Surely the Taliban, which is adamant that Muslims watch only Islamic programming, would approve of this. “Temecula group starts Web site as Muslim alternative to YouTube,” by David Olson, for the Press Enterprise, July 20:
A Temecula group has launched a Muslim version of YouTube.
MuslimChannels.tv aims to educate non-Muslims about Islam and provide an Internet site for Muslims to view videos without worrying about anti-Islamic tirades or sexually explicit content, said Tarek Ayoub, a volunteer for the site and for the site’s nonprofit founder, Islam The Answer Corp.
Now there’s a modest, non-supremacist sounding name.
“It’s a way for Muslim users to feel safe,” Ayoub said.
The site also includes non-religious programming, such as comedy, travel, sports and cultural videos, along with documentaries containing trenchant political commentary on subjects such as the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. The volunteer-run site will not accept advertising or donations, to avoid compromising its mission, Ayoub said.
Larry Slusser, secretary of the Southwest Riverside County Interfaith Council and a Mormon, praised the idea behind the site.
“I think it’s great anytime someone can dispel misconceptions and promote understanding of and appreciation for a faith,” said Slusser, who has not visited the site. “As a Latter-day Saint, I know many people have misperceptions about my faith. There’s enough hatred in the world. We need more understanding of our differences.“
We don’t need “more understanding–”definitely not in the cloying, kumbaya sense Slusser suggests; we simply need to understand those differences, especially those all-important theological ones.
Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said MuslimChannels.tv’s nonreligious videos show how Muslims are culturally and ethnically diverse and cannot be defined solely by their religion.