aljazeerah.info Opinion Editorials
Al-Jazeerah Editor Threatened
Media campaign against aljazeerah.us
April 17, 2003
The Editor of Al-Jazeerah.info has received life threats through emails and on his answering machine at home. The caller's accent identifies him as a person living in the same area. The Al-Jazeerah.info Editor reiterates that the goal of this website is promoting peace between the United States and the Arab and Muslim Worlds. As an American citizen, who loves his country and wants to see it peaceful and prosperous, he has contributed to that goal by initiating this website thinking that the right of free speech and expression is protected by people and authorities. However, these life threats together with the continuous hate mail have made freedom of expression impossible.
Some anti Al-Jazeerah.info materials in the media have contributed to the recent wave of intolerance and threats against Al-Jazeerah.info and its editor.
In particular, articles were written about Al-Jazeerah.info:
by Robert Stacy McCain, in the Washington Times (April 14, 2003),
by John M. Willis, in the Rome (Georgia) News Tribune (April 14, 2003),
by Karen Shugart, in the Chattanooga (Tennessee) Times Free Press (April 15, 2003),
and by Charles Oliver, in the Daily Citizen, in Dalton Georgia.
In addition, ABC affiliate Channel 9 TV aired a report about Al-Jazeerah.info, on April 14, 2003.
In all these materials, there was incitement against Al-Jazeerah.info. The life threat that was left in the Editor's home answering machine was recorded in the same morning that the Dalton Daily Citizen published its report with the instigative title, "Dalton Prof, Webmaster of anti-US site."
It is apparent that pro-war groups, including some media units, have zero tolerance to freedom of speech and expression in some parts of the United States, despite the fact that the debate about war was even called on by President Bush.
These conditions made me uncomfortable to continue the noble goal of promoting peace and cross-cultural understanding in the world. However, I promise Al-Jazeerah.info dear readers to resume the service as soon as I feel it is safe to do that again.
Finally, a word for those who send threats and hate mail just because they have different viewpoints. Their behavior is against any moral values, decent ethical standards, and democratic traditions. More important, this behavior is against what America stands for, particularly freedom of speech. They can express themselves decently without slander or bashing. The exchange of ideas should be as civilized as it can be. Threats, hate mail, and intimidation are not democratic and contradict with the basic human rights anywhere in the world, including the United States. May God send his light to their hearts so that His peace may spread on Earth.
Dr. Hassan A. El-Najjar
Editor of Al-Jazeerah.info
April 17, 2003
Dalton, GA, USA.
Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah's.