The Muslim Televangelist 39’ TC Script

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

VO: Events since September 11 have thrown Muslims worldwide into turmoil.  Aggressive Western military interventions within Islamic states, religious leaders preaching violence and hate, communities shattered by bloodshed.  For many Muslims the answer to their prayers for guidance have come in the form of one man.  Amr Khaled.  A moderate and a modernist, recognized by Time Magazine as the world’s most powerful Muslim man, Amr Khaled was the world’s first Muslim Televangelist.   Now, the movement he started has spread across the Islamic world and grown in power and importance.  This incisive report follows Khaled and his colleagues, and lifting the lid on a sometimes secretive industry.

 

CHAPTER 1 PARIS

 

10.00.50

VO: Paris's annual Islamic festival is in full swing.  Thousands of French Muslims have come to celebrate their religion.

 

01.00

VO: Some are looking for political debate.

 

01.08

others for religious guidance, these digital Korans are the latest gadget.

 

01.17

and here, a wide range of Islamic womenswear.  Everything the modern Muslim woman could need.

 

1.21

ASTON: Karima Saouli, Designer

Subtitles: When Muslims first arrived in Europe, that's our mothers, they didn't work, they didn't go to school.  So wearing the veil was not an issue.  Today the Muslim woman, she goes to school, she works, she needs clothes which fit in with her way of life.

 

01.40

VO: And, of course, the other necessity for French Muslims are books interpreting the Koran and DVDs of preachers, and King of all the preachers: Amr Khaled.

 

01.49 Man

Subtitle: "I know through the TV. I have heard many speeches in it. For me, it explains the Muslim religion"

 

01.55 Woman

Subtitle "I can tell you that thanks to him, I wore the headscarf. There are a lot of questions that we do not respond well to, he provides the answer. "

 

(02.10  - U.O.I.F Archives)

VO: For many Muslims Amr Khaled is a saviour.  His is a voice of peace in a turbulent world. He rejects Islamic extremism, and instead promotes community cohesion.  And he does this without disrupting the conservatism of many Muslims: he remains supportive of the traditional attitudes towards gender roles and advocates the veil for women.

 

02.27

ASTON: Amr Khaled, preacher

Subtitle: If all the people present here, and the rest of the Muslim community, if they all have a clear aim in their lives, and live for this aim, believe me, it would change the entire face of the world, and of our community.

 

02.58

VO: He speaks for an hour: no pauses, no notes.  He captivates his audience, firing them up to fever pitch, provoking many to tears.  His power seems limitless.

 

CHAPTER 2 EGYPT

 

(03.27 - illustrations Cairo)

VO: Amr Khaled was born 40 years ago in these middle class Cairo suburbs.  Originally he trained as an accountant.  He discovered his vocation by accident, when he stood in as imam of his sports club.  In contrast to the traditional elderly academic preachers, Amr Khaled developed a relaxed, personalized preaching style.  Egyptians flocked to hear him speak.

 

(03..50- Islamic lounge sequence)

VO: One of Amr Khaled’s campaigns was to encourage film stars to renounce their careers and become preachers.  Madame Chaheera is one of many who answered his call.  She abandoned her acting career and took the veil.  Now she preaches regularly in the homes of the wealthy middle class women.

 

 

04.03

subtitle "O Lord, saving us the misfortunes of life. O Lord, saving us the doom of the last day of the trial. O Lord, saving us from hell and all that leads to hell. Accept us O Lord in heaven, with integrity, with your mercy "

 

04.23

VO: Female preachers are seen as an important part of the fight against extremism in North Africa.  Their approachable, friendly style makes Islam much more accessible. 

 

04.35

ASTON: Madame Chaheera, Preacher

Subtitle: "I absolutely loved my work. I never imagined that one day I could be separated from it. I do not know what to tell you! I see no other explanation but Allah ... He pointed me in this direction, but preaching also requires a gift. "

 

04.44 - ITW women:

Subtitle: "although I'm not always convinced, these meetings give me real opportunities to discuss and seek clarification on subjects which interest me, but which I do not understand fully ... at these meetings the discussion is real, not like it is on TV. "

 

04.55 - ITW young woman:

Subtitle "I don’t often come to these meetings, most of the time I  watch the sermons on television, like Amr Khaled for example ....."

