Broadcaster plans online Muslim sermon

23rd February 2007, Comments 0 comments

23 February 2007, Mainz, Germany (dpa) - ZDF, one of Germany's big four television broadcasters, confirmed Friday plans to commission and publish online sermons by Islamic clergy every Friday from this summer. ZDF said it would choose preachers in conjunction with German Muslim organizations and retain final editorial responsibility over the content. The "Friday Forum" project is a modelled on a weekly Christian television address which is aired every Sunday by another public broadcaster, ARD, but ZDF said

23 February 2007

Mainz, Germany (dpa) - ZDF, one of Germany's big four television broadcasters, confirmed Friday plans to commission and publish online sermons by Islamic clergy every Friday from this summer.

ZDF said it would choose preachers in conjunction with German Muslim organizations and retain final editorial responsibility over the content.

The "Friday Forum" project is a modelled on a weekly Christian television address which is aired every Sunday by another public broadcaster, ARD, but ZDF said it would initially put the Muslim address on the internet only and see how many people read it.

Markus Schaechter, director general of ZDF, said in Mainz it was not planned to proselytize, but to offer opinions and talks from a Muslim point of view on ethical topics, spirituality and current events.

The articles in German will be available to anyone with a web connection. ZDF normally pays a fee to all its contributors.

He said the deputy chairman of the German council of Jews, Salomon Korn, who is also on the ZDF board, had welcomed the plan. Korn this month criticized the project, saying a multi-faith programme would be better.

Schaechter said it had been agreed in talks with the council of Jews to discuss creating a similar online space for the Jewish faith.

Ruprecht Polenz, chairman of the ZDF Council, said the broadcaster had a responsibility to help integrate the 3.5 million Muslims of Germany into society.

Friday is the holy day in Islam, Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath and Sunday is the Christian day of worship.

DPA

Subject: German news

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