its decision has provoked fierce criticism from Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government and Muslim groups, while hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the BBC's central London offices to protest the decision Saturday. The publicly-funded broadcaster's main commercial rival, ITV, announced Saturday that it would show the appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), while another rival, Channel Four, will also screen it. Around 400 people gathered for a rally outside BBC offices addressed by speakers including former Labour cabinet minister Tony Benn and lawmaker George Galloway, who accused the BBC of bias against the Palestinians. The crowd chanted "BBC, shame on you" and a few threw shoes at the BBC office. The Stop The War Coalition, which organised the march, estimates that the ban on broadcasting the appeal could cost up to 13.6 million dollars in donations. The group has organised big rallies opposed to the violence in Gaza in London for the past few weekends. Around 5,000 people also took to the streets of Britain's second biggest city, Birmingham, for a pro-Palestinian demonstration, while around 100 Cambridge University students have occupied the law faculty there in protest at Israel's attacks on Gaza. The BBC's news coverage of the region frequently provokes controversy among commentators in Britain.