New York Times Shills for Al Jazeera

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The Al Jazeera newsroom
The Al Jazeera newsroom (Photo: KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images)

The New York Times has become the new mouthpiece for Al Jazeera, the Qatari state-owned media outlet which the monarchy uses to spew its extremism.

In an opinion piece written by the editorial board of the Times, the prestigious newspaper objects to attempts by six Gulf States — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen – to “muzzle … the state-funded news station.”

The demand — among 12 other ultimata issued by the Gulf States – is due to Qatar’s support of terrorism and Al Jazeera’s role in that project.

Over the past decades, Qatar has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the U.S.-designated terror organization Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s affiliate in Gaza. In March, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal unveiled the new Hamas Charter in the Sheraton Hotel in Doha. As recently as February, Qatar sent $100 million to Gaza, as part of a $1-billion package they promised the terrorist-run entity after starting its latest war with Israel.

It is well-known that money sent to Hamas, ostensibly ear-marked for rebuilding the war zone, ends up being used to fund terror.

And Hamas is not the only beneficiary of Qatar’s terror largesse. The country has been called the “Club Med” of terror funding and the “most two-faced nation in the world” for its part in global terror financing.

Al Jazeera serves as the international voice of the Qatari government. For example, the network provided much of the impetus and support for the Muslim Brotherhood hijacking of the Arab Spring in Egypt in 2011. During the tenure of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (from the Brotherhood’s political party), Al Jazeera provided the former leader with an international platform.

Immediately following the coup that deposed Morsi (after his gross violations of power and human rights), 22 journalists working for Al Jazeera in Egypt resigned after being told by their Qatari bosses to support the Muslim Brotherhood.

One former Al Jazeera employee in Egypt, Mohammed Fahmy, who served jail time in Egypt on terrorism charges for working for the Qatari station, is now suing his former employers.

“The more the network coordinates and takes directions from the government, the more it becomes a mouthpiece for Qatari intelligence,” Fahmy said in an interview with Bloomberg.com. “There are many channels who are biased, but this is past bias. Now Al-Jazeera is a voice for terrorists.”

You can read Clarion Project’s interview with Mohammed Fahmy here.

The Muslim Brotherhood is correctly regarded, along with Pakistan’s Jamaat e-Islami, as the grandfather of modern Islamism. Abdullah Azzam, a Brotherhood member, was the mentor of Osama bin Laden. Milestones, a book written by Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb, has become a foundational textbook for the jihadi movement.

The Times laments that the campaign against Al Jazeera is drive against free speech in the region. Still, in what might be regarded as a bizarre showing of journalistic integrity, the newspaper notes not only that the network is state-funded, but that, “Critical reporting on Qatar or members of Qatar’s royal family is not tolerated [on the station].”

Yet otherwise, the Times pronounces that “much of the rest of [Al Jazeera] reporting hews to international journalistic standards, provides a unique view on events in the Middle East and serves as a vital news source for millions who live under antidemocratic rule.”

Besides their biased and anti-semitic postings, perhaps the Times missed Al Jazeera’s hosting of an on air birthday party for Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar.

In 1979, Kuntar headed a group of four terrorists who infiltrated Israel, killed a policeman, broke into an apartment, shot a man to death and murdered his daughter by smashing her skull against a rock. Kuntar was released in 2008 in a prisoner swap for coffins containing the remains of two Israel soldiers killed by Hezbollah (Israel was not told ahead of time that the soldiers were dead).

To the sound of festive music, Al Jazeera presented Kuntar with a huge scimitar to slice the cake on which was printed a picture of Kuntar with various terrorists, including Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

Watch below  Al Jazeera’s birthday party to celebrate Kuntar’s release.

(After Israel threatened to boycott the network, Al Jazeera issued an apology, saying “elements of the program … violated [the station’s Code of Ethics.”)

It is an unfortunate occurrence in our politically correct world that our moral barometer must so often be that of Hitler and his Nazi party. Yet, in this case, we must ask if, during World War II, the Nazis had used a media arm controlled by Hilter to broadcast their message, would The New York Times have defended it as free speech and “providing a unique view” on Germany? Would the Times have said that, with the exception that criticism of Hitler wasn’t allowed on the channel, that the station hewed to “international journalistic standards?”

Or sadly, are we meant to infer from the Times’ defense of Al Jazeera’s “journalistic standards” that those are the same standards to which the Times adheres?

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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