CAIRO: Private television channel Al Kahera Wal Nas announced Wednesday it had suspended its controversial “with Islam” program days after Al-Azhar institution filed complaint accusing the show of “twisting Islam.”
“The decision is to defend Egypt’s national interest. It is out of respect for a large segment of the Egyptian people and it comes in response to the request of the Grand Imam of al-Azhar,” the station said, adding that “the program had negative impacts on the society, inevitably leading to more tension and differences, at a time when the nation’s efforts should be directed towards building.”
On his Facebook page, the program’s presenter Islam el-Behery wrote “Without going into further details, that the program was suspended due to disagreements with the TV station’s management.”
In his daily TV program, Behery provided his interpretation of Islam which has stirred controversy for questioning the credibility of the sources of the Hadith, (Prophet Muhammad’s sayings;) the second basic reference for Islamic teachings after the Quran.
“I am unable to explain the amount of horrors and farce I have been going through regarding this issue… We are moving far, far, far backwards. What is coming is much worse, beyond imagination …. I will not explain details now but I will write everything within two days,” Behery said.
On April 1, Al-Azhar, Egypt’s foremost Muslim Sunni authority filed a lawsuit against Behery over “broadcasting ideas which violate the foundations of Islam and its legacy,” according to Al-Ahram.
A few days later, The General Authority for Investment (GAFI) gave a grace period of 15 days to Al Kahera Wal Nas to shut down its controversial show.
In his televised speech before Al-Azhar scholars in January, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi demanded a “religious revolution on texts and ideas that have been held sacred for hundreds of years.”