Spain: Iran and S. Arabia launch 2 tv channels in Spanish

20 December, 16:29

Ramadan in Spain [ARCHIVE MATERIAL 20100820 ] Ramadan in Spain [ARCHIVE MATERIAL 20100820 ]

(ANSAmed) - MADRID, DECEMBER 20 - Two Islamic television channels in the Spanish language arrive around Christmas in Spain. The first, an Iranian channel, will start broadcasting on December 21, the second, a Saudi channel, on January 1. Both will use the Hispasat satellites for broadcasts in Spain and South America. According to sources in the audiovisual sector quoted today by El Pais, Hispan TV has started counting down to the day of tomorrow, when it will start broadcasting from Tehran. Its programmes are aimed at the a Spanish-speaking audience and can count on collaboration with Spanish journalists. The channel will start with 16 hours of television per day, which will be extended to 24 hours by the end of this winter. Its schedule includes information services, news, television series made in Iran and dubbed into Spanish, discussions on film, literature and religion. The programme 'Debate abierto' (Open debate) will focus on spreading the Shiite Islam, the dominant religion in Iran. ''This new television network in Spanish will play a crucial role in reflecting the ideological legitimation of our system in the world,'' Ezotollah Zarqami explained in October to the media. Zarqami is president of Irib, the organisation that groups Iranian public television channels, and Hispan TV will also join this organisation. The second new channel, Cordoba Television, will start its satellite broadcasts on January 1. It is managed by a Saudi foundation and can be received in Spain and South America. Its programmes, in Spanish, focus on the Islamic doctrine of Wahabism. Cordoba Television has its headquarters in the industrial centre of San Sebastian de los Reyes, in Madrid, and is part of the Foundation for the Message of the Islam, chaired by sheikh and theologian Abdulaziz al Fawzan - member of Saudi the council of wise men - and is backed by the Saudi royal family. Its schedule will initially include eight hours of television per day, in blocks that are repeated three times per day, mainly documentaries and debates on religion. The network has hired converted Spanish citizens and the sheikh can count on around fifty reporters from private national television networks Antena 3 and Telecinco. The second part of the sheikh's plan includes, according to sources quoted by newspaper ABC some time ago, broadcasts of Cordoba TV in France, the UK and China as well. "This way Saleh Al Fawzan'' according to the conservative newspaper, ''not only fulfils one of the precepts of his doctrine, spreading this doctrine outside Saudi borders, but also makes his project part of the offensive of Islamic fundamentalism for the 'recovery of Al Andalus', which Muslims see as a lost paradise that has been occupied by the Spanish.'' University professor of Islamic theology Imam Mohamed Ibn Saud is mentor of Cordoba TV and member of the Sharia (the Islamic legal system used in Saudi Arabia) Supervisory Board and of the Human Rights Committee, an organisation at the service of the Saudi government. ''Sheikh Al Fawzan,'' El Pais points out, ''has been dedicated to spreading Wahabism, the ultra-conservative form of Islam that reigns in Saudi Arabia, for years. He preaches inflammatory sermons on Saudi television channel Al Ikhtariya and UAE channel Al Majd, in which he underlines the need to profess 'a positive hate' towards Christians and justifies the marginalisation of women in his country." According to anti-terrorism experts, Cordoba TV could become a dangerous instrument of proselytism of radical Islam, destabilising the resident Muslim community in Spain. The name 'Cordoba' was not picked randomly: it was the capital of the Caliphate, in the tenths and eleventh century, established in the Iberian Peninsula by the Arab domination. It represents the climax of Islamic religion according to Muslim theologians.

(ANSAmed) YK8

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