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First Islamic television channel to be launched in Russia

August 19, 2012, 7:35 UTC+3

The opening of the Al-RTV channel is timed to coincide with the Uraza-Bairam holiday

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MOSCOW, August 19 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s first Islamic channel will be launched on Sunday. The opening of the Al-RTV channel is timed to coincide with the Uraza-Bairam holiday.

“It will broadcast via satellites in the Tricolor package. It will become more available to broad public when the country switches over digital television in 2015,” Albir Krganov, a Public Council member of the Al-RTV television channel and the head of the Moscow-based Islamic High Council of the Central Spiritual Muslim Administration, told Itar-Tass.

“This is a long-awaited project. Russian muftis who met the Russian president asked him to assist in the opening of a Muslim television channel. Today, people read fewer books. They prefer Internet and television. There should be a way to educate them,” Albir Krganov went on to say.

Krganov said that the organizers tried to observe the fair middle principle: there will be sermons and culinary recipes as well as programs on culture and history of the Islamic world.

The mufti emphasized that it would be a secular channel like the Orthodox channel Soyuz.

The Al-RTV founders include Rifat Sabirov, the deputy general director of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Corporation; Rustam Arifdzhanov, the chief editor and vice-president of the Eurasian Academy of Television and Rado; director Igor Aksyonov.

The channel’s Public Council comprises Ravil Gainutdinov, the head of the Mufti Council of Russia, Mufti of Tatarstan Ildus Faizov, Shafig Pshikhachev, the head of the Coordination center of the Muslims of North Caucasus and other figures of the Muslim community.

A weekly TV program “The Muslims” has been running on Russia-1 television channel for several years.

The celebrations of the main Muslim holidays of Uraza-Bairam and Kurban-Bairam are broad cast live on the Russia Channel and Channel One.

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