Wednesday, March 17, 2010

IslamOnline website in crisis as employees in Egypt stage sit-in

Future of one of the world's largest Islamic sites in doubt as row escalates between Qatari managers and workers in Egypt

Jack Shenker in Cairo, Tuesday 16 March 2010

"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.

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......"

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