Russia’s first public Muslim TV channel, Al-RTV, has hit the airwaves, the Bashinform news portal reported on Monday.
Established by Russia’s largest Muslim organizations to promote Islamic religious and spiritual values, Al-RTV so far covers eight Russian regions: Bashkortostan, Tatarstan and six North Caucasus republics.
The round-the-clock service was launched on Sunday, to coincide with the Uraza Bairam (Eid-ul-fitr) holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.
The channel’s chief editor is Rustam Arifdzhanov, vice president of the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio Broadcasting.
The channel is controlled by a public council that includes representatives of all of Russia’s large Islamic organizations.
“From day one we started operating as a public TV channel,” Arifdzhanov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
The channel will be supported by private donations and government grants.
Its organizers are planning subsequently to extend the service to other CIS countries.