Egypt’s state-owned Nilesat has temporarily suspended 12 television channels for promoting religion hatred, violence and quack medicine, the information minister said on Tuesday. “This decision was taken after extensive study that indicated a near doubling of these channels over the past year and a recent spike of extremist religious discourse,” Anas Al-Feki said in a statement.
“Among the most egregious of these violations are repeated broadcast calls by extremist presenters for the excommunication, banishment and murder of Shiites and the promotion of so-called ‘herbal cures’ for cancer and hepatitis B and C,” he said.
An additional 20 channels were given citations. The move comes after Nilesat dropped five channels it said promoted religious intolerance.
Upcoming elections in November are contributing to a tense situation in terms of inter-faith relations.
US-based Coptic Solidarity noted an “alarming upsurge of significant anti-Coptic activities over the recent weeks”.
The Coptic rights group is concerned that daring incitements might turn into a wave of generalised violence.