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Egypt Muslim group orders Christian TV station off air: report

Sapa-dpa | 2011-12-29 13:09:35.0
A crucifix. File picture
Image by: Daniel Barry / Getty images

An offshoot of Egypt's top religious institution, Al Azhar, has called on the government to take a Christian television station off the air, allegedly for offending Muslims, the semi-official Al-Ahram newspaper reported Thursday.

The Islamic Research Centre, which made the demand, is headed by Ahmed al-Tayeb, the sheikh of Al Azhar, which is the Sunni Muslim world's oldest seat of religious learning.

The centre accused US-based Christian broadcaster Al Karma (Vineyard) of insulting Islam and inciting sectarian divisions in Egypt, at a meeting late Wednesday, the newspaper reported.

Al Karama transmits its programmes via the Egyptian state-run satellite NileSat.

Christians, who make up around 10% of Egypt's population, often complain of being treated as second-class citizens and feel marginalised by the predominately Muslim population.

Egypt's Christians recently criticized state television for being biased in reporting about clashes between mainly Christian protesters and army forces in October, when at least 26 people were killed.

However, liberal and secular forces have accused leaders of both faiths of promoting hatred, and of exploiting sectarian sensitivities in the country.

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