New Muslim TV channel to be launched in South Africa

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An international Islamic-focused satellite TV channel that aims to give non-Muslims a better understanding of the faith will be launched in South Africa early next year. The UK-based Islam Channel, which beams to European, Middle Eastern and north African countries, will be broadcast locally on DStv from February.

With its headquarters in central London, Islam Channel provides alternative news, current affairs and entertainment programming from an Islamic perspective. Broadcast in English, it first took to the air in 2004. It be available on a basic bouquet in South Africa.

CEO Mohamed Ali said the channel acted as an “interface between Muslims and non-Muslims”. “We decided to come to South Africa because there is a Muslim community here and we are an English-speaking channel that targets English-speaking nations,” said Ali. “We are happy that we reach a wide audience. We have plenty of non-Muslims who watch our channel for the entertainment.

Ali said the channel was family-oriented with a “no harm, no offence“ policy. Through its annual Global Peace and Unity event in the UK, it tries to stimulate debate and create awareness among different cultures about Islam.

Ali has also been trying to tackle Islamaphobia through the channel’s programming. “There is a perception in the minds of non-Muslims about the status of women in Islam. We have quite a few programmes run by women, targeting women.”