Islam televangelist tries reality TV

Amr Khaled aims to recruit young preachers

BAGHDAD — Charismatic Egyptian Islam televangelist Amr Khaled is branching out into the world of reality television with a show that aims to recruit a new generation of young preachers.

Al-Arabiya television said Khaled is recruiting participants for the show, “Man yukmel el-resala” (Who Will Bear the Mission?) through his website, Amrkhaled.net.

The chosen few will live together for three months while they are being trained by Khaled, it said.

Khaled, who hosts a motivational program on Saudi-owned religious channel Al-Iqraa, told Al-Arabiya he hopes to recruit students with vision and talent who will follow his path and continue his legacy.

The new generations, Khaled said, will need young preachers who are able to communicate with them in their own language.

Khaled, 40, is among a new breed of media-savvy Muslim clerics who have taken to the stage and are beaming messages to millions across the Middle East on a series of dedicated pan-Arab TV shows and channels.

Others include Moez Masoud, Tariq Al-Swaidan, Jasem Al-Mutawee and Mostafa Hosni who are all rebranding lessons from the Quran in an easily digestible, contempo fashion, replete with references to pop culture and garnering growing audiences as a result.

Khaled came to international prominence when he organized a conference in Denmark in 2006 to foster East-West dialogue in the wake of controversy over the publication of Danish cartoons portraying the Prophet Mohammed.

Writer of the new show, Youssef Maati, said it is a continuation of a project he began some years back which aimed to encourage youth development but was never produced.

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