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Muslim TV Channel to Air Soon

The government will soon launch a Muslim television channel in the hope that it will foster tolerance, chief mufti Ravil Gaynutdin said.

Proposed by President Dmitry Medvedev two years ago, the satellite channel will go on air in February or March across the country, home to some 20 million Muslims, or a seventh of the country's population.

The content will consist primarily of educational programs designed for a young audience, Gaynutdin said Tuesday, RIA-Novosti reported.

"We believe it is necessary to cultivate a spirit of tolerance toward representatives of other faiths," he said, adding that the channel would help to fight growing anti-Islamism.

The staff of the channel will include non-Muslims in addition to adherents of Islam, he said.

The new channel will have to compete with Chechen channel Put, meaning "The Way" in Russian. Set up three years ago by the state and broadcast to thousands across the North Caucasus, it features children's programs, instructions for women on how to keep the home and readings of the Quran throughout the night.

(Reuters, MT)

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