Qaradawi, who left Qatar, where he was based (along with Al-Jazeera) before returning to Egypt, has been a fixture on Al-Jazeera Arabic for years. However, he has been kept away from the Al-Jazeera English audience, who might recoil in horror at his anti-American and anti-Semitic diatribes.
Cable systems like Comcast that are considering carrying Al-Jazeera need to know that Qaradawi is the face and voice of Al-Jazeera. He is poison and hate in the media market and a threat to ignite more cases of home-grown jihadism.
Qaradawi has stated that Islam will conquer Europe through peaceful means; that Hitler was divine punishment for the misdeeds of the Jews and that the Holocaust was exaggerated; that he desires to end his life in the service of Jihad by visiting Israel and throwing a bomb, becoming a “martyr” in the process; has called for the death of all Jews; and has called for the collapse of the U.S. if it doesn’t end its “unjust ways.”
So why are American academics associating with this terror TV channel? It is a question I have been trying to answer.
My recent column noted that two academics, Marc Lynch of George Washington University and Philip Seib of the University of Southern California, were featured speakers at the recent Al-Jazeera Forum in Doha, Qatar, sponsored by the terror channel. Both have failed to respond to questions about whether Al-Jazeera paid for their appearances.
The Al-Jazeera Forum, an annual event, featured a top official of Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group that just launched a new round of mortar attacks on Israel. Al-Jazeera refuses to label Hamas a terrorist organization and instead calls it a “resistance” movement. Israel had just intercepted a ship named the Victoria carrying rockets and other arms for Hamas or other terrorist organizations. (Al-Jazeera featured the claims of Hamas and Iran that the reports of the weapons were “propaganda” and false.)
Other participants in the Al-Jazeera Forum, including Americans Danny Schechter and Steve Clemons, and Matt Wells and Francesca Panetta of the British Guardian, say they were “guests” of the channel or “travelled to Doha courtesy of Al-Jazeera.” This is code language for the channel paying for airfare and luxury accommodations at what Schechter acknowledged was the “opulent” Sheraton Hotel. Known as the “Pyramid of the Gulf,” the Sheraton Doha has a view of the sea, landscaped gardens, and a private beach.
An official of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim Brotherhood spin-off, also spoke at the Al-Jazeera Forum.
While professors Lynch and Seib remain mum over the financial aspects of their relationship with Al-Jazeera, which is funded by the Arab monarchy ruling Qatar, I have been contacted by apologists for the terror channel. They are worried that the facts about Al-Jazeera’s pro-terrorist bent and the corruption of the ruling elite in Qatar might jeopardize the channel’s campaign to get carriage on more U.S. cable and satellite systems.
Qatar, after all, is an Arab dictatorship just as much as the Mubarak regime in Egypt was. It recently detained a blogger clamoring for human rights. As noted by Reporters Without Borders, human rights activist and blogger Sultan Khulaifi was arrested on March 1 and was taken to an unknown place of detention by security forces of the regime.