 

CHAPTER 3 THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION

 

(05.22- illus. Parables roofs of Cairo + zapping television satellite)

VO: 10 years ago the digital revolution exploded onto our TV screens.  Huge new markets opened and 400 channels became available. TV offered everything from sports coverage to cookery programmes.

 

05.38

VO: Most importantly, there were religious programmes varying from readings of the Koran to broadcasts of preachers.

 

ASTON: Sheikh Qaradawi (? If poss)

05.49

VO: Once it was almost solely Muslim men who participated in organised worship.  They were the ones that went to the mosque to sit and pray.

 

05.58

But then, in 2000 Amr Khaled burst upon the scene.  The smart suit, the slick presentation, all so reminiscent of the American TV preachers.  

 

Extract program "About heart")

06.26

VO: About Heart is one of Amr Khaled’s chat shows, and it is immediately clear why he is so popular.  The man has serious charisma.  Amongst the audience there are many women, they are his main support base.  Only a few remain without the veil. 

 

06.50

VO: Amr Khaled has his share of critics. Liberals worry that he is no different from any other conservative preacher. Conservatives point out that he has no official religious training.  And then the Egyptian government banned him from preaching, because they feared his large and growing fan base.  Wael Loutfi is a journalist for the Egyptian weekly "Rosa al Yussef” he has followed the Muslim Televangelists for years.  He has recently released a critical new book, "Country of New Preachers"

 

07.18 ASTON "Country of New Preachers, Wael Loutfi"

 

07.21 - ITW Wael Lotfi:

ASTON: WAEL LOUTFI, JOURNALIST

Subtitle: "Most of these new TV preachers follow American theories of personal development, which is very revealing. In the case of Amr Khaled, he also studied neuro-linguistics which is a discipline which looks at links between language and the brain. But essentially these theories are all to do with marketing ... they are using these tools to market religion as an alternative lifestyle."

 

08.07

VO: And the marketing campaign has been incredibly successful.  Recent polls show that Amr Khaled can boast more supporters than the Queen of chat shows, Oprah Winfrey herself.  But many question Amr Khaled’s motives, including the Egyptian Government.  His enormous following makes him very powerful.  Can he be trusted with this power?

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4 LONDON

 

08.26

VO: But back in the summer of 2002 Amr Khaled was still relatively unknown outside Eygpt.  When the authorities ordered him to stop preaching he was almost ruined. His Uncle offered him a room in a house in London.

 

08.42 - ITW Amr Khaled:

ASTON- Amr Khaled, PReacherj

Subtitle "I left Egypt because I could not get my message across. Do you understand?  I was being strangled.  I felt really stifled. I should tell you that I could speak nowhere: not in the universities, not in clubs, not at conferences, I couldn't even speak with individuals, and it was even less safe to speak in mosques. "

 

09.08

VO: In 5 years, things have changed ... From an unknown Egpytian dissident he has become an internationally feted star.  He explains the key to his success:

 

09.23 - ITW Amr Khaled:

"Subtitle:...the number of calls I received last week was 1170, not counting the 39 missed calls ... For me, the phone is a way to keep in touch with youth, but also with the rest of the population. My phone is not reserved to anyone but open to all those who want to call me. "

 

09.45 (sequence Hyde Park)

VO: Amr Khaled’s years living in London were crucial in establishing him as a global figure.  He came to understand the issues facing Muslims living in the Western world.  Visiting historic sites like Speaker's Corner, the bastion of British freedom of speech, he became a serious opponent of extremist Islam’s refusal to engage with the West.  He offers a Middle Way for young Muslims.

