Just wondering. The existence of al-Jazeera suggests a lot of them have cable TV now, so what else comes with cable TV?
al-Jazeera is a news channel. It is not the first good Arabic-language news channel, but it is the first one based in the region, which is quite important. al-Jazeera does not do religion.
Saudi TV and radio does, so does the Euro-pop Bahraini radio station, early in the morning. Arabic religious TV includes talk shows with guests, call-in advice shows and a faceless narrator reciting verses at all hours of the day and night.
What is lacks is the emotion of a good old-fashioned revival.
I am not sure about other Muslim countries, but Egypt relies far more on satellites receivers than cable boxes. I think that is true for most of the Middle East based on conversations with college roommates.
As far as programming, here is a link to Nilesat, Egypt’s largest provider.
And televangelists are fairly common through out the Muslim world - from Morocco to Indonesia.
I don’t know if it still does, but Al Jazeera broadcast Yusef Al-Qaradawi’s “Sharia and Life”, which was certainly comparable to televangelical broadcasts.
I saw several religious TV shows in Malaysia, most of which were generally in the form of talk shows with an Imam and guests discussing issues. From what I could tell (My knowledge of Malay is largely based around the usual “General Travel” sort of stuff) much of the discussion was around the challenges of being a Muslim in the modern world, and the challenges Muslim Youth faced, and so on.
I also saw TV spots with readings from the Koran, and a couple of Public Service Announcements about how one could Be A Better Muslim (remembering those less fortunate, attending to prayers at the appropriate times, and so on); In short, nothing especially different from the Obligatory But Respectable Religious Programming one would see on the ABC on a Sunday Morning here, but talking about Allah and Mohammed instead of God and Jesus.
I don’t recall seeing anything that I’d consider “Televangelism” in the sense it’s commonly understood in The West, but I don’t doubt that I might have seen something at least approaching it if I’d actively been looking.
I believe that in Saudi Arabia, their laws would completely forbid a Christian Televangelist, and such a show would quickly be taken off the air.
And a Muslim Televangelist would be rather pointless, since the assumption (and pretty much the reality) is that everyone is already Muslim.
But not everyone is, shall we say, displaying the same fervor.
In South Asia you have Dr Zakir Naik who has some popularity* and you also had a female Farhat Hashmi, now thankfully having emigrated to preach amongst the heathens in Canada. The believer await her return with baited breath!
I can’t stand Dr Naik and never saw Ms Hashmi. During ramazan you might see talk shows have specific shows on a religious context but thats about it,.
*by somewhat popular I meant rountienly defeated in the TV ratings by reruns of cricket matches.
Your cluelessness on all things muslim is on display yet again.
The Christian televangelists exist because they take literally the command to spread the gospel, as being their primary job and devote their efforts to that. They obtain donations by persuading like-minded Christians that it is a command from God and so they are practicing their faith by donating to the effort.
So I guess the question also is, does the Muslim faith have a simailar command to spread the word to non-believers or the lapsed, and how strongly is it taken as the major task by most adherents of the faith?
I watched a few minutes of an Imam droning away on some Arabic TV channel that was one of the channels on the satellite TV in a hotel I stayed in recently.
It was intensely fucking boring, just some dude rambling into a hand-held microphone, on poor quality video stock, and I doubt being able to understand it would have improved the experience.
Needed some dancing girls.
I believe that is a major factor behind televangelisation.
Let’s avoid personal jabs at other posters in GQ. No warning issued, but don’t do this again.
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I forget (since I don’t care) the exact pieces of the scriptures that said to go and spread the good word; but that is the basis for missionairies, Gideon bibles, and televangelists. Since the bible tells them to spread the word, that is what they do… and anyone who contributes is doing what the word of god says to do…
Some others give more importance to the passages that say good works are the will of God, some feel the command to spread the word is the paramount mission.
As I asked before, does anyone know if there is a similar task given to Muslims? They obviously spread the word quite effectively in the 7th century across most of the middle east and south Mediterranean, and even further. I recall reading that they tolerated other religions of their subject peoples, especially monotheistic Christianity and Judaism (once upon a time), but had an intense dislike of heathenism which it replaced in much of Arabia; which today translates to a dislike of Hinduism and its multiple Gods.
This is more a matter for Great Debates, but for the likes of Jim Bakker, Creflo Dollar, Robert Tilton, etc., the insane amounts of cash that televangelism brings in are probably a much bigger factor than the Biblical command to preach the gospel (which, if anyone cares, is Matthew 28:16-20).
Thank you… this is the point. Once we get past the gold-plated watches and airconditioned doghouses, the basic reason why there are televangelists is because “God told them to do it” and they take that as their mission with its importance above all other tasks. Spreading the word is a higher imperative than doing good deeds. Oral Roberts and Jim Bakker trump Mother Teresa. Similarly money for airtime trumps money for health care.
Considering the distinct lack of such intense televangelism by Muslims, especially here in the west where it would be legal (as opposed to Christian televangelism in many Muslim countries) I presume Allah showed more civilized restraint and good taste in directing the priorities of Muslims?
Mother Theresa spread the word, and she wasn’t even a televangelists.
Nor did she have a Escalade, or a Rolex Watch.
I still miss her.
That would be a shockingly ignorant assumption for them to make, given the huge number (well over a million) of Christian and Hindu foreign workers in Saudi Arabia. In addition, the country has a large minority (15%) of Shia Muslims who are regarded by the dominant Sunni sect as apostates.
I’m reminded of a mildly tasteless pun about how the mobile phone industry is “booming” in Afghanistan: Landlines are vulnerable to damage both from sabotage and from collateral damage due to roadside bombs, air strikes, and gunfights. Mobile phone repeaters, in contrast, have the benefit of being able to make use of intangible connections that can’t be “cut” as easily (unless the repeater or its support equipment itself is hit directly, natch).
The fervour of US televangelism is in my experience highly unusual even within Christianity. In other words, I would suspect that most Islam is like most Christianity, in terms of what you describe as “civilized restraint and good taste”. It isn’t a Christian vs Islam difference. It’s a US televangelism vs most religous practice difference.