Russia Plans To Launch Muslim TV Channel

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Russia will soon launch a Muslim television channel in the hope it will foster tolerance after the capital saw some of the worst clashes since the fall of the Soviet Union, state-run media reported on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Set up three years ago by the state and proposed by President Dmitry Medvedev, the exciting channel will broadcast to thousands and feature children's programs, 'how to' series and guidance for reading the Qur'an.

We're hoping it will match the UK's Muslim channels such as Peace TV and Islam Channel, which already provide a community and 'halal entertainment' service for millions of British Muslims.

The satellite channel is marked for February or March, aiming serve Russia's 20 million Muslims, approximately one seventh (1/7th) of the country's population. However, the new channel will have to compete with Chechen channel "Put", which means "The Way" in Russian. A healthy competition for a unique channel in Europe.

According to Reuters, Russia's chief Mufti Ravil Gaynutdin said,

"We believe it is necessary to cultivate a spirit of tolerance towards representatives of other faiths," - RIA news agency quoted.

Already backlash has been building from Neo-nationalist movements over the past year, which shocked authorities and many Russians. At rallies, some chanted nationalistic slogans such as "Russia is for Russians!" Would Russia, of all countries, allow this propelling of discriminatory views? Are Russian Muslims not Russian too?

Many Muslims say they are treated with suspicion by ethnic Russians and often face racism in their home country. We hope insha'Allah that the new channel will bring greater PR to the face of Islam and the Muslims of Russia.

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