Egypt’s Islamic Research Center has demanded the on-air cancellation of a Christian-themed television station.
The Islamic Research Center, led by Sheikh of al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb, feels that the TV station was offensive towards the Islamic religion. They also believed that the channel would ultimately incite more religious violence in the country.
The organization told the al-Ahram newspaper that it deemed the channel "offensive" because the material puts Muslims in a bad light.
The Christian TV station, which is called "Karma," promotes Christianity through its content. Its mission statement reads, "Standing in the Gap So Millions May Know Christ."
The country’s state-run NileSat, a satellite communications company, currently broadcasts the station in Egypt.
The channel, however, is reportedly an unpopular channel in Egypt. Even those among the Christian population also reportedly do not watching the channel.
"I have never heard of it, so maybe it isn’t really a big thing, but if al-Azhar is trying to attack it then who knows," said Noha Fahmy to Bikyamasr.com. "To be honest, the more these kinds of lawsuits happen the more divisions it will create."
Fahmy is a young Coptic Christian woman living in Cairo.
No official word has come from the Karma channel on the opposing organization’s demands.
There is widespread discontent among the Muslim community as it pertains to the Christian community. The Coptic Christians now living in Egypt make up 10 percent of Egypt’s 80 million population. They have long demanded justice for the attacks against their churches and equal rights from government officials.
On Oct. 9 of this year, thousands of Christians marched to the state television building in Cairo after a Church was attacked in Aswan. They demanded justice and greater equal rights from Egypt's government officials.
However, the protesters were met with military opposition. Military forces proceeded to fire on the protesters and run them over with armored vehicles. At least 27 people were killed during this incident. It has now been referred to as the "Maspero Massacre."
Several attacks on Christian churches in Egypt during the holiday season have taken place. Last year, at least 21 people were killed in a car-bombing incident. The explosion occurred during a New Year’s Eve mass at All Saints Church in Alexandria.
In Jan. 2010, six Copts were shot dead during a Coptic Christmas Eve mass in the southern Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi. A Muslim security guard was also killed in the shooting.
The removal of the Karma TV station reflects the discontent shown by Muslims toward Coptic Christians in Egypt.