Russia welcomes first Islamic channel

IŮaki Ferreras | 22-08-2012

The first channel promoting Islam, Al-RTV, has started transmissions in Russia, coinciding with the end of the Ramadan.

Its programming runs via satellite to reach Russian regions of Bashkortostan, Tatarstan and six North Caucasus republics, Bashinform news portal reported.

The channelís broadcasts will be uninterrupted for 24-hours-a-day and will be overseen by Rustam Arifdzhanov, vice president of the Eurasian Academy of Broadcasting. The channelís public council is made up of representatives of Russian Islamic organisations and is funded by private donations and government grants.

Future plans include reaching all members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) nations that previously made up the Soviet Union.

Public board member Albir Krganov said the broadcaster will expand its coverage with the advent of digital television to Russia in 2015. He explained that people now read fewer books and prefer television and the Internet, so there is a need to educate them through these routes.

The programme schedule consists of subjects from sermons to cooking recipes, plus broadcasts on culture and the history of Islam, but Krganov said that it is a secular station like the Soyuz channel of the Orthodox Church.