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Al-Jazeera's radical agenda, posing as news, finding acceptance in the U.S.

The following is based on an article by Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media

“Al Jazeera makes a living blaming most problems in the Middle East on the USA and Israel,” Bill O’Reilly of Fox News has pointed out. “And any Arab leader who supports America is barbecued on the network, while those who hate America are praised.” He added: “Any fair-minded person who follows Al Jazeera knows it is anti-American and anti-Semitic. Only on the far left can it find acceptance.”


But now, as a result of what is happening in Egypt, Al-Jazeera and its media allies are leading a “Demand Al-Jazeera in the U.S.A.” campaign, as if the channel’s coverage is somehow objective and worthwhile. Newsweek gave valuable column space to Wadah Khanfar, director-general of Al-Jazeera, to argue that U.S. cable and satellite providers should make a special allowance for Al-Jazeera English to be carried in more media markets so that “alternative viewpoints” can be presented about “the human realities of war” in the Middle East. He complained about the Egyptian government-owned satellite company having blocked Al-Jazeera’s broadcast signal after turmoil emerged in that country without noting that Al-Jazeera is itself owned and financed by an Arab regime in Qatar that is just as authoritarian as Egypt’s. The channel is notorious for sparing Qatar’s ruling monarchy the scrutiny it selectively applies to other Arab regimes.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which effectively controls Al-Jazeera, gave rise to terrorist organizations such as Hamas, officially designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the U.S. State Department. However, the Muslim Brotherhood is not an officially designated FTO.

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The Muslim Brotherhood wants Egypt to unilaterally open the border with Gaza, a move that would facilitate arms shipments to Hamas and increase military pressure on Israel. A Congressional Research Service report noted: “Egypt sealed the border out of concern for the possibly destabilizing effects of Hamas’s relations with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which the government of President Mubarak considers a threat.”

Al-Jazeera consistently and misleadingly describes the Muslim Brotherhood as a “non-violent” organization. In return, the Muslim Brotherhood describes Al-Jazeera as “the greatest Arab media organization” and has published an interview with Khanfar, Al-Jazeera’s General Manager.

In the interview, Khanfar said, “We do not have any tense relations with the Egyptian government. We have an effective office in Egypt which is sending news from all viewpoints, whether from the government or the opposition…”

Citing inflammatory and biased coverage, the Egyptian government has since closed Al-Jazeera’s offices. Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman declared: “I actually blame certain friendly nations who have television channels, they are not friendly at all, who have intensified the youth against the nation and the state. They have filled in the minds of the youth with wrongdoings, with allegations, and this is unacceptable.”

One of those “friendly nations” is Qatar, where Al-Jazeera is based.

Mamoun Fandy, an expert on the Arab media, has called Al-Jazeera “the Muslim Brotherhood channel.” His book, Uncivil War of Words: Media and Politics in the Arab World, notes that Al-Jazeera glorified Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan Al-Bannah, in a two-part documentary in 2006.

In 2003 testimony to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, he said Al-Jazeera’s reporters and correspondents constitute a “who's who in the rank and file of the [Muslim] Brotherhood.”

“The Muslim Brotherhood was the first Islamic organization with global reach,” he noted. “It currently has offices in Germany, France, Malaysia, and throughout the Arab world. Offices in the U.S. can be found in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. The record of destruction of the Muslim Brotherhood leaves no doubt about their intentions.”

Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the regular personalities on Al-Jazeera, encourages suicide bombings against Americans and has been banned from entering the U.S.

Fandy traced the 9/11 terrorist attacks to ideas propagated by members of the Muslim Brotherhood such as Sayid Qutob. “Currently, intellectuals of the Muslim brotherhood champion the Arab campaign of denial of responsibility for the September 11th attacks,” Fandy testified. “Their writings in the Arab world and even in this country have always argued that this is a proper response to U.S. actions in the world.”

However, Al-Jazeera bureau chief Abderrahim Foukara appeared on ABC’s “This Week” program on Jan. 30 and quoted former President Clinton Bill Clinton as saying that Al Jazeera was “a beacon of democracy.”

This prompted ABC’s Sam Donaldson, a panelist on the show, to say, “…thank you for what you’re doing. People say Al-Jazeera fanned the flames here by bringing the fact that democracy is in existence and that people are being suppressed. That’s what we need; we need more communication in the world. It’s not Al-Jazeera’s fault…”

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