By Tiffany Gabbay
By now many have heard about Al Jazera’s recent acquisition of Current TV, Al Gore’s floundering television network that has, since its inception in 2005, displayed not only abysmal ratings but also blatant anti-Israel and anti-U.S. bias.
Ironically, The Blaze sought to purchase Current, but was rebuffed by its executives who stated that they could not in good conscience sell out to a network whose point of view was not aligned with theirs. Thus, the only reasonable step for Gore and company was to seal a multi-million dollar deal with Al Jazeera, because, according to Current co-founder Joel Hyatt, the Qatar-based network “was founded with the same goals we had for Current.”
So what, exactly, are those shared goals and values? And what might a revamped Al Jazeera-led lineup at the new (and likely not so improved) Current TV look like?
A glimpse at Al Jazeera’s highest-rated program to date might give us an inkling into what lies ahead and it is cringe-inducing (though not surprising) to say the least.
Current: Meet Muslim Brotherhood spiritual sherpa and Al Jazeera’s top performing Islamic televangelist Youssef al-Qaradawi, best known for repeatedly twisting the Holocaust into a mold that suits his Islamic agenda and for declaring that his greatest hope is simply to live long enough to “shoot dead Allah’s enemies, the Jews.” The prolific imam has also issued hundreds of fatwas on everything from homosexuality to music to the role of female suicide bombers in their noble pursuit of jihad.
In light of Hyatt’s disturbing statement concerning his network’s shared goals with Al Jazeera, it is perhaps prudent to review the latter’s star talent, who has graced the homes of some 60 million viewers for the past 15 years with his weekly program ”Shariah and Life.”
Returning to Qaradawi’s long-harbored desire to live long enough so that Allah might grant him the singular opportunity of personally slaying Jewish people, the imam stated during a televised speech:
“I’d like to say that the only thing I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of Jihad and resistance, even if in a wheelchair. I will shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Allah’s mercy and blessings upon you.”
According to Qaradawi, for their inherent ”evil,” Allah imposed upon the Jews a series of “punishments,” the last one led by Adolf Hitler “by means of all the things he did to them.”
“He [Hitler] managed to put them in their place.”
“This [the Holocaust] was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers,” Qaradawi stated proudly during a televised broadcast in 2009.
The imam openly praised the fuhrer for teaching the Jews “a divine lesson” while in the same breath minimizing the Holocaust by saying that the Jewish people have “exaggerated the issue.”
So, the imam uses the Shoah in a way that suits him, in a way that furthers his agenda, while at the same time denying the true extent of the carnage lest he engender any “undue” sympathy for the Jewish people.
Anti-Semitic diatribes such as the one featured above are just a small taste of what Qaradawi has offered on his weekly Sunday broadcasts.
So who is Qaradawi?
According to lore, Qaradawi is no ordinary imam or mufti, having allegedly memorized the entire Quran by age 10. He was born in Egypt in 1926, graduated from Al Azhar University in Cairo and by 1942 joined the Muslim Brotherhood, the grandfather of all major militant Islamic groups including Hamas, Hezbollah and al Qaeda.
The imam was arrested several times for the activities he carried out while with the Brotherhood and subsequently fled to Qatar in 1961, where he still resides. He has become the preeminent Muslim (or at least Sunni) “authority” on all things Islam, covering a range of topics from “mother’s milk banks” to the right of every Palestinian woman to offer herself up as a suicide-bombing martyr.
Qaradawi and the Muslim Brotherhood
Qaradawi’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood stem back to his days as a student at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, where he met Brotherhood-founder (and not coincidentally, Hitler admirer) Hassan al-Banna. Banna was perhaps the first to offer Qaradawi a glimpse into alternative views on the handling of societies ills and “perversions.”
Despite living in exile in Qatar — something that is more than likely to change now that his progeny,
Mohammed Morsi is at the helm in Egypt — Qaradawi has the Brotherhood leader’s ear, acting as his key spiritual adviser. While the imam turned down an official position with the Brotherhood, allegedly because he felt his true calling was to evangelize Islam, he still greatly influences the grandfather of all jihadist groups to this day, and in no small way.
Consider that as recently as 2010 Morsi viciously referred to Israeli Jews as “blood-suckers” and ”descendants of apes and pigs,” invoking age-old anti-Semitic slurs. Here, we see Hitler’s influence via al Banna and later, Qaradawi, weaving its web of hate and vitriol over today’s Islamic leaders.
Morsi called on Muslims “outside Palestine” to “support the resistance fighters and besiege the Zionist wherever they are.”
“None of the Arab or Muslim peoples and regimes should have dealings with them,” the Egyptian president went on to state. “Pressure should be exerted upon them. They must not be given any opportunity, and must not stand on any Arab or Islamic land. They must be driven out of our countries.”
So how does Qaradawi’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood relate to Al Jazeera and now by default, Current TV? According to David Reaboi, vice president for strategic communications at the Center for Security Policy, both network’s programing have shown some rather specific parallels concerning the Muslim Brotherhood from as early as the onset of the Arab Spring. In a statement to TheBlaze, Reaboi, noted that both Current and Al Jazeera, “presented the Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover in Egypt as a democratic revolution.”
“Both networks pushed provably false narratives about the future of Egypt’s ‘democracy,’ it’s ideological makeup, and demonized those that correctly assessed the situation,” he continued.
“Qaradawi’s role in mobilizing public and nation-state support for the Islamic ascendancy, from Tunisia through Egypt, Libya, Syria and beyond, cannot be overstated. When Qaradawi declared Gadhafi and Assad ‘unIslamic,’ it was not just his estimated 60 million viewers that got the message.”
Reaboi added that Qaradawi’s fatwa indeed helped inform the Obama administration in its calculation about views from the “Arab Street” on such issues. Thus, the imam’s influence is indeed far-reaching and has the power to effect change in a negative way.
Read more at the Blaze