 

10.10 - ITW Amr Khaled (slow)

Subtitle: "For me, Islamic religious discourse has stagnated in the last 200 years. It has failed to evolve, and respond to current issues in society. What it needs is a serious spring clean, it must address the concerns of our people, particularly young people, and the issues of our time ... For example, look at unemployment and its dangers to the Arab world, it has clear links with violence, both now and in the future. What is Islam's position on unemployment? What are our beliefs concerning development and modernisation in the Arab world?  What do we think of the position of women in our society?  There are many other concerns to be addressed, I think our religious discourse must take these things into consideration. "

 

10.52 

VO: In 2004 Amr Khaled launched the "Suna al Hayat" movement to embody his idea of 21st century Islam.  Its ethos is simple:  Muslims must participate in society - become active.  They must join sports clubs, raise money for charity, start gardening or volunteer in their communities.

 

11.13

VO: Suna al Hayat now boasts 500,000 members worldwide.  This afternoon, Amr Khaled will address the UK branch.

 

11.36 - Sound Amr Khaled:

Subtitle: Suna al Hayat is based on the idea of development, it is neither a religious concept, nor an evangelical idea. Its central purpose is to be active in society. I need society but, in the same way, it also needs me. Do you understand?  If you do things for non-Muslims, it will generate respect for Islam. "

 

12.14 - ITW daughter (english)

Subtitle: Amr Khaled has inspired me by the hard work, by knowing that hard-working is possible and it could actually brings could results as he has been doing.  Before I used to only think of myself, of my family, now society became one of my priorities and I think this is one of the things that Amr Khaled has inspired me to think of: think of others before you think of yourself.

 

12.37 - ITW boy:

Subtitle "When I saw him on TV, I started listening to what he was saying. What he..he's given out a message, that not everyone else is giving out.  You know he's looking at the broader idea of things like he's talking about integration of western societies and so on.  You know some people might find that that is a little bit wrong.  You know some of these thinkers...these Islamic thinkers.  I think what he's saying is right as in you know, we have to emerge, we have to be with each other.  So that as a Muslim yourself you go higher.  "

 

13.04

VO: And there are others listening to these positive messages.  The British government is known to be interested in recruiting Amr Khaled to help them reach out to the Muslim world.  An opportunity which the preacher will have to handle carefully to prevent a backlash amongst his supporters.

 

 

 

 

13.21

VO: But Amr KHaled is not only popular amongst Western Muslims.  We have travelled here to Kuwait City to see him perform on Arabic TV. 

 

13.31

VO: These are the offices of Arabic TV station "Al Resale" which means The Message.  Tonight Al Resale will celebrate it's first birthday live on air.  Amr Khaled has come to celebrate with his friend and fellow Televengelist Tarik al-Suwaidan.

 

Tarik al Suwaidan heads up the TV station which is financed by Saudi Prince Bin Talal who is one of the world's ten richest men.  The channel is available in all Arab countries and in Europe.  It is a powerful mouthpiece for Muslim moderacy, and it is very popular.  After only a year on air it numbers in the top 20 Arabic channels.

 

14.38

VO: The next day we find Amr Khaled preaching to several thousand people in a government building.  He talks of listening, of openess to others, including the West.  And he speaks strictly of Islamic morality.

 

15.02

VO: And clearly the messages are popular.  He is nearly crushed by well wishers as he tries to leave.

 

15.17

VO: We have come with Al Suwaidan to Jordan’s capital city Amman.  He is here to launch a new talk show.  After months of hard work, researching themes, choosing audiences and inviting the guests, everything is ready.  Al Suwaidan’s shows are much more practical than those of Amr Khaled.  He avoids spiritual analysis.  Instead he promotes Islamic values as a practical guide to a successful life.

 

15.44  - ITW Tarik Suwaidan: 18.49

Subtitle: The presentation of Islam as a modern, practical, logical religion that is a major area for me, dealing with the youth and preparing them to be the leaders of the future, that is another major area.  A balanced and moderate understanding of Islam.  And Islamic history.

 

16.10

VO: A few last minute checks, and the show is on air.

 

 

 

16.21

VO: Suwaidan welcomes the audience to the programme which is called Restraint. 

 

16.28

VO: Today's guest is Iqbal Baraka, an Egyptian newspaper editor.  Baraka is also an Islamic feminist, she has published a book called "A Modern Look At The Veil"

 

16.41

VO: Today’s topic of discussion is the veil: is it an obligation or a tradition? Like Amr Khaled al Suwaidan has invited many young people, and also many women.  Most are wearing the veil.  The results of the discussion seem inevitable: in fact, Mrs Baraka will only speak against the veil after the audience has voted.

 

17.08

VO: No surprise: the votes have been counted, 96% of the audience believe the veil to be a religious obligation.

 

(17.19 - Debate) SUBTITLE ALL

- Suwaidan: Am I right that you believe the veil is only a minor religious obligation.

 

- Mrs Baraka: No, no, not an obligation.

 

- Mrs Baraka: No, for me it is not a religious obligation.  For me it is a tradition that existed even before Islam. 

 

- Mrs Baraka: Islam just acquired it.  Why are we always so obsessed by the veil?

 

- Mrs Baraka: For example, back at home in Egypt there are many young girls who dress provocatively, but then they wear the veil.  But, really, I do not want to go into that sort of detail.

 

- Suwaidan: So, for you, is the veil a good thing?

 

- Mrs Baraka: No,

 

-Mrs Baraka: No. One day I will myself be before God and I will be accountable. I do not like the veil ...

 

- Suwaidan: We respect your point of view, we are preachers, not judges. "

 

18.21 - ITW Iqbal Baraka:

ASTON – Iqbal Baraka, Journalist

"I know very well that such programmes are made especially to convince Arab women, more and more Arab women to wear the hijab, I know that... I didn't feel that he is moderate, no. What kind of moderation is this? No. If he is really moderate, he would admit that women are human beings and that we can have our own choices."

 

18.59

VO: Our investigation has taken us to Indonesia.  We want to find out more about the attitudes of the Muslim Televangelists.  If Mrs Baraka is correct, they are responsible for continued discrimination of women across the Muslim world.   Here at this concert perhaps we will find a more liberal voice.

 

19.19

Subtitle: We forget religion, forget culture, we forget the family, we forget morality ... go back to the path of God ..."

 

19.35

VO: The singer is Roma Irama, an Indonesian preacher, and also a rock star.  Massively popular, his concerts are broadcast nationwide.

 

19.48

VO: The next day, the country's most famous singer has traded his rocker's black T shirt for the white tunic of a preacher.  Together with his security guards he makes his way to the mosque for prayers.

 

20.02 - Speech Roma Irama:

Subtitle: A third of the population on earth does not believe in God... these people are atheists .... Do you understand what the word atheist means? It is someone who does not believe in God ... If you speak to them and ask them, "Why do you not believe in God?" they say they cannot believe in Him, because they cannot see Him.  So according to them, if you cannot see something, then it does not exist! These people are stupid.

 

20.46

VO:  Using these simple techniques, Irama encourages the crowd.  They shout their contempt for the atheists.  In this huge, divided country, where poverty and illiteracy go hand in hand, straightforward messages are popular.  But Mrs Baraka would not be impressed.

 

 

21.06

VO: With a population of 250 million inhabitants, Indonesia is the biggest Islamic country in the world.  Even just a few years ago, Indonesia represented a largely balanced and tolerant version of Islam.  But the Bali bombing saw 200 people killed by home-grown fundamentalist movement Jamaa Islamia.  Indonesian Islam was thrown into turmoil.

 

21.30

VO: The millions of Indonesian faithful wanted a strong moderate voice to counter the extremism which had produced the Bali bombers.   The televangelists answered the call.

 

b. Aa Gym

 

21.44

VO: The most famous of these televangelists is Abdullah Gymnastiar, known to his followers as Aa Gym.

 

21.50

VO: His success as a preacher has allowed him to set up a business empire dedicated to improving religious life and education in Indonesia.  To date the enterprise has 17 subsidiaries ranging from a scooter dealership to a travel agency dealing in pilgrimages to Mecca.  Every month, an average 20,000 religious tourists come to pay homage to the preacher. 

