Qatar’s New Pearl: Al Jazeera America

by Michael Curtis

Al Jazeera every week airs its superstar, Muslim Brotherhood leader Yousuf al-Qaradawi, who is barred from entering the US and other Western countries. He has repeatedly called for the Muslim world to damage the U.S. economy by boycotting American products, as well as often rendering opinions such as, “Oh Allah, kill them [Jews] down to the very last one.” One can see why Qatar’s leadership would like to propagate “a Qatari sponsored narrative of events, and shape that narrative and how it is seen.” Most moving is to hear that Al Gore finds these opinions as “aligned with our point of view.”

Most disturbing about the sale of Al Gore and Joel Hyatt’s Current TV to Al Jazeera are the reported sanctimonious remarks about the character of the Current Network and the comparable frame of mind of Al Jazeera. Qatar’s leadership, according to Gulf analyst Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, would like to propagate “a Qatari sponsored narrative of events in the Middle East and elsewhere,” and be “able to shape that narrative and and how it is seen.” Al Jazeera regularly promotes its superstar, Muslim Brotherhood leader Yousuf al Qaradawi, who is barred from entering the US and other Western countries. He has for years said such things as : “The last punishment [against the Jews] was carried out by Hitler. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers,” and “Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them [Jews]. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one”. Given Al Jazeera’s record of backing the Islamist revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, one can see why Qatar’s leadership would “like to be able to shape that narrative and how it is seen.” Al-Qaradawi has also said, according to the peerless MEMRI.org, that Islam’s “conquest of Rome” will save Europe from its subjugation to materialism and promiscuity, and that Islam will return to Europe as a conquerer.

Al Jazeera has also, according to MEMRI, “continued to call for the Muslim world to to damage the U.S. economy by boycotting American products.” In justifying the sale, Gore apparently explained to the The Blaze: “the legacy of who the network goes to is important to us and we are sensitive to networks not aligned with out point of view.” His partner, Joel Hyatt, added: “Al-Jazeera was founded with the same goals we had for Current,” and that the Qatari network intends to “invest heavily” in new programming. Got it. Most moving is to hear that Al Gore finds these statements as “aligned with our point of view.”

In a withering article, Amin Farouk disposed of the benign view of the activity of the Doha network and chronicled its Islamist agenda. Others, apparently already aware of it, responded accordingly: Time Warner, the second-largest cable company in the U.S., immediately refused to carry either Current or Al Jazeera.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani 2Qatar, the country and the political system which founded and controls Al Jazeera, has been dominated by the al-Thani family for almost 150 years, and is now ruled by Sheikh Hamad bin Khaalifa al-Thani, an absolute monarch who deposed his father in 1995 to become Emir. In 1995, Emir al-Thani established The Qatar Foundation, currently headed by his second wife, Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, “to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world,” according to a report by MEMRI’s Steven Stalinsky. The Qatar Foundation’s “Education City”, which the Qatar Foundation calls its “flagship project,” brings students to Qatar from Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Northwestern, Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth and Cornell to meet leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Partners of the Qatar Foundation include, among others, institutions from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Mexico, and institutions such as Microsoft, Cisco, Conoco-Phillis, Exxon Mobil, Rolls-Royce, European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, Gartner Lee (Canada), as well as several additional universities in the U.S., Canada, Spain, France, and the U.K. Students who are U.S. citizens from American universities are eligible for federal student aid through the U.S. Department of Education, as well as scholarships “for prospective students” from the Qatar Foundation. In article in Texas A&M’s newspaper, April 24, 2009, the university’s assistant dean for Finance and Administration states, “Essentially all costs of A&M [at Education City] are covered by the Qatar Foundation” and suggests that “professors are given significant financial and U.S. Taxation incentives for working at A&M Qatar.”

Meanwhile, Al-Qaradawi, head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research and the International Council of Muslim Scholars, and who was voted number three on the list of the 100 Top Intellectuals worldwide by Foreign Policy magazine (July/August 2008), inaugurated the Islamic Studies program and also maintains a significant presence partly through the Al-Qaradawi Center for Research and Modern Thought, and the Sheikh Al-Qaradawi Scholarship program . Meanwhile, as he receives awards, he calls on television for boycotts of products from the U.S., for the “conquest of Rome,” and for another genocide against the Jews, this time at the hands of the Muslims.

Qatar was once a center of pearl fishing, as well as a British protectorate until 1971, when it became independent and refused to join the United Arab Emirates. Now it is one of the world’s richest countries, and its leader evidently wishes to to be influential. With a population of about 1.7 million, of whom only 300,000 are citizens, Qatar, which produces about 850,000 barrels of crude oil a day and has more than 15% of the world’s proven gas resources, and is one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Thanks to the increase in oil prices, its GDP is currently about $175 billion, and per capita income is $100,000 — the highest in the Arab world, and almost double that of the U.S.

Emir al-Thani has not been slow in exerting the role of his country in world economic and political affairs. The small land of pearl divers has now become a global energy power, and al-Thani appears an ambitious political leader, playing a major role in enflaming, steering and then resolving regional conflicts, as well as being an important investor in European economies. In October 2012, the Emir visited Gaza, where he and made a pledge of $400 million to the terrorist group Hamas. Qatar’s international role can only be enhanced by its selection to be the host of the 2022 FIFA world soccer competition, the first of any Middle East country.

Read more at Gatestone Institute
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Meet Al Jazeera’s Holocaust-Denying Televangelist…Is This What We Can Expect on the New Current TV?

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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.”

 Qaradawi 3Qaradawi’s Anti-Semitism

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