One of the few Islamic world-based media firms to have successfully and broadly penetrated the western public’s information consumption, Al Jazeera is truly a strange case.
Based out of the Arab nation of Qatar, Al Jazeera is quite literally a state-run media company, with their funding and operations under the thumb of the totalitarian hardline Islamic regime that dominates the small Saudi neighbor.
Despite this paper trail that leads directly to one of the more repressive regimes on the planet that is proudly dedicated to a legal system defined by draconian Sharia law, Al Jazeera has found relative popularity amongst westerners, particularly the left.
With the state-funded conglomerate often harping on such things as American diplomacy and Israel’s existence, this perhaps comes as no surprise as increasingly fanatical leftist sects bring more and more questionable views to the table. A prime example being US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s constant anti-Semitism.
But as this radicalization in their audience emboldens Al-Jazeera to run increasingly controversial pieces, at some point the Islamic fundamentalist regime that controls them is bound to bleed through; and this past Friday it did so with a vengeance.
Reports on Monday affirmed that Al Jazeera has suspended two journalists over a video they produced that denied the facts of the Holocaust.
The Qatari state-funded broadcaster had published the video on its online AJ+ video service in Arabic. Of course, those of us who aren’t puppets of an Islamist dictatorship are well aware that during World War Two, six million Jewish people were systematically exterminated on a deliberate industrial scale by the Nazis.
Al Jazeera’s video, which they’re now attempting to keep under wraps, said this number had been exaggerated and “adopted by the Zionist movement,” and that Israel is the “biggest winner” from the genocide… delightful totally rational stuff…
Al Jazeera is Deliberately Two-faced
Here’s the deal; very few people know about – and perhaps why some semblance of mercy might be shown to those who support the media outlet: Al Jazeera actually runs two extremely different outlets while pretending to be one cohesive media entity.
Stories that are generally palatable for people in the west – or should I say are designed to appeal to them – are featured on Al Jazeera English and as one might expect are broadcasted in that language.
Stories that the Qatari regime (because really, they’re one and the same with AJ) would rather not have its captive western viewers see, like pro-sharia, pro-Iran, or antisemitic content, is generally solely published on their core program Al Jazeera Arabic (known as AJA) in only that language and only targeted towards Islamic audiences. Simple, but exceedingly clever.
Amira Fathalla, a BBC Monitoring analyst, expands on this troubling dichotomy between the Islamist state-run media company’s western focused English programming and what they publish for their core Arabic audiences.
“Al Jazeera English is known to audiences worldwide for its varied coverage, which often sheds light on underreported stories.
But its reporting – which only occasionally hints at the affiliations of its Qatari owners – comes in stark contrast to Al Jazeera Arabic. AJA’s obvious stance on key regional crises and rivalries heavily colours its output.
Its friendly coverage of Islamist groups – particularly favouring those aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood – came to the fore particularly with the 2011 uprisings in the region.
Some of its correspondents have adopted a still harder line. In 2015, prominent anchor Ahmed Mansour offered a sympathetic account of the activities of al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate in a lengthy interview with its leader.
Since a major rift between Gulf states erupted in 2017, AJA’s coverage has also shifted closer to Iran.”
A Fundamentalist Regime in Media’s Clothing
With this information in tow, it should come as little surprise that Al Jazeera Arabic is where the extremely problematic video was posted; in solely Arabic as is customary. Equally unsurprisingly the video was never featured on Al Jazeera English.
In fact, the recent video that drew such massive criticism – even from some of Al Jazeera’s own journalists – was only exposed to the global public thanks to the US-based non-profit Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which tweeted an English translation that the hateful message might be condemned.
When finally called out on it once the translation became viral, Al Jazeera pulled the video down and allegedly suspended two employees; note the ‘allegedly.’
Of course, like any good puppet of a totalitarian regime… err I mean media company the Qataris have been busy putting their conglomerate to work scrubbing any evidence of the video off social media. Al Jazeera has even apparently invoked copyright complaints in order to get Twitter to help them clear their slate online. Luckily watchdogs at MEMRI were able to publish a copy on their own site, providing lasting evidence of these wrongs.
In conclusion, should you ever find yourself being talked down upon by a faux intellectual convinced they’ve become ‘woke’ thanks to reading a non-western outlet like Al-Jazeera, feel free to remind them they’re in fact being spoon fed selective propaganda by a totalitarian regime that stones women to death.
How very progressive…