Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald offers some recommendations on how to deal with Al-Jazeera, and what the American media presence in the Middle East should be like:
1) The kid-gloves treatment of Qatar is based on the smiles of the al-Thani ruler — what is he called now? Prince? King? These sheiks of petty sheikdoms like to give themselves grand titles! Like the man whom the British used to call “The Ruler of Bahrain,” who then promoted himself to Prince and then just recently to king, much to the amusement of J. B. Kelly and others who had spent time in the Gulf. It rests also upon the good looks and supposed “feminist” credentials of his “progressive” wife (in those circles, it doesn’t take much to be a far-sighed progressive — why, appearing hijabless or having a job, or even driving a car will do the trick). Oh, the rich fantasy life of American diplomats and policymakers, and of course the world press, whether in their Lawrence-of-Arabia swoon (Lowell Thomas), or their “eternal verities of the wide Arabian sky and desert” swoon (Freya Stark) or in their can’t-stand-that-little-Jewish-Sparta-or-its-supporters so the Arabs-and-Muslims-and-especially-the-“Palestinians” must-be-promoted-on-every-occasion swoon (Peter Jennings, John Simpson, Edward Mortimer) — take your pick.
Qatar needs America, America does not need Qatar. Qatar must stop subsidizing al-Jazeera, and while it is at it, it should be asked to send the influential and sinister Qaradawi packing. To Egypt, or Saudi Arabia. If he’s truly interested in what is Halal and what is Haram, Saudi Arabia’s the only place for him. And what beaches!
2) Al-Jazeera needs to be shut down or at least treated as, during the Cold War, one would treat Pravda and Tass, or during World War II, Der Beobachter Zeitung, and Der Stuermer, and Radio Berlin (Lord Haw Haw included) and Radio Tokyo (Tokyo Rose included). This requires thought. Shooting down the satellite that makes it possible? Interfering with transmissions? Are these technically possible, or not? No one need announce it is being done. It should “just happen.” Too bad.
If such is not possible, then those who are now receiving Al-Jazeera, and therefore believe in its worldview — which clearly threatens the lives and property and wellbeing and way of life of all Infidels, beginning but hardly ending with Americans and Israelis — it should not be permitted anywhere in the Bilad al-Kufr, the Lands of the Infidels. Pressure can be brought to bear on cable companies and satellite channel networks. Those who offer Al-Jazeera or Al-Manar as part of their “packages” to consumers may find that they are the sudden objects of boycott — and that boycott should be relentless and endless. Some time ago there was a posting here about “Erie Cablesystems” in northern Ohio and southern Michigan, all set to offer “Bridges TV,” which is a Muslim channel designed to offer the “kindler, gentler” view of Islam, all family values and Ramadan observances, of course — and perhaps a Karen-Armstrong potted biography of the “man who brought peace to the Arabian peninsula” and “improved the treatment of women and minorities” — none other than Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets. Better living through boycotts: if moral and intellectual appeals fail, withholding one’s custom. And in the case of Columbia and Georgetown, cut off donations and making clear that everyone will suffer unless the Middle Eastern apologists are reigned in, or forced to leave — or in the case of Esposito, simply have their institutional connection severed (Esposito is well-supported by Arab interests and can survive without Georgetown, but Georgetown suffers greatly from its now-embarrassing connection to Esposito and Co.).
3) Al-Jazeera’s programs have led directly to attacks on American soldiers and an increase in American deaths. Yet there are those who, as a recent movie made by an Egyptian-American sympathizer shows, Al-Jazeera’s staff includes people who complacently assume, a bit too readily, that they can send their children to the United States for an education. That assumption must come to an end. Those who work for Al-Jazeera should understand that when they accept the job there, their hopes of living in the West — which they realize, of course, is vastly superior to the world of Islam, even if they are doing their damnedest to destroy that same West and reinforce the power of the Jihad and of the Muslims — and sending their children to be educated and live in the West are thereby dashed.
Starting to deny the great privilege of living, even for a short period, in the United States or the other countries of the advanced West, to the relatives of those implicated in the propaganda war will eventually have an enormous effect on the behavior and career choices of those who in the future may be considering working for Al-Jazeera and similar organs of hate, hysteria, and lies. They will have to think twice before putting their talents to work for the Jihad, spouting antisemitic and anti-American propaganda. Their children are going to have to remain and live in the world that they are helping to create. They will not be allowed, themselves, the escape-hatch of the West. That itself should cause them to behave a bit more responsibly, when their own children’s future is at stake.
If they have talent, so much the worse for them that they lent that talent to evil. Goebbels was extremely talented; so was Leni Reifenstahl; so were a host of others who worked for the Nazis or for the late Joseph Stalin.
Write your Congressmen. Call your local government officials. Do what you can. Make a fuss. If you are related to a soldier, use that fact. No one likes to make an enemy out of the families of soldiers, especially the Reserves and the National Guard. Al-Jazeera has American blood on its hands. It is akin to Nazi propaganda. It should not be shown in this country. But at the very least, political figures should make sure that no close relative of anyone working for Al-Jazeera ever gets an entry visa. And if any Republicans balk, do not hesitate to go to Democrats and to point out the virtue of taking a strong position on Islam. That will be one more useful anti-Jihad measure that costs nothing, and risks no American lives.
4) It is equally absurd that the American government chooses to waste money attempting to “win Arab friends” by beaming into their countries not lectures on the meaning of the First Amendment, nor on the ways in which personal autonomy and freedom of conscience are protected and encouraged, nor anything about the “free marketplace of ideas,” nor all those quotations from Jefferson and Lincoln and Mark Twain that, for example, the young Jose Figueres said helped him to transform Costa Rica. Instead, we are sending them images of what? Muslim families leading Muslim lives. Why should we pander to them, or make it seem as if we have to assure them that Muslims can live safely in the United States? If anything, we should be showing them our schools and our hospitals, and make clear that we believe we have nothing to apologize for, and that they must look to the tenets and attitudes and atmospherics of Islam (this need not be said, but programs artfully crafted can artfully suggest) to find the source of their desarroi and sub-development. No more transmissions Arabia-wards of Britney Spears, please. We are not trying to entertain or titillate, nor even to win friends. We are trying to offer information, and to provoke thought, not about us, but about their own societies. And that thought will, if it is real thought and not the usual nonsense, inevitably lead to the “reform” i.e. the constraining of Islamic practice. One might even have programs on Ataturk. Who’s afraid of mentioning everything he did in the 1920s and 1930s? Or on the late Ali Dashti of Iran, or on others who wrote penetratingly of Islam, or perhaps a program on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yes, there are several possible programs right there. And if American-government sponsored channels don’t carry this stuff, they should be closed down, for they are then nothing more than jobs programs for Arabic speakers. It is particularly important that, for example, Maronites and Copts and Arabic-speaking Jews and ex-Muslims monitor this material, to make sure that taxpayers’ money is not going to people who, while purportedly working for the government, present material that undercuts it or Infidels in general, or delivers a message that may be interpreted as appeasing or otherwise deliver the wrong message. The personnel at the top of these new channels should be examined to make sure taxpayers are not inadvertently supporting the wrong people, who may simply be outwardly plausible. But it takes an Arabic-speaker to pick up, or to properly “place” through a whole series of delicate hints, someone. Native Americans just can’t do it; they lack the right antennae. They are innocents abroad, and when it comes to Islam and Muslims, they are innocents at home as well. Nice when it’s a story by Mark Twain, not so great when American lives depend on wariness and low cunning and high intelligence.