Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding

Opinion Editorials, March 2011


Al-Jazeerah History


Mission & Name  

Conflict Terminology  


Gaza Holocaust  

Gulf War  




News Photos  

Opinion Editorials

US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)




A Salute for Al-Jazeera TV for its Stance Against Arab Dictators

By Khalid Amayreh

PIC, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, March 21, 2011

There is no doubt that Muammar Qaddafi and his barbarian henchmen stand behind the cowardly murder of Al-Jazeera TV cameramen Ali Hasan Jaber.  Jaber was brutally killed on Saturday, 12 March, in a treacherous ambush near the Libyan City of Benghazi, apparently at the hands of masked gunmen believed to be working for Colonel Qaddafi.
The Libyan tyrant and his propaganda outlets have been waging a frantic campaign of incitement against Al-Jazeera TV, accusing the pan-Arab network of disseminating "lies" about the popular revolution against his tyrannical rule.
Qaddafi's forces, which included mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa, former Eastern Block countries and probably some Arab states as well, have been carrying out wanton killings of Libyan protesters demanding the end of Qaddafi's rule.
Al-Jazeera TV interviewed many of the eyewitnesses to the killings who described, often in graphic details, atrocities committed by Qaddafi's men and mercenaries.
The popular station also showed footage of atrocities that perfectly fit for the legal definition of war crimes.  For example, soldiers in uniform, who have been summarily executed by Qaddafi's mercenaries, were shown on al-Jazeera TV screens, along with civilians who had been killed or maimed.
Predictably, this infuriated Qaddafi, prompting him  to  instruct his operatives to "liquidate" the "rodents" and "al-Qaeda agents."
Among other things, Qaddafi called al-Jazeera TV "contemptible," and "agent for Israel and Zionism." Needless to say, the unrelenting instigation against al-Jazeera amounted to a call for murder. Hence, the murder of Ali Hasan Jaber at the hands of Qaddafi's mercenaries can't really be divorced from the venomous campaign of incitement against the Arab world's most popular TV network.
There should be little or no doubt as to Qaddafi's complicity and culpability in the murder of the Qatari cameramen. After all, a man who has shown no qualms about slaughtering his own people in order to remain in power is unlikely to show any compunction about murdering media operatives he considers responsible for inciting the Libyan people to revolt against his 42-year tyranny.
In the final analysis, we are talking about a despicable mass murderer, a certified war criminal of Ariel Sharon's or Radovan Karadzic's ilk whose proper place should be at the Hague's court of justice to stand trial for the thousands of innocent Libyans he has already killed and the many more Libyans he is likely to kill before he is liquidated or captured.
As a professional journalist who had worked for al-Jazeera, I can attest to the professionalism and integrity of al-Al-Jazeera's Arabic service. Having enjoyed a great margin of press freedom, probably like nowhere else in the Arab world, al-Jazeera can be said to be the most objective media outlet in the Middle East. Even the "celebrated" Israeli media seem to lag behind al-Jazeera in terms of honesty, objectivity and audacity to "call the spade a spade."
True, al-Jazeera is not the ultimate embodiment of  libertarian media , but in  light of existing media standards, especially western standards, there is no doubt that al-Jazeera is the best or at least one of the best.
More important, the Qatar-based network has played a key role in galvanizing and mobilizing the masses in both Egypt and Tunis to rise up against the decadent, corrupt and immensely despotic regimes of Zeinulabdeen Bin Ali and Hosni Mubarak.
This was done without abandoning or relaxing   the standards of objectivity and honesty. The station simply kept transmitting live the protests that led eventually to the collapse of the Tunisian and Egyptian dictators. The live and extended transmission of these revolutions, watched by hundreds of millions of people around the world, may have scared off the regimes and made them think twice before applying repressive measures on a wide scale against demonstrators and protestors demanding liberty. 
This sustained and real-time coverage of Arab revolutions is certainly a valuable asset for al-Jazeera for which the station deserves a big salute from all of us.
There is no doubt that the cause of freedom and democracy in the Arab world is heavily indebted to al-Jazeera.  Indeed, the fact that al-Jazeera has incurred the wrath of thugs like Qaddafi should be sufficient to exonerate the network of all concocted insinuations and innuendoes.
In light, it is no wonder that we have seen multitudes of people in Yemen, Libya and other places shout slogans such as "birroh, biddam, nafdeeki ya Jazeera" or "we sacrifice body and soul for al-Jazeera."
A final note regarding al-Jazeera's revolutionary role in encouraging and fostering democracy in the Arab world.
The frantic and crass hostility toward the station by the Libyan dictator is only one dramatic example of the overall hostility various Arab regimes harbor for the network. Indeed, Al-Jazeera TV has been banned for prolonged periods of time or permanently by most Arab countries, including   Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, Mubarak's Egypt, Bin Ali's Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, and the Palestinian Authority.
Well, doesn't that tell you something?




Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah & &