Saudi mulls 'sectarian' TV channel blackout

Broadcaster accused of inciting sectarianism and insulting national unity
Saudi mulls 'sectarian' TV channel blackout
A television reported allegedly tried to divide Saudis along sectarian lines.
By Sara Anabtawi
Tue 27 Mar 2012 10:46 AM

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture and
Information is considering shutting down a satellite TV Channel which allegedly
incited sectarianism and impaired national unity, it was reported.

A programme aired on the channel, which has
not been named, allegedly aimed to divide people of Saudi's southwestern Najran
region along sectarian lines, reported Saudi-based Al-Hayat.

The Minister of Culture and Information, Dr
Abdul Aziz Khoja, said that such behavior will not be accepted from any
satellite TV channel, newspaper or e-newspaper.

“National unity is the red line,” he said.
“Sectarian statements against a region, tribe or a family are unacceptable. The
ministry will prevent any type of sedition.”

Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy that strictly enforces religious and conservative traditions, tolerates little political or
religious dissent from its mostly Sunni Muslim population.

In February, 23-year old blogger Hamza
Kashgar was forced to flee the kingdom after posting comments via Twitter that
were deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammad.

After a warrant was issued for his arrest,
Kashgari was extradited from Malaysia - where he was in hiding - back to Saudi
Arabia, where he could face the death penalty.

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