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Islam Online dilemma getting ugly as board takes over website
Islam Online dilemma getting ugly as board takes over website
The new administration at Islam Online has already attempted to force out hundreds of employees this week, with the journalists, editors and workers staging a sit-in at their offices in Egypt
Monday, March 22,2010 14:48

 The new board based in Qatar is now, as of Thursday afternoon, attempting to take over the website, workers at the protest say.

According to the some 350 workers continuing to demand their rights as legal employees be heard, the new board is removing the archives from the website and has changed passwords so the Cairo-based staff is unable to access the site.

Earlier in the day, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi – the prominent Gulf-based Islamic leader who started Islam Online – attempted to freeze the actions of at least two new board members, but the board has refused to abide by the decision and is apparently moving forward on their plans to dismantle the Cairo office and move the company completely to Qatar.

A statement issued today by the Islam Online employees said the media company is “going through an acute crisis that can put an end to it as a successful, unique model that has won the love and met the needs of a global readership.”

It added that “some officials at Al-Balagh Cultural Society in Qatar, which funds IOL, are trying to grip the website, with the aim of diverting it from its moderate language and keen focus on major issues of the Ummah — particularly and most evidently the noble struggle of Palestine — to a traditional, text-bound discourse that is detached from reality and isolates the civilizational message of Islam from practical life.”

Dozens of Egyptian activists have thrown their support for the embattled workers, writing on Twitter and their blogs for people to support the protesters.

On Monday, when the workers showed up to work, all hell broke loose as it became apparent that a take over was in process.  According to Atef Abdel-Ghany, who runs the website’s development committee, said the new board informed the employees that come March 31, “more than 250 of the journalists will be let go.” Islam Online currently employs more than 350 people.

According to the Hisham Mubarak Law Center in Cairo the board had met with the workers only days earlier “to listen to their demands and questions with promises from Ibrahim Al Ansari, [Islam Online[ Vice-President, to meet these demands, but according to the sources, this meeting turned out to be a kind of stalling and wasting time in preparation to fire the workers.”

The law center’s sources added that the workers “refused to work with the committee and went into an open strike, threatening to go into a full strike inside the building if the Qatari side insisted on their situation of liquidating the branch and moving it to Doha.”

According to a number of employees, the Qatari board is attempting to fire all the Cairo-based workforce without giving them compensation for buying out their contracts.

It is part of what many say is an attempt by the conservative board to usurp the moderate and often liberal discussions that often occur on Islam Online’s pages.

 Republished with Permission from Bikya Masr

tags: Qaradawi / Islam Online / Qaradawi / Qatar / Hisham Mubarak Law Center / Doha
Posted in Human Rights , Islam Online Crises  
Insha\'Allah Khair Yousef al-Khattab
I have no problem with a conservative IslamOnline.Net as long as conservative does not mean that they will make the site based on Fatawa from Bin Baz,Ibn Utheymene,Muqbil, and al-Albani as is the latest petro dollar funded trend.I love Sheikh Yousef Qaradawi\'s style and his broad understanding of Islam, & hope IOL will follow his lead and those like him. Fiamanillah, Akhouk Yousef al-Khattab Tetouan,Morocco
Monday, March 22,2010 19:05
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