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jannah
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« on: Sep 12, 2008 06:22 PM »

For some, Ramadan means fasting, cleansing and TV drama

    * Story Highlights
    * Arab TV channels spend millions to entertain Muslims during Ramadan fasts
    * Popular programs are soap operas, history lessons, food shows
    * Some say sitting in front of TV all day undermines true purpose of holy month

CNN.com Senior Editor for Arab Affairs

(CNN) -- Ramadan is the holiest month for Muslims around the world, a time to fast, cleanse the soul and surrender to God. But in the Middle East, there's a new twist to the tradition.

Ramadan translates into big bucks for Arab satellite channels. Millions of dollars are spent on special programming, much of it comparable to Western soap operas, to entertain the masses during their sunrise-to-sunset fasts.

One program, the popular Syrian production "Baab El-Hara" -- "The Neighborhood Gate" -- offers high drama focused on a family feud. A man and his pregnant wife are separated as their mothers fight it out, with each mother-in-law trying to teach the other a lesson.

The woman misses her husband and wants to go back to him. The husband kisses his mother's hand and promises her he'll do only what she wants.

The soaps showcase social traditions mixed with melodramatic characters and enough twists and turns of events to last the entire month of fasting.

But it's not all soap. There are also history programs highlighting glorious times of Islamic and Arabic bygone eras. On these, the ancient Arabic tribal costumes are showcased, complete with the traditional headdress, dagger on the side and more camels than a viewer can count. VideoWatch a report on Ramadan television ยป

The soap opera boom during Ramadan has become the subject of hot debate on news channels. Some people have expressed concern that sitting in front of a TV set all day doesn't go well with the spirit of the month, when Muslims are supposed to be contemplating and meditating.

The Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya found a novel way to entertain its viewers: a documentary in which the host walks in the footsteps of the prophet Mohammed as detailed in the Quran.

The channel also offers a daily lighter look at Ramadan, focusing on people's health during the holy month. Recommendations on the best meals to eat are followed by descriptions of how many calories they contain. Middle Eastern cuisine is displayed to viewers just in time to break fast. That, too, is announced on TV these days, instead of the traditional cannon and call to prayer.

And if Muslims decide to break their fasts with a traditional shisha smoke and a light meal in a neighborhood cafe, no worries. Satellite channels will serve them soaps there, too.

It's all part of the big plan, and it happens only during Ramadan.

Find this article at:
cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/09/10/ramadan.soap.operas/index.html#cnnSTCText
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blackrose
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 12, 2008 06:35 PM »

Asalamualaikum

I totally agree that it ruins the purpose of Ramadan. Perhaps having shorter work hours in Muslim countries during Ramadan is Not a good idea.

And since shisha is worse than smoking cigarettes (and now since scholars say smoking is haraam)thats definately not a good idea, I wish more people were educated on the subject.
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BrKhalid
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 14, 2008 08:49 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum  bro

Quote
Ramadan translates into big bucks for Arab satellite channels. Millions of dollars are spent on special programming, much of it comparable to Western soap operas, to entertain the masses during their sunrise-to-sunset fasts.

It's almost like Christmas in the West where the TV companies put on their best programmes during the holidays.

How did a month meant for increased worship become a month of looking forward to watching TV  Huh?
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 14, 2008 01:15 PM »

It depends on what the TV programme is! 

Here, three channels offer a full Islamic perspective on Ramadan, its history, how the Prophet SAW fasted, how the early people including the Sahabas RA handled it.  The do and don'ts during Ramadan, etc.  Range is wide and educative.  These are:

Peace TV, Iqra TV (Saudi Arabia) and Saudi Arabia TV2.  But then again, you can't spend the whole day watching TV.  Peace and Iqra TVs bring the Taraweh Prayers directly live from the Haram.  Beautiful!  Saudi Arabia TV2 brings the live Taraweh prayers from Madina! 

I agree that bringing a soap on TV during Ramadan is tasteless.
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 14, 2008 04:19 PM »

salam

This is so bizarre, wonder what would happen if they just went off air for a month??

I dont have a TV so no bother, my parents have a huuuuge thingy, which is switched off during Ramadan, this is  the one month where we all dedicate our time to Ibadah, what happened to itikhaaf, going to talks, just good old recitation of the Quran.... or catch up on sleep after Zuhr if one really does have so much time???


