Middle East (MNN) – Arab satellite television
channels face tighter restrictions on the content they broadcast. The charter, sponsored by Egypt and Saudi
Arabia, calls on stations "not to offend the leaders or national and
religious symbols" of Arab countries.
Offenders risk the loss of broadcasting
permits. SAT-7's David Harder responds: "We,
at SAT-7, are not overly concerned about this because it seems like they are
specifically relating to channels that may be making strong anti-government
political statements or even very strong religious statements attacking one
faith or another."
asked if SAT-7 could be targeted with this regulation, Harder could only say, "The
simple answer is that we don't know, but we hope not. How we might be
affected would depend upon how tightly or loosely the law is interpreted."
to the document, channels should "refrain from broadcasting anything which
calls into question God, the monotheistic religions, the prophets, sects or
symbols of the various religious communities." However, the
ministry programming does "conform to the values of Arab society" because their
programming represents the local minority Arab Christian community and its
hopes that their focus will protect their ability to share Christ in the
region. "We don't talk about
politics or political leaders, and we don't attack one religion or one
denomination or another. Instead, we talk about Jesus. We feel strongly that,
whatever the purpose of this regulation, we will stand out and hopefully
will not be affected."
says part of their purpose is to build bridges of understanding between the
communities. Their ethos actually conforms to these points and has given their
staff a good reputation which would be a strong defense against any who might
attempt to use this law against SAT-7.
for continued favor with local officials and for the ongoing safety of their operations
in the region.