 

 

22.07 - ITW Aa Gym:

ASTON: Abdullah Gymnastiar, Preacher

Subtitle "We received over 50 million rupees, which is 4,000 euros per month. In total, we have raised 30 billion rupees, about 2.5 million euros... We have a financial initiative to help the poor and those affected by natural disasters. For people who have nothing, we give scholarships so they can move forward ...

 

22.26

VO: Aa Gym’s money making has attracted much attention from critics who see it as ungodly, he is quick to explain that the money goes back in to the community.

 

22.36

Subtitle: We do all these activities to help our neighbour and to develop the economy. I do not do this out of personal interest. Let me quote the Koran: (in Arabic) "the greatest good is that which provides help to the most people", to be able to achieve this is, for me, a great success. "

 

23.03

Key to Aa Gym’s success are his media outlets.  He runs a highly successful radio station.

 

23.11 Aa Gym on radio

Subtitle: Most important is education of the heart, discipline, and submission to Allah."

 

23.18

VO: The preacher’s pride and joy is his TV station, MQTV which transmits programmes with strongly traditional values.  This is Bincang Riang, an Islamic sit-com.

 

23.44

VO: Back in Jakarta we go to meet an American with extensive knowledge of Indonesia’s Televangelists. 

 

c. Craig Owensby

 

23.54

VO: Craig Owensby was a pastor in New York, but after he met and married an Indonesian woman ten years ago he converted to Islam.  Since then he has lived in Indonesia, and works closely with the country’s televangelists.

 

24.08 - Craig OWENSBY ITW:

I've known a bunch of them and, was involved in that scene and most of them are good guys.  And the same is the case in Indonesia.  I would say that here it is a very kind of ad hoc thing.  They have to get popular.  Getting popular means they get business opportunities, that they get to be on TV and paid for it.  They're treated like entertainment.  But, as in the case of evangelical televangelists, they're popular because people like them.  And whether the media or the press or anybody likes that or not is irrelevant the fact is it's an expression in a sense of the democratic qualities of religion.  Which ultimately I think is a good thing.

 

24.56

VO: And also a good thing for profit hungry businesses, Craig Owensby's relationship with Aa Gym has proved lucrative for both men.  We go to Ownensby's company HQ to learn more.

 

 

25.11

VO: As a good businessmen Craig Owensby knows how to make money, but he is careful to keep his dealings consistent with his religious morality.  It was his idea to make the Koran available to mobile phone users. A concept he launched 5 years ago.

 

25.28 Craig Owensby (English)

"Let me show you what we're doing here.  The life blood of our business is advertising, because that's where people do direct stuff because thats where people buy the product. Over here for instance you can see an advertisement for one of our stars.  This is Inull, she's famous for being a little bit sexy and and as you can see... she tells people to join the service, is the way Inull works, and then there are prizes for joining.  The first service that we developed on the market is "the Koran Cell".  Here is Aa Gym.  As you can see we put him with children.  It's really simple.  You can see here "Reg Gym to 4209" so people do is people just create an SMS, an then they enter 4209 the number, and then they enter Reg Gym.  That means Register for Gym.  And when they send that to us, they become members of our service, and then every day they get a message from the preacher.  And then he says something about that verse right there.  Because a lot of people in Islam read the Koran, they read it, just to read it in Arabic - they don't understand it, or they read it because they know its good for them, but they don't feel its there job to try and understand it.  This business also actually supports each one of the preachers.  They make money off of each of the SMSs and then that money supports their movement.  Its the way the finances of evangelical Islam kind of work.

 

27.01

VO: And clearly, they’re working very well for somebody.  This Koran Cell programme alone currently has over 200,000 subscribers.

 

27.10 - ITW Craig Owensby:

"It's a positive cycle of impact: you know, good dawa (preaching), good business - in support of dawa, good business, it's a supportive circle.

