SOCHI, August 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev proposed on Friday setting up a digital TV channel dedicated to Islamic themes, as a counterbalance to extremism.
Islam is the second most widespread religion in Russia, with around 20 million followers.
During a meeting in Sochi with muftis and regional officials from the North Caucasus, Medvedev said: "We are now switching to digital broadcasting, which will broaden our possibilities, and I think that under the new broadcasting structure we will be able to think about finding a channel teaching and explaining Islam."
The president said television should be "modern and moral", and that an Islamic channel would provide a good alternative to extremist websites disseminating false ideas about Islam.
"Sometimes I read what they write on those sites - it makes my hair stand on end. It has nothing to do with Islam," Medvedev said.
The president also said he objected to the media use of the term "Islamic extremist", which has also been criticized by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
A militant "has no religion, even if somewhere in his head he thinks he is a true Muslim. He is no Muslim, just a bandit," Medvedev said.