(WSJ) Islamists Rely on TV Sheiks to Woo the Masses in Egypt

…many viewers of TV preachers are women. In the most conservative Egyptian households, women rarely leave their homes and account for nearly two-thirds of television viewers, according to Ipsos, a Paris-based global polling group. During the runoff of presidential elections last June, 76% of women voted for the Brotherhood’s Mr. Morsi, propelling him to a win, according to telephone exit polls by Baseera, a private Egyptian polling firm. Overall, Mr. Morsi received 51.7% of the vote.

“The advantage of the channels is that they reach those groups that the mosque will never reach,” said Aatif Abdel Rashid, one of the founders of Al Nas who is now a presenter on Al Hafez, another Salafi satellite station.

Al Nas was started by Saudi investors who owned a media group called Al Baraheen in 2006 as a “cultural” station that featured tame music videos, dance routines and religious dream interpretations””a variety show with an mildly Islamic slant.

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