Al Jazeera Wants You to Hate Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving dinner
Thanksgiving dinner (Photo: John Moore / Getty Images)

Every year Thanksgiving is used as an opportunity by factions on the left to discuss some of the crimes and massacres perpetrated by the early founders of America. This year is no exception. To take just one example, Belen Fernandez of Al Jazeera ran with the headline “Thanksgiving: The Annual Genocide Whitewash.”

So why would Al Jazeera have a vested interest in making Americans feel bad about being American?

Al Jazeera is the state owned media outlet of Qatar. Qatar is an absolute monarchy, whose leaders fund terrorists and harbor the Muslim Brotherhood. This is the network that did an interview with Osama bin Laden in October 2001.

Hamas, a terrorist group pledged to wipe out Jews in Israel, which has carried out hundreds of suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks was based in Doha, Qatar’s capital for years. Only this summer were top Hamas leaders asked to leave the country. Even so, ties still remain between Qatar and Hamas.Qatar is planning to pay for the construction of a new HQ for the Palestinian Authority in Gaza.

Even fellow Arab nations Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have turned on Qatar. Earlier this year they imposed a blockade, fed up of Qatar’s support for terrorists. This week they denounced Qatar’s International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) and the International Islamic Council (IIC) as “terrorist organizations that promote terrorism by using Islamic rhetoric as a cover to facilitate terrorist activities.”

Nor does Qatar seem to care about the appalling human rights abuses taking place on its own soil. An estimated 4,000 migrant workers (slaves, basically) will die in constructing the stadiums for the 2020 world cup, toiling in the blazing sun in abysmal conditions. 

It is impossible to separate Al Jazeera’s editorial line from its funding base. It exists to advance the interests of the Qatari monarchy.

That doesn’t mean every journalist working there is a Qatari shill or that they don’t sometimes produce good content that is worth reading and sharing. The truth is the truth, no matter what the source is. It is dishonest to dismiss a true message just because one doesn’t like the messenger. At Clarion we cite Al Jazeera regularly and believe the facts they report are on the whole true. But because of Al Jazeera’s agenda you should think critically about why the Qatari government might have a vested interest in undermining American self confidence by pointing out the flaws in America’s past, while remaining curiously silent about the rampant abuses taking place in Qatar today.

With that knowledge in mind it is worth further investigating stories they publish to find out what facts they might be leaving out. 

It is vitally important to think critically about one’s national history and to seek to learn lessons from what went right and what went wrong. One of the things that makes America great is the presence of a free press that actively encourages that sort of dialogue.

This Thanksgiving, be grateful that you live in a country where you can have that discussion openly and freely. Where you have access to the tools that will help you double check article from a source you think is biased. And be grateful that you don’t live in a Gulf monarchy, where deviation from what the King wants can get you killed.

 

RELATED STORIES

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Gulf States Tighten Screws on Qatar for Brotherhood Support

Saudis Threaten Qatar Over Muslim Brotherhood Support

 

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Elliot Friedland
Elliot Friedland is a research fellow at Clarion Project.