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Brotherhood launch new 'impartial' satellite channel

Muslim Brotherhood hopes to influence larger audience of Egyptians with new TV programme

Ahram Online, Tuesday 18 Nov 2014
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A new satellite channel funded by the Muslim Brotherhood and launched from Turkey aired for the first time on Monday, hosting a non-Islamist media figure as the face of its first programme.

According to Masr Al-Arabyia news website, known to be close to Islamists, the channel is the Brotherhood's first attempt to provide an "impartial" media platform.

The Misr Alaan (Egypt Now) channel was launched by the programme Min Misr (From Egypt) and was hosted by non-Islamist media figure Mohamed Nasser, who started off by slamming religious figures who defend Egypt's current government and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

In statements to Masr Al-Arabiya, staff members of Misr Alaan explained that the new channel is an attempt to influence a larger audience of Egyptians, unlike other Brotherhood funded channels that mainly speak to loyalists.

Speaking to Ahram Online, media analyst Yasser Abdel-Aziz opined that, contrary to the goal of the new channel, Brotherhood funded media has failed to expand the scope of influence or gain more sympathisers. In fact, Abdel-Aziz believes that Brotherhood media has played a role in turning people against the group. He added, however, that the group's media outlets have played a role in radicalising their loyalists and turning them towards violence.

The host's programme revolved around the question of whether it was "religiously prohibited" for "Egyptians to kill Egyptian soldiers".

Hundreds of soldiers have been killed in recent months by Islamist militants. The most violent attack, in October, left 30 soldiers dead.

During the programme, Nasser criticised Al-Azhar sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb, Egypt's former mufti Aly Gomaa and the Al-Azhar institution as a whole for what he described as defending the current regime. He also went on to denounce influential Salafist preacher Mohamed Hassan on similar grounds.

In a meeting with Egyptian editors in August, El-Sisi warned of several media outlets funded by the Brotherhood and its supporting countries Turkey and Qatar.

He mentioned the new Egypt Now satellite channel, adding that it was part of a plan to "manipulate the minds of Egyptians" and "create instability in Egypt."

The channel suffered a jamming signal during its first show.
 

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