Ugandan Muslims open first Islamic television channel

Al-Hajji Karim Kalisa, Managing Director Salam TV
Al-Hajji Karim Kalisa, Managing Director Salam TV

Kampala, Uganda (IINA) –  Fulfilling an old dream, Muslims in Uganda have launched the country’s first-ever Islamic television channel, hoping it will herald a revival of their faith in the country after years of absence of Muslim voice in the media, OnIslam reported.

“Our listeners demanded for a Television station they would relate with and that is how the idea was conceived,” Al-Hajji Karim Kalisa, the managing director of Salam TV, told OnIslam.

Despite having several Islamic radio stations in the country, the demand for an Islamic TV channel was strong.

“We approached television owners, who sympathized with Islamic programs, but they would either allocate fifteen or thirty minute’s maximum and call it the Islamic half hour,” Kalisa added.

The dream came closer when one of the three local television channels agreed to give Muslims extra hours during the 2014 Ramadan period.

“We had one hour per week and it increased to 5 hours per day the nights inclusive from 2:00 to 6:00am,” Kalisa added.

The agreement reached during Ramadan was a breakthrough in the Muslims work to start Salam TV, which goes back to Uganda’s liberalization of the media industry in 1993.

At this time Kalisa was working as an administrator with the Union of Muslim countries for East, Central and Southern Africa.

The Union supported the setup of five Islamic radio stations in the country.

“Our main agenda is to develop the Muslim community and ensure they have enough knowledge and information to enable them live happier lives,” he said.

The dream was finally fulfilled on the 10th of June 2015, just a few days to Ramadan, when Muslims in Uganda were treated to the news of the first ever Islamic Television in the country.

He stresses that through Salam TV programming, they are ensuring their programs are beneficial to a complete family.

After the launch of the Islamic TV channel, Kalisa led a campaign to refurbish the oldest Qur’an school in the country, known as Lukalu, which was found in Butambala district in Central Uganda.

Since then, over US $141,000 has been collected through a fundraiser the Television has spear headed with construction due to start.

The TV channel and Qur’an school were urged to restore the true image and teachings of Islam in Uganda.

With the revival of Islamic TV and schools in Uganda, Muslim leaders have been working to bring scholars from different parts of the world to preach the true teachings of Islam, in accordance with the Qur’an and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

“The audience has been very welcoming since all we do is talk about the beauty of Islam,” head of Daawah at the Salam TV station, Shaban Uthman Menya, told OnIslam.


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