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The Al-Jazeera threat

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By Cliff Kincaid
Sunday, April 10, 2011

If the burning of a Quran in Florida can somehow spark more than a dozen deaths thousands of miles away, consider the impact of a "news" channel that reaches tens of millions of Arabs and Muslims daily with inflammatory depictions of Americans in the Middle East.

This is Al-Jazeera, which, ironically, has gotten praise for its coverage of riots in Egypt and is now lobbying for more carriage by U.S. cable and satellite systems.

Such a move would jeopardize American lives.

Our recent conference, "Al-Jazeera, Global Jihad, and the Suicide of the West," produced evidence that Al-Jazeera is a mouthpiece for al-Qaida, Hamas and Hezbollah.

The channel has been sued in the United States for $1.2 billion for facilitating Hezbollah rocket attacks during the Lebanon war that killed Americans, Canadians and Israelis.

It is openly described on the radical Muslim Brotherhood website as the "great Arab media organization." The channel's Arabic personnel are a "Who's Who" of the Muslim Brotherhood.

As Pamela Geller of the campaign against the Ground Zero mosque framed it during our conference, putting Al-Jazeera on cable and satellite systems in the U.S. is comparable to giving Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels access to American airwaves during World War II.

Al-Jazeera's most famous TV personality, Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, described by the Anti-Defamation League as the "Theologian of Terror," authorized suicide bombings against Americans in Iraq and upon his return to Egypt after the overthrow of Mubarak called for the conquest of Jerusalem.

Captured terrorists have testified that they went to Iraq to kill Americans because of the words and images on Al-Jazeera.

Amazingly, Michael Leiter, the director of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center, was quoted recently as saying that Al-Jazeera is his favorite television station. A press spokesman says he was only praising the channel for its coverage of Egypt.

But one of our conference speakers -- independent broadcaster Jerry Kenney -- compared Al-Jazeera to an arsonist who, after setting a fire, records the inferno and then brags about the film footage. This is hardly praiseworthy.

Could the same thing happen here if Al-Jazeera English reaches more American Muslims with depictions of America as the enemy?

Incredibly, our conference produced evidence that Al-Jazeera and the Moscow-funded Russia Today (RT) propaganda channel are already on 30 public television stations around the country. A Federal Communications Commission complaint has been filed.

Says Dr. Judea Pearl, father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, about Al-Jazeera, "Their unconditional support of Hamas' terror in Gaza, the Hezbollah takeover in Lebanon, and the Syrian and Iranian regimes betrays any illusion that democracy and human rights are on Al-Jazeera's agenda -- weakening the West is their first priority."

He says Al-Jazeera English should be resisted because of its clear potential for inspiring homegrown jihadism.

Walid Phares writes in his book, "The Coming Revolution , " that while Qatar hosts a U.S. military base and promotes a pro-Western image, it "supports jihadism over democracy and liberalism" because of its funding and sponsorship of Al-Jazeera.

The channel targets pro-Western and secular regimes such as the former Mubarak government in Egypt for revolution, enabling the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates to take power. This is the real meaning of what our media call the "Arab Spring."

The 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has bragged about killing Daniel Pearl, was protected by the regime in Qatar before he was caught in Pakistan and transferred to Guantanamo.

The WikiLeaks cables demonstrate that other 9/11 plotters came from Qatar, that the country even today serves as a financial base for al-Qaida and the Taliban and that the Israeli intelligence chief predicted Al-Jazeera as the cause of the next Middle East war.

However, Qatar's Arab monarchy cultivates good public relations by spending lavishly on American politicians and congressional staffers -- as well as journalists and academics -- to come to the capital of Doha for junkets and opulent conferences.

The tours usually include visits to Al-Jazeera.

Matthew Lee, the State Department reporter for The Associated Press, joined officials from the CIA, the National Security Council and the State Department as a guest of the channel at the recent congressional correspondents dinner.

Some of these apologists for the terror channel now want Obama himself to appear on Al-Jazeera, putting the U.S. government officially on the side of the global jihad that threatens the survival of the West.

Cliff Kincaid is director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism. E-mail him at:



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