 

d. Lutfia Sungkar

 

27.22

VO: But how supportive really is Indonesian televangelism?  With so many businesses and potential fortunes at stake exploitation seems a worrying possibility.  We have come to local TV Station TPI to try to find out more.  It’s 5 in the morning.  They are getting ready to broadcast the dawn prayer.  This morning Lutfia Sungkar is preaching.  At 50 years old, she is Indonesia’s only female preacher.

27.47 Lutfia Sungkar 

ASTON: Lutfia Sungkar, Preacher

Subtitle: "If we talk about marriage and the career, well to be a housewife is also a kind of career. Remember that being a housewife, it is not something bad.

 

 Subtitle

- Rosette : So, we shoudn’t pursue a career.  Is that right?

- Lutfia Sungkar : I don’t say that we shoudn’t work.

 

ASTON: Panji, Series Producer

Subtitle -The preacher, the guests, it is TPI network that pays for everything.

- Preachers are paid?

- How much?

- They don't take a large sum. In fact, the preachers do not ask to be paid, but the money pays for transport for example. As for Ms. Lutfia, she makes about one million rupees.

28.33

In Indonesian terms this is around a month’s average salary.  And of course, the preacher enhances their reputation.

28.38

ASTON: Lutfia Sungkar, Preacher

Subtitle "I became popular thanks to television.  Without it there would be nothing. You know, in Indonesia, there are many good preachers, but they are not recognized because they do not go on TV. "

 

28.53 Zainudin sequence

VO: Mrs Sungkar appears more than happy with her lot.  But she highlights the greatest problem with the Indonesian set up.  Preaching has become a route out of poverty, a fact which holds it wide open to exploitation.  Mohammed Zainudin started preaching 25 years ago, and is now a respected politician.  He worries particularly about the celebrity culture created by TV preaching.

 

29.12 - ITW Muhamad Zainudin:

Subtitle "Today, the world of preaching has become an issue of celebrity...The preaching industry is influenced by what I would say is capitalism. But you know, the private television channels depend on advertising, they must generate an audience, I cannot blame them. But the result is that sometimes the standard of preaching is very poor, I would say it is almost insulting towards Islam.

 

29.57 - archive show "Dai '

VO: One example of the Celebrity Islam which Zainudin dislikes is Dai – a TV "Star Academy" for preachers.  20 prospective preachers speak on a different theme each week, contestants are then voted off by viewers via text.  There is a competition for both men and women.

 

30.21 - archive show "Dai '

The first ever finals of the competition were presented by Brother Gym, and starred Roma Irama, the guitar playing preacher ... The winner was presented with a large cheque, for a year's average salary.  They also received a paid pilgrimage to Mecca, and the possibility of a long term preaching contract.

 

30.48 (Pildacil sequence)

But that's not all.  There is also a similar show for children called Pildacil or Little Preachers.  Every Sunday afternoon millions of viewers tune in to watch.

 

31.01 - girl:

Subtitle- For me the competition is like a game, but I am here to improve myself.

 

31.07

Subtitle - journalist: Do you want to become a preacher, as Aa Gym?

- Boy: yes, the best in the world!

- Is this what you want, or what he wants?

- dad: No, no this is what he wants. Ever since he was 4, since kindergarten in fact he has been preaching. He began to preach in a small mosque in our neighborhood.  He was spotted there, and after that he was backed by the local authorities.

 

31.42

VO: Aged between 5 and 12 years, ten tiny preachers are preparing for two and a half hours of live broadcast and entertainment.  For them, and their ambitious parents, preaching has become a route out of poverty.  This is precisely the  type of commercialism Mohammed Zainudin complains about.

 

31.59 - ITW producer:

Subtitle "Since our first broadcast we have been gaining more and more viewers.  The thing that makes it possible is that you never know...in 15 years, these smaller candidates might have become major religious figures.

 

 

32.21 generic top emission Pildacil "

subtitle "Yes Prophet, love us. We hope that your love remains in our hearts ... We hope we stand in the grace of God.

