Live from Qatar: It's Jihad Television: The Al-Jazeera TV Network Is Osama Bin Laden's Favorite Satellite Channel -- a Station Financed by the Emir of Qatar, a U.S. Ally. Some Believe the Network's Cozy Relationship with Al-Qaeda Merits Vigorous U.S. Action to Pull the Plug on Its Dubious Programming. (Special Report)

By Timmerman, Kenneth R. | Insight on the News, March 4, 2002 | Go to article overview

Live from Qatar: It's Jihad Television: The Al-Jazeera TV Network Is Osama Bin Laden's Favorite Satellite Channel -- a Station Financed by the Emir of Qatar, a U.S. Ally. Some Believe the Network's Cozy Relationship with Al-Qaeda Merits Vigorous U.S. Action to Pull the Plug on Its Dubious Programming. (Special Report)


Timmerman, Kenneth R., Insight on the News


For once, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher didn't mince words. "We've expressed our concerns about some of the kinds of things we've seen on their air, particularly inflammatory stories, totally untrue stories, things like that" he said at a daily briefing in early October 2001. "We would certainly like to see them tone down the rhetoric."

Boucher was not talking about the old Soviet Union, whose active-measures teams dreamed up wild conspiratorial stories about U.S. domination of the Third World and fed them to disinformation agents as "news." The culprit he was speaking of was the al-Jazeera TV satellite network, the proud creation of the emir of Qatar -- a U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf who has agreed to host U.S. Marine Expeditionary Units and allow U.S. fighter jets to base combat missions in his territory. Yet he finances the most vile anti-American and anti-Semitic propaganda imaginable.

During the first month after Sept. 11, al-Jazeera rebroadcast excerpts from a 1998 canned interview with Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden dozens of rimes -- sometimes several times in a day -- in which bin Laden called on Muslims to kill Americans, Christians and Jews. The prominence given to the bin Laden statements prompted an unusual public scolding from Secretary of State Colin Powell on Oct. 8, 2001, during a visit to Washington by Sheik Hamad bin-Khalifa al-Thani, the emir of Qatar. The emir shrugged off the criticism, claiming al-Jazeera was part of his plan to create a parliamentary system for his kingdom.

Al-Jazeera's Washington correspondent, Hafiz al-Mirazi, had a similar response. "When you have a 24-hour broadcast, there are a lot of empty holes," he tells INSIGHT, explaining the frequent replays of the bin Laden interview. "Many people didn't know who bin Laden was before September 11. We do no propaganda for bin Laden. When you put President [George W.] Bush on live television at a memorial for one-and-a-half hours, it's the same thing," he adds.

While few Americans would agree with that equivalence, al-Jazeera's record does not tally with al-Mirazi's account. Prior to Sept. 11, the satellite-TV network prominently featured bin Laden in its broadcasts, and regularly invited bin Laden friends and sympathizers onto the air. "They had become jihad television," says U.S. scholar of Islam Daniel Pipes.

Consider this July 10, 2001, broadcast called Opposite Direction, one of many al-Jazeera talk shows touted as presenting "balanced" opinion and "fair" comment. Host Faysal al-Qassem called the program "Bin Laden -- The Arab Despair and American Fear," and opened it like this:

"Good evening, dear viewers. Do you know how much Osama bin Laden weighs? That's what one of the Arab leaders at the recent summit in Amman asked. The answer is: No more than 50 kilograms [110 pounds]. In contrast, the average weight of the Arab leaders is at least 80 kilograms [176 pounds], not to mention the weight of the [Arab] armies and the huge budgets. Nevertheless, the slender bin Laden has made the greatest power in history shudder at the sound of his name, [while] the physical and material heavyweights arouse only America's pity and ridicule."

Balancing this view was Abd al-Bari `Atwan, editor in chief of the pro-Iraqi London daily Al-Quds al-Arabi. The United States is "a terrorist regime that has killed innocent people since 1945 to this very moment," 'Atwan instructed viewers. "Bin Laden is a legitimate jihad fighter. Bin Laden has a work plan ... to harass the U.S., to harm its presence in the region as much as he can."

The first caller to reach the "open" phone lines of the show happened to be al-Qaeda spokes man Suleiman Abu Gheith, calling from somewhere in Afghanistan. After a 10-minute speech in praise of his boss, he ended with a call for volunteers for "the holy jihad against the Jews and the Christians."

During the first two months of the war, al-Jazeera's Kabul correspondent -- a Syrian named Tasyeer Alouni, who traveled on a Spanish passport -- was the only foreign TV correspondent allowed to operate in Afghanistan by the Taliban. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Live from Qatar: It's Jihad Television: The Al-Jazeera TV Network Is Osama Bin Laden's Favorite Satellite Channel -- a Station Financed by the Emir of Qatar, a U.S. Ally. Some Believe the Network's Cozy Relationship with Al-Qaeda Merits Vigorous U.S. Action to Pull the Plug on Its Dubious Programming. (Special Report)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.