July 1, 2010 Special Dispatch No. 3071

Egyptian Columnist in Support of Ban on Al-Rahma Channel: Al-Rahma Does Not Conduct Da'wa, but Rather Incites the Masses Against Non-Muslims

July 1, 2010
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 3071

In March 2010, the Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA), the French broadcasting regulator, instructed Eutelsat, which owns the Atlantic Bird A4 satellite, to stop broadcasting the Islamist Egyptian Al-Rahma TV channel because of the virulently antisemitic content it frequently airs. The decision was based entirely on research provided by MEMRI TV, which revealed that the channel regularly portrays Jews as the Muslims' worst enemies,[1] describes them as apes, pigs, and vipers[2] and calls to annihilate them.[3]In addition, the channel broadcasts venomous anti-Shi'ite messages and anti-U.S. and anti-Western incitement; programs promoting wife-beating and polygamy have also been aired.

Following the decision of the CSA, the channel launched a protest campaign, claiming that the ban is a result of a Jewish conspiracy, and declaring that it would not change its programming or rhetoric. Concurrently, it changed its name to Nasaem Al-Rahma and switched to a different frequency on the same satellite, presumably with the aim of bypassing the French ban and continuing to broadcast despite of it.[4] So far, the CSA and Eutelsat have not commented.

On May 31, Dr. Abdallah Al-Naggar, who lectures in Al-Azhar and writes a column on religious affairs in the Egyptian government daily Al-Gumhouriyya, wrote in support of the decision to ban Al-Rahma, arguing that the channel does nothing to promote Islam or Muslim causes, but only spreads hostility and incites the Muslim masses against the West.

Following are excerpts:[5]

To view the MEMRI TV page for Al-Rahma TV, visit

Al-Rahma "Strove to … Generate an Atmosphere [of Hostility] in International Relations between Muslims and Non-Muslims"

"I feel no empathy for the Al-Rahma channel [or anger over] the French decision to ban it. I think this ban was the natural result of the unfortunate way in which the channel conducted its da'wa for the sake of Allah. [As a matter of fact, this channel] did not work for the sake of Allah, but only [strove] to excite religious fervor in the masses, generate an atmosphere [of hostility] in international relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, and sow strife between [the Muslims] and the West – when everyone knows that the Muslims are not very good at winning these confrontations. It has already been proven that these verbal confrontations do not go far beyond the throats from which they emerge.

"Islam does not need these bombastic slogans that the public learns by rote. It needs Muslims who act rather than talk. The funds used to launch this channel could have been utilized [instead] to build a factory that would provide livelihood to several families, support several households, and preserve the chastity of several young people [by allowing them to marry]. This would have been better in the eyes of Allah and more beneficial to society than the strident rhetoric [aired] day and night on this channel, which benefits nobody..."

It is Wrong to Blame a "Jewish Conspiracy" for Banning the Channel

"It's inconceivable that the channel and its directors should be self-righteous and trot out the excuse that the ban was the result of a Jewish conspiracy. Even if this is true, it should have motivated the channel to be [more] cautious and choose a wiser way to conduct its da'wa for the sake of Allah...

"I do not know what kind of wisdom guided this channel to choose the invasions [i.e., the early Muslim conquests] as a topic for its programs, and especially the invasion of Khaybar [an oasis north of Medina that was inhabited by Jewish tribes and conquered by the Prophet Muhammad in 628]... Are they trying to echo those strident demonstrations that young people hold for various reasons, at which they chant 'Khaybar! Khaybar! Jews, Muhammad's army shall return'? By Allah, had they... been honest and faithful to their da'wa, they would not have pursued this path of arousing hostility. They know that this [behavior] can bring upon the Muslims [woes] that their countries cannot cope with...

"Those who run the Al-Rahma channel should encourage Muslims to [face] the real world, to work and be productive, and to develop themselves and their countries... There is no benefit, but only harm, in fanning hostility by talking about conflicts, especially since fighting and hostility are not foundations of da'wa but methods of self-defense... We need productivity more than raucous talk."

[4] On Al-Rahma and the French ban against it, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 3023, "Al-Rahma TV Tries to Deceive French Regulator, After Being Banned from Broadcasting on Eutelsat Satellite," June 11, 2010,

[5] Al-Gumhouriyya (Egypt), May 31, 2010.

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