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First Religious TV Channel to Be Launched within Countering Terrorism Strategy - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A man uses a cash machine in downtown Tunis, Tunisia, March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

A man uses a cash machine in downtown Tunis, Tunisia, March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

Tunisia-Tunisia announced on Thursday that it is launching a campaign to counter religious extremism among its youth after a string of deadly jihadist attacks in the North African country.

The one-year campaign to start on Sunday, March 20 aims at promoting “Islam’s real, moderate values to protect the youth and their thinking from terrorism,” Minister of Religious Affairs, Mohamed Khalil, said.

Extremism has “invaded the thoughts of our youth via Internet”, he said.

The ministry will launch a website featuring recorded sermons and religious seminars as part of a campaign dubbed “Ghodwa khir”, which means “Tomorrow will be better” in Tunisian Arabic dialect.

The recent terrorist attacks require organizing such initiative, the minister argued in a press conference, adding that the campaign will contain moderate religious speeches and debates, as well as different art expressions to combat terrorism and “Takfiri” currents.

A call center will be also put in place as part of this campaign to answer various questions that will be eventually put forward by youth on Islam.

Meetings will also be held in youth clubs to raise awareness about the dangers of the Takfiri thoughts and their impact on the civilian nature of the state and its institutions.

It will also fund awareness raising programs on public and private radio and television stations. In addition, authorized imams and preachers will supervise classes in mosques.

On another hand, the Minister of Religious Affairs said that the number of mosques that are still beyond control varies between 50 and 60, stressing the commitment of his department to enforce all legal and administrative measures on this issue.

The department of religious affairs will also develop outreach programs on the danger of terrorism and extremism, in association with local and regional radios and TV channels.

Three new religious programs for children will be produced by Al Wataniya 1 and 2 channels.

The campaign also provides for the organization competition of best TV and radio program that defends Tunisian centrist Islam, besides a competition of ten best short films on the values of tolerance.