Wasaalaam
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 14, 2008 05:20 PM »

salaam

yah same here, during Ramadan we used to never watch tv/movies. Infact I remember my dad always bring pakistani dramas month before ramadan just because we cant watch in ramadan lol.
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« Reply #6 on: Sep 16, 2008 11:51 AM »

Broadcasters on the defensive in region
Reuters
Published: September 15, 2008, 23:53
 

Riyadh: Arab media have reacted to the religious decree by senior Saudi cleric and Chief Justice Shaikh Saleh Luhaidan that TV station owners who broadcast immoral material can be killed according to Islamic law.

Arab TV producers aren't laughing.


"I haven't seen anything that approaches depravity," said Abdul Khalek Al Ganem, a producer of a comedy show on Saudi Arabia's more staid state-run Channel One. "There's dancing and things but that's been there for a long time, it's not new. Some dramas have discussed tribal extremism, but depravity, no."

The UAE last week pulled a Syrian serial, Sa'adoun Al Awajy, after Saudi tribal leaders complained that it was stoking ancient rivalries.



Saudi Arabia has had difficulty carving out a national identity since it was formed in 1932 as an alliance between the Saudi family and puritan clerics who administer Sharia law.

Saudi television critics have attacked what they called "foul language" in two Saudi comedies on pan-Arab entertainment channel MBC1 that air in early evening after the sunset prayer.

Arab comedy and drama is generally more tame than its Western counterpart, avoiding everyday street language, and this conservatism is even more pronounced in Saudi Arabia.

In one much-criticised scene on Bayni wa Baynak (Between Us), for example, one character insulted another by telling him he could stick his mobile phone chip "in your you-know-where".

Soaps questioned

Odwan Al Ahmari, who writes in the daily Al Watan, said it was the religious media that was provoking clerics to attack the entertainment channels, which have bigger audiences.

"It's the fatwa programmes that are trying to stir trouble with the entertainment channels by asking these questions. The shaikh is bound to say these programmes are sinful," he said.

Popular Turkish soap operas dubbed into Arabic have provoked a storm of anger among Saudi conservatives who fear the spread of secular culture.They see Turkey as the West's fifth column into the Islamic world.

The attacks have raised eyebrows because the owners of Arab entertainment channels, including MBC, ART, Orbit, Rotana and LBC, are members of the Saudi royal family or businessmen allies. A spokesman for MBC declined to comment.

One TV official who did not want to be named said religious conservatives could not push back the tide in Arab entertainment television, which already pays attention to social and religious mores. "You can't put the consumer back in the box," he said.

http://www.gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi_arabia/10245323.html
 
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jannah
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 17, 2008 08:23 AM »

"allowed to be killed" thats pretty harsh and doesn't make much sense. people can't just go around killing people. not even if the top shaikh/mufti/imam whoever said so. it's the state's job to regulate these things and scholars should be aware of that instead of pushing people to vigilante justice. it seems like these scholars there are really out of touch with the people. they should have looked out their window years ago and seen the endless sea of satellite dishes. where was their dawah then?? declaring stuff haram and giving out fatwas to kill people is not dawah and is NOT promotion of islam.

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« Reply #8 on: Sep 18, 2008 06:33 AM »

Saudi cleric says fatwa on TV programmes misunderstood
http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/08/09/15/10245034.html

09/14/2008 09:02 PM | By Mariam Al Hakeem, Correspondent



Riyadh: Shaikh Saleh Al Luhaidan, Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Council, has said that his controversial fatwa permitting the killing of the owners of television networks broadcasting "depravation and debauchery" was misinterpreted and used out of its context.

"What I said about the killing of the owners of these channels is that it is permissible for the authorities to kill them in accordance with a judicial ruling if they do not stop such evil transmissions," he said.

In a lengthy interview with Saudi TV on Sunday, he said that his fatwa was on the satellite TV channels which promote sorcery and transmit topics calling for polytheism.

He pointed out his fatwa was issued four months ago when he called on owners of specific channels to repent to God and to stop broadcasting their immoral materials.

He urged the owners of these channels not to use their media to broadcast programmes that promote black magic and indecency. "I never expected this fatwa, which was talking about sorcery would become a controversial issue after four months, to be carried by Arab and foreign channels without my full remarks being carried," he said.

Another statement

Meanwhile, another senior Saudi cleric has come out with controversial statements. Shaikh Saleh Al Fozan told Al Madina daily on Sunday that astrologers on Arab television should face the death penalty.

"Sorcerers who appear on satellite channels have committed a great crime ... and the Muslim consensus is that the apostate's punishment is death by the sword," he said.
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Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]

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