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Al-Azhar to 'counter extremism' with own TV channel

Egypt's religious establishment to promote moderate version of Islam as counterweight to proliferation of extremist satellite channels

Ahram Online, Thursday 30 May 2013
Al-Azhar
Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, Egyptian Imam of al-Azhar Mosque (Photo: Reuters)
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Al-Azhar, Egypt's leading seat of Islamic learning, is planning to launch its own television channel.

The channel will promote a moderate version of Islam, Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb said on Thursday.

It will be trialed in July to coincide with Ramadan and will feature social, cultural and historical programmes alongside its main religious content, El-Tayyeb said.

The state-run Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) will provide technical assistance to help launch the channel, he added.

There have been mounting calls for a channel monitored by the 1000-year-old Islamic authority to combat the growing number of Islamic channels spouting extremist rhetoric.

Infamous for their derogatory language, such channels are accused of delivering politically motivated fatwas and promoting extremist interpretations of Islam. They are also accused of launching smear campaigns against liberal and opposition figures.

Controversial preachers on Al-Nas and Hafez religious channels have been convicted of defamation.

On Wednesday, Khaled Abdullah, who presents a programme on Al-Nas, was slapped with a suspended fine of LE10,000 for slandering and defaming Egyptian actress Hala Fakher.

Abdullah Badr, another acid-tongued preacher, was handed a one-year sentence in December 2012 for insulting popular Egyptian actress Elham Shaheen on the Hafez religious channel.

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aboujafar
01-06-2013 08:56pm
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It's about time!!!
Finally!
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Al-Misry
01-06-2013 12:08pm
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Azhar and War On Terror
Azhar is a selfmade Sufi organization.They teach things that are far away from Tawheed. They real skin is cracking now. Wherever there is money and funding they are at it. A comedian from the West accussed his Western nation that everybody asked for funding because of terror. Here we go again after 13 years Azhar is awakening for cash like Rome. Azhar spreads loads of nonsense from their centres to poor Muslims accroo the world particularly Africa. If one visits their compuses it's often filthy and teachers do not show up. The immigration office in Abbasiya is full of nonsense some of the student return to the office at least 3 months just to submit an application form. Officials there are so corrupt money gets exchanged in return for services. These are very basic for anything before they can say we will create a version of Islam like their already invented is not enough. They poisoned 1000s of students. Where are the safe guards of the students ? A non Egyptian students are only allowed to go through their Islamic Studies. They do not allow them to study main stream subjects ? Fix your own home before you want to create further divisions ? By the way proof that Muslims accept Azhar as a main body for Sunni Islam ? I put to you the answer is no other than Sufis in Egypt.
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