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memri
May 24, 2019 No.
8086

Al-Jazeera Holocaust Video Is No Exception – Qatari Media Constitute A Platform For Antisemitic Messages

Introduction

Recently, the Qatari Al-Jazeera Media Network apologized for an antisemitic video on the Holocaust that was released via Facebook and Twitter by network affiliate AJ+Arabic. The video questioned the number of Jewish Holocaust victims and added that Israel is the biggest "winner" from the Holocaust and that it uses Nazi justifications for annihilating the Palestinians.

View this clip on MEMRI TV here or below.

Following MEMRI's translation and release of the video, Al-Jazeera removed the video from the AJ+ social media accounts, suspended two journalists involved in its production, and stated that that the video "contravened its editorial standards." [1]  

However, MEMRI's ongoing monitoring of the Qatari media, and particularly of the Al-Jazeera network, reveals that the release of the antisemitic video by AJ+ is no exception. For years, Qatar's media have served as a platform for the dissemination of antisemitic and Holocaust denial content. Particularly noticeable are extreme antisemitic statements uttered over the years by Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi, founder and, until recently, head of the Qatar-backed International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS). Al-Qaradawi, who is considered the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, is known for praising jihad and martyrdom operations, as well as for antisemitic statements. Born in Egypt, he found asylum and a base for operating in Qatar – where he enjoys the protection and sponsorship of current Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamid Aal Thani and before that of his father, Sheikh Hamid bin Khalifa Aal Thani, who stepped down as emir in 2013 – whereas Western countries, including the U.S., the U.K., and France, have banned him from entering their territory due to his extremist views.

In a January 2009speech, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV, Al-Qaradawi called for a second Holocaust, saying, "Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers" – i.e. the Muslims. Less than two weeks ago, the Qatari government daily Al-Arab published a Ramadan religious lesson by Al-Qaradawi in which he stated that the Jews had opposed Muhammad and therefore Allah cursed them and turned them into apes and pigs.


Al-Qaradawi as guest of honor of the Qatari Emir (Source: Al-Jazeera TV, May 13, 2019)

A few days after AJ+ released the Holocaust video, Al-Qaradawi's successor as IUMS head, Dr. Ahmed Al-Raissouni, wrote an article asserting that questioning the Holocaust is not just a right but an obligation.The article was posted on the website of the Qatar-sponsored IUMS, as well as on Al-Raissouni's personal website and Facebook page. Previously, Al-Raissouni had stated, in an Al-Jazeera TV interview, that the IUMS is proud to have had Qatar's support from the time of its establishment in 2004.

Antisemitic statements were also heard at a July 2007 event in honor of Al-