Major Muslim TV preacher Amr Khaled heads for Cairo
One of the world’s most influential Muslim television preachers said on Friday that he was traveling back to his native Egypt, which is in turmoil amid mass protests against President Hosni Mubarak.
Amr Khaled, whose TV shows promoting Islam are widely viewed throughout the Middle East, told Reuters he was leaving the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland to head for Cairo. He would not say whether he would join the protests.
“My message to all Egyptians now is that our country is precious and the future needs a government that listens and respects young people,” he said in a telephone interview.
Khaled, a former accountant with KPMG, lives in London and is viewed in the Muslim world as a moderate who rejects extremism and has denounced the actions of Osama bin Laden. He has a reported 2.1 million followers on Facebook.
In an effort to connect with young people in the Arab world, Khaled conducted a survey in 2006 where he asked for young people from all over the Middle East to send him their hopes and wishes for the future.
“I received 1.4 million responses and highest priority dream that the majority of the youth had was to find a job, can you imagine that?” he said.
(Photo: Egyptian preacher Amr Khaled addresses a ceremony inaugurating a campaign to combat terrorism in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden November 24, 2010/Khaled Abdullah)