Yemen to Launch Counter-Extremism Channel

A child watches TV in Aden, Yemen, where a new educational channel designed to deliver a message of tolerance and moderation is preparing for its launch.

A child watches TV in Aden, Yemen, where a new educational channel designed to deliver a message of tolerance and moderation is preparing for its launch.

An article posted on http://www.al-shorfa.com discussed the launch of a satellite educational channel in Yemen on March 18th that aims to “instil national loyalty and moderation in young people and protect them from extremist ideas”. The Yemeni Ministry of Education signed an agreement Monday (February 25th) with telecommunications company MTN Yemen, which is to sponsor the project with 77.5 million Yemeni riyals ($361,641). The channel will broadcast educational programs for students and interactive programs for teachers.

“The educational channel’s priority is to educate and protect children and youth from destructive ideas, steer them away from extremist and terrorist ideas, seek to instil in them the concepts of love and acceptance of others and to fortify society against violence and all forms of intolerance,” and “to present educational programs that promote the values of national loyalty, virtuous behavior and ethics, moderation and noble values, and highlight the role of the community, educational institutions and the family in the education process, because education is everyone’s responsibility,”al-Ashwal, education minister said. A key to the channel’s success, according to al-Jamhi, will be to “present a balanced and moderate message that advocates tolerance rather than using hardline rhetoric to confront the ideological violence and extremist messages that some other channels call for.”

It is interesting that the education minister has gone to television to achieve goals in education. The channel’s target audience is children showing the large and growing influence television is having on youth in the arab world. Also, the fact that they need to counter extremist ideas being broadcasted on other channels shows the increasing diversity of views that are now being shown on television. Political analyst Mohammed al-Ghabri said the channel can help eliminate sources of terrorism and foster a spirit of moderation.

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