We have to pick up the common grounds as Sura Maeda verse 2 runs, “Help one another in goodness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and aggression.”
British media board visited director of Taqrib News Agency (TNA) to negotiate the launch of TNA office in London, UK.
In an exclusive interview with Taqrib News Agency (TNA), Ejaz Hussain, academic figure from the University of Reading and a full time consultant at AHLBAIT TV and i14 TV channel related on the necessity of boosting Muslim unity in regards to the intensifying religious
We are picking commonalities of Shia and Sunnis. Instead of moving them away we are bringing them together.
fights turning to a proper ground for the enemies.
Q: Please elaborate on your TV Channel and what you are covering in your programs?
A: At the moment we are running AHLEBAIT TV channel which is viewed in Europe, North America and South America through Jadoo Box and likewise we are viewed in India, Pakistan and other countries in South Asia.
This is primarily a religious channel to answer the moral, religious and spiritual needs of the people. At the moment Britain is a very big market with a total population of 60 million out of which 4.2 million are Muslims from all communities around the world. Among this population two million are Shia Muslims from different parts of the world.
There are 97 Husseiniya (center for Islamic religious ceremonies) with which we have very close relationship.
we promote interfaith harmony with non-Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sikhs and Hindus but the most important issue which we address is we bring together.
Huge numbers of Muslims attend the ceremonies held in the month of Ramadan and the mourning days of Muharram. More than 200’000 people attend the ceremonies held for Ashura (martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS)) Arbaeen (40 days after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), third Shia Imam) and 21st of Ramadan (martyrdom anniversary of Imam Ali (AS) first Shia Imam).
AHLEBAIT TV channel is meeting the spiritual and religious needs of these people.
Recently we realized that our signals have been only given to the Shias. It occurs to some that our TV is specifically for the Shia community. As you see the word AHLEBAIT is self-explained; however, the word AHLEBAIT was not palatable for the people so what we did was astutely starting channel i14 news within the bigger body of AHLEBAIT. i14 is a news TV channel in English language during the prime time, 5-11 p.m. in Great Britain.
AHLEBAIT is part of our ideology, we promote interfaith harmony with non-Muslims,
Every week we bring two to three important Sunni scholars so that we promote Islam and not merely Shia or Sunni.
Christians, Jews, Sikhs and Hindus but half of the problem which we address is we bring together the Sunnis so sometimes we are labeled as a channel that is called AHLEBAIT and it gets Sunni Ulima (scholars) on stage and gives them more time which is appreciated since the arguments are coming from a Shia channel.
This channel is personally funded by Saeed Baqir Zaidi, something which is not done by anyone in Britain.
Every week we bring two to three important Sunni scholars so that we promote Islam and not merely Shia or Sunni. We are picking commonalities of Shia and Sunnis. Instead of moving them away we are bringing them together and so far we have been successful.
Q: The world is moving towards a soft war and intensification of religious differences. What is the necessity of proximity activities amid the
If we have external enemies, then why should we create internal enemies? Therefore we are bringing rivals together and make them friends.
present situation of the world?
A: We do understand the basic principles of Islam when we talk about sects. We believe in “And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited” (verse 103 Sura Ale Imran); so we bring them together. If we have external enemies, then why should we create internal enemies? Therefore we are bringing rivals together and make them friends. We are able to counter the external enemies as a single unity as a coalition, this is a 21st century term and a very notorious term but we are at a coalition with Sunnis.
Obviously if we are united that will not create any gap for external forces to enter our areas and create problems between Shia and Sunni. So we are working towards keeping up together seamlessly.
On the other hand we have built good relationship with the non-Muslim community. We are promoting interfaith harmony. I have many close friends
Both Sunni and Shia know the meaning of this “sin and aggression” and we are both rejecting the same thing and promote goodness and piety hand in hand.
among Anglican community like the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu. We have conducted as many as five programs on Christmas during the past two weeks and we have brought all the leading pastors and clergymen who regularly participate in our programs. This is one prompt strategy to deal with the non-Muslims.
Among Muslim communities, as I said, we are bringing them together so we highlight the commonalities like Qur’an, Sunna (lifestyle of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)) and also Ahlul Bayt (household of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)) and we do not mind to refer to Sunni high figures like Hazrat Abubakr or Hazrat Omar although sometimes we receive venomous remarks for this reference. Definitely we have to pick up the common grounds as Sura Maeda verse 2 runs, “Help one another in goodness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and aggression.” So both Sunni and Shia know the meaning of this “sin and aggression” and we are both rejecting the same thing and promote goodness and piety hand in hand.