News about launching a Salafist channel raises concerns
Salah Abdel Maaboud - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The Salafist Call may establish a new satellite channel to become the voice of its political acting power, al-Nour Salafist Party, Youm7 reported on Saturday.

A member of the party’s high committee, Salah Abdel Ma’aboud, however, denied such claims. “There is no such project as the party cannot afford its finances for the time being,” he told The Cairo Post Sunday.

Nonetheless, the news raised concerns over the possible channel’s “unethical purpose;” Mohamed al-Orabi, the head of the Conference Party said he believes such a channel could become the reason for “irritation.”

“Using a channel for political speech is not appropriate. Political campaigns should be based on working in constituencies and presenting candidates programs to the people,” he told Youm7 on Sunday.

Islamic researcher Hisham al-Naggar told Youm7 he rejected the establishment of a channel for political motives or with a religious identity. “It is not convincing and will be subject to debate,” Youm7 reported him saying on Sunday.

A number of Islamist channels were shut down by the state following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013.

Religious channels are widely viewed by the Egyptian public for knowledge on Islamic rules. According to a study conducted in 2013, 70 percent of Egyptians frequently watch religious programs and 30 percent watch them sometimes, the Daily News Egypt reported on April 3, 2013.

During the Muslim Brotherhood government, many channels also delivered political messages, and defended the regime. Many of the public criticized what they considered to be hate speech by the sheikhs appearing on those channels, for often accusing political opposition of blasphemy.

Additional reporting by Kamel Kamel, Alaa Essam and Ahmed Arafa.

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