Moscow (AsiaNews) -
Russia has its first public Muslim television
channel. It's called Al-RTV
and was launched on 19 August, as reported by information
portal Bashinform. Desired by
some of the major organizations that
promote the religious and
spiritual values of Islam in
the Federation, AL-RTV for
now covers eight Russian
regions: Bashkortostan, Tatarstan and the six republics of
the North Caucasus. Programs were launched on the day
of Eid-ul-Fitr, the holiday that celebrates the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
The Director is Rustam Arifdzhanov, vice president of the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio Broadcasting. The TV is controlled by a public council, consisting of representatives of the major Islamic organizations in the country, and is supported financially by private donations and government grants. The idea is to extend the service to other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
The problem of disseminating the values of moderate Islam to fight the spread of Wahhabism, especially coming from the Caucasus, is top of the agenda not only of the religious leaders, but also of the Kremlin. Recently, the Russian autonomous republic of Tatarstan, a Muslim majority - but noted for the peaceful coexistence between Islam and Christianity - has been targeted by a series of attacks, which, according to investigators, are linked to an attempt to root extremism in the social tissue, hitherto alien to these areas.