Sunday, April 26, 2015

Egyptian Channel Cancels Program After Host's Criticism of Conservative Islam

Egypt's Daily News reported yesterday that the Al-Qahera Wal Nas satellite channel has cancelled the program hosted by commentator Islam El-Behiry after two lawsuits against it challenge El-Behiry's criticism of conservative Islamic schools of thought.  One suit filed by an independent lawyer calls for closing down the channel and removing episodes of the program from the Internet, accusing El-Behiry of "insulting the divine."  A second suit filed by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar accuses El-Behiry of insulting Al-Azhar which Egypt's Constitution makes the main source of interpretation of Islamic law.  Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has called for a reinterpretation of Islamic doctrine (see prior posting). In cancelling El-Behiry's show, the channel said:
We should let ‘enlightened’ religious preachers handle the task of renewing religious discourse.