FaithWorld

Major Muslim TV preacher Amr Khaled heads for Cairo

khaled

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.

Egyptian TV preacher to fight Islamist extremism in Yemen

khaled (Photo: Egyptian preacher Amr Khaled preaches in Aden November 24, 2010/Khaled Abdullah)

Yemen has enlisted the help of the popular Egyptian television preacher Amr Khaled to help it dislodge militant Islamists’ foothold within its conservative population. The impoverished Arabian Peninsula state, already juggling conflicts in its north and south, is struggling to combat a resurgent wing of al-Qaeda that experts say exploits Yemen’s instability to launch attacks in the region and beyond.

Yemen security forces have launched several military campaigns, including air raids and blockades of cities, to root out suspected al Qaeda militants in Yemen’s south.

Khaled, who CBS television has called “the Billy Graham of Islam,” is a charismatic and moderate populist Muslim preacher known for wooing crowds of upper-middle class Egyptian youths in a high-pitched voice. He’s often described as a “televangelist” or — putting it more Islamically — “telemufti.”