CAIRO: Popular Islamic televangelist Amr Khaled was allegedly forced to leave the country by Egyptian State Security, according to local news reports.
However, Khaled denied these allegations to the news portal Islam Online, saying that he has not received any orders or official requests from Egyptian security bodies to leave the country and go to London.
“I haven’t received any orders or official requests . I’m coming back to Egypt in three days, said Khaled, who is currently on a trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where he is giving a lecture.
News of Khaled’s departure were first made on Tuesday night’s talk shows as well as in independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm’s Wednesday edition.
The paper reported that six months ago, he was involved in disputes with security regarding the content of an upcoming episode of his show “Stories from the Quran.
In the episode, Khaled tells the story of Moses and his clashes with the Pharaoh.
“We have not received any objection regarding the story of Moses, which is only one episode of the entire show. In addition, we will not be talking about [Moses’] relationship with the Pharaoh in specific, but rather the story of his life, explained Khaled on Islam Online.
Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that State Security has forbidden Khaled from shooting his new show “Al-Mujaddidun (The Modernizers), and that he be back in Egypt within a few days to escort his family to London, where he has enrolled his son in school.
Khaled, who is known for his moderate approach to Islam, is considered to have revolutionized Islamic preaching and is known for being able to reach out to the youth.
This is not the first time Khaled encounters problems with State Security. In 2002, he was allegedly asked to leave the country because his growing influence was seen as a threat.
He previously told Egypt Today magazine that “it was [a] harsh experience.
“The year before I was praying with 40,000 [people] at the Hosary [Mosque in Sixth of October City] .The year I left Egypt, I was praying all alone in my room, he said.
In 2007, Khaled, who presents several television programs, ranked number 13 on Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.