New Satellite Channel to Promote Islam
The Executive Council of the Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) Sunday approved a draft project for establishing a multi-language Islamic Satellite Channel at an estimated cost of $30 million, as part of a strategy to promote Islam and present the true image of Muslims worldwide.
Representatives of 31 Muslim states participating in the 22nd Executive Council Session of ISESCO – which was opened by Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and is being held at the Holiday International Hotel –reviewed the study of the project and endorsed it unanimously, the Dubai-based Gulf News reports.
According to Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Al Twaijri, Director-General of ISESCO, the channel will start broadcasting in English since it is the main language that is used around the globe. "Broadcasts will then be made in French, Spanish, Portuguese and other major languages, including Chinese and Hindi," he disclosed.
Abdulaziz Al Ansari, Secretary-General for the National Committee for Education, Culture and Sciences, commented that the study regarding the new channel had been presented to the ruler of Qatar Sheikh Hamad who had pledged that his country would be ready to host the channel and support it. "However, we expect all members of the OIC to provide support for this important project in order to make it a big success," said Al Ansari.
According to the study, the need for setting up the Islamic Satellite Channel stemmed from the fact that "Muslims need to consolidate their faith and strengthen their feelings of belonging to the Islamic Ummah (nation) and their understanding of current issues, whatever may be their language of origin or the community they belong to".
The study emphasized that there would be two kinds of discourses in addressing Muslims through the projected channel: one addressed to Muslims all over the lands of Islam, and another addressing Muslim minorities and communities in non-Muslim states. According to the study, another objective of the channel stemmed from the need to target non-Muslims for the purpose of rectifying much of the incorrect information disseminated about Islam and Muslims.
The study proposed that the channel should adopt digital technology in production and broadcasting, and should broadcast around the clock to be able to cover most of the continents. Additionally, it recommended that the channel should have its headquarters in Doha, Qatar, and a number of external offices in Cairo, Paris, London, and Jeddah in the first year; New York and Madrid in the second year, Dakar and Rabat in the third year, and Sydney and Moscow in the fourth year.
The estimated cost of the project as presented in the study would be $8 million for the construction and equipment of the headquarters, and between $18 million and $22 million for operation and management. (Albawaba.com)