 

32.47

VO: Prizes are awarded to the top 3 contestants.  They win money, a pilgrimage to Mecca and most importantly, a scholarship to University.  The prizes are donated by businesses keen to cash in on the advertising potential of the series.

 

33.04

This show is concentrating on Islam and Technology. The children were given a week to learn and practice their sermons.

 

33.11 - girl:

Subtitle "How are you doing? ... you okay? ... (46.30) We remember our past, when there was not much light, when all you had were your hands. It is hard to imagine living without technology.  Life is like a dream, that is what life without technology. "

 

 

33.28 - Boy:

Subtitle "Allah has created this Earth for the benefit of man. That is why we created the technologies that exist today. "

 

Boy:

Subtitle "On this occasion, I Royan, want to talk about life without technology: no, that's not right.  look my friends, do not be uncomfortable because of technology ... send me a text and, God willing, I will be here next week.

 

34.12

VO: It is time for us to leave Indonesia, and catch up with Amr Khaled’s very different brand of televangelism. 

 

CHAPTER 8 NEW YORK

 

34.24

VO: We find him here in New York.  He has been invited by CNN and Time Magazine to promote his message of moderacy in the US.  This is a world away from Aa Gym and his colleagues. 

 

 

34.39

VO: Knowing the prestige that a trip to America can bring, he has brought his own film crew with him.

 

34.49

VO: First stop is the CNN studio.

 

34.54 - Deborah Fougere sound:

"Hello and welcome!  You're a real star, you come with your own cameras. Oh its perfect, ok we’ll do it in Arabic. I’m just going to move a little…..”

 

ITW journalist:

"So tell me something about what you're going to say tonight?

- Amr Khaled:

"I'm going to talk about my message, that I believe Islam is a great religion. Yes to a positive integration with American society. Lets work together for a better future for all. I think we can do it. "

 

35.30 - ITW journalist Deborah Fougere (English)

ASTON: Deborah Fougere, Journalist with CNN

"From this side of the ocean, we are always interested in people in the Muslim world who are able to speak to us and tell us: this is what the young people in Muslim countries want, and this is what they're like.  And a voice to balance out an extremist voice I think in the Western world is very necessary."

 

35.56 - ITW Amr Khaled:

 ASTON: Amr Khaled, preacher

"I gave my message to the American people. It was something very nice for me, for the first time to talk to them, to talk to them in the camera,  "I'm talking to you."  This is our understanding of our religion.  It was fantastic.  I was so happy"!

 

36.19

VO: In a stunning publicity coup Amr Khaled's success has been confirmed by Time magazine. They have ranked him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He is described as a moderate and in favor of dialogue with the West ... In an America still traumatized by September the 11th, Time presents him as an alternative to Bin Laden.

 

 

 

36.47

VO: A few hours later, Amr Khlaed arrives at the Lincoln Centre to celebrate his award.  He may be the only Arab invited to speak, but few people recognise him...

 

37.00

VO: His popularity in the West is nothing compared to Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York ..... or Richard Branson, the Virgin boss..... or the old Henry Kissinger.

 

37.13

No cameras are allowed inside, we will have to wait for tomorrow to hear how it went.

 

37.23

VO: The next morning, the preacher tells us excitedly about the night before.

 

37.28 - ITW Amr Khaled:

Subtitle "I spoke of the Prophet for 10 minutes and believe me, there was such a silence that I could have heard a needle fall to the ground ... In my speech I mentioned the situation of youth in the Arab world - and I am well placed to talk about youth - a youth that aspires to do something constructive ... they loved it! I was the only one to capture the audience and I could read the enthusiasm in their eyes. "

 

CHAPTER 9 END/EGYPT

 

38.07

VO: Finally, we return to Egypt, where this story started.  Amr Khaled’s power here knows no bounds.  What he chooses to do with this power remains to be seen.  But what has become clear, is that Muslim televangelism is sweeping the moderate Muslim world.  It’s wealth and global popularity mean that for better or for worse, it is a serious force to be reckoned with. 

 

 

38.32 END

 

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