Muslim Brotherhood 'Rabaa' channel launched, airing from Turkey

Ahram Online , Saturday 21 Dec 2013

New Muslim Brotherhood satellite channel opens hosting controversial Islamic scholar Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

Egyptian cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi (Photo:Reuters)

The Muslim Brotherhood's new satellite channel, "Rabaa," launched Friday and is being aired from Turkey, reported Al-Ahram Arabic website.

The channel is named after Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square, where hundreds were killed when security forces forcibly dispersed 14 August a sit-in held by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

The channel’s sign is the four-finger Rabaa sign that Brotherhood and Morsi loyalists use in regular ongoing protests against what they describe as a “coup against the legtitimate president” in Egypt.

Turkey has been a supporter of Morsi. Turkey and Egypt's new interim authorities got into a row after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan flashed the Rabaa sign and made comments against the country's post-Morsi administration. Egypt in response downgraded its diplomatic ties with Turkey.

Morsi was ousted 3 July amid mass nationwide protests against his one year rule. General commander of the armed forces Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi announced in the presence of political party leaders and religious figures a new political roadmap to include amending the Islamist-drafted 2012 constitution followed by parliamentary and presidential elections.

The Brotherhood's January 25 channel, which was airing from Egypt, was closed by authorities upon Morsi's ouster, together with several other religious channels, on allegations of incitement. 

The new Rabaa channel opened by hosting pro-Brotherhood Egyptian cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.

Al-Qaradawi, a prominent Egyptian Islamic scholar close to the Muslim Brotherhood, has had a firm stand against the ouster of Morsi. He presented his resignation earlier last month from Al-Azhar’s Supreme Clerical Committee in defiance of what he considered as bias in the committee regarding political events in Egypt.

Al-Qaradawi, who is currently based in Qatar, described Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb and other key leaders within the institution as supporters of "a military coup that raped the office of the Egyptian president."

Several Al-Azhar scholars had already called for his membership to be revoked after he made divisive comments attacking the institution and praising the Muslim Brotherhood.  

On 9 December, the Supreme Clerical Committee released a statement saying that its members had voted to accept Al-Qaradawi's resignation. El-Tayyeb did not participate in the vote.

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