Lecture on "Arab Media" and religious contents

The Institute for European Studies welcomed on Monday, 9 October 2017, Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen, Professor of Islamic and Arabic Studies at the University of Copenhagen, for a public lecture on “The Satellite Mosque in Europe: Arab Preachers on TV and Internet”. After giving an overview of modern media’s development within the Arab world, Prof. Skovgaard-Petersen illustrated the importance of religious contents on TV through the examples of various “Ramadan Musalsal”, popular TV series that are specifically produced for and consumed during the fasting month of Ramadan.

With a growing number of Arabs living in Europe, satellite TV and the internet also have an increasing importance for cross-border communication. Prof. Skovgaard-Petersen hinted at the different media consumption patterns of the different generations: while the elder immigrants still like to gather in front of the TV and consume the programmes together with their relatives, the younger generation increasingly refers to internet offers, which they consume in a much more individualised form. Also, there is a kind of language paradox: While twenty years ago Arab immigrants in Europe could hardly find media offers in their native language, nowadays there is an overabundance of Arab programmes on TV or the internet. However, particularly the younger generation seems less interested in getting information in Arabic, so the demand for these offers might be about to decline.