Tuesday, March 16, 2010

One of largest Islamic websites in crisis as employees in Egypt stage sit-in

The future of one of the largest Islamic websites in the world was in doubt today after hundreds of staff walked out, accusing new managers of trying to hijack the site in order to promote a hardline, conservative agenda., writes The Guardian:

IslamOnline, which draws over 120,000 visitors a day and is one of the most popular internet destinations in the Middle East, was plunged into crisis following an attempt by the website's senior management in Qatar to wrest control of the site's content away from its editorial offices in Cairo.
Insiders claim that the move, which would involve many of the site's 350 Egypt-based staff losing their jobs, is part of a broader effort by conservative elements in the Gulf to reshape the identity of a media outlet long viewed as a bastion of liberal and reformist voices within the Islamic world.
"This is not an issue of money," journalist Fathi Abu Hatab told the Guardian via telephone from the website's offices, which are currently under occupation by staff. "It's a matter of editorial independence and media ethics, and we are not going to back down. They are trying to hijack IslamOnline, and we are resisting." MORE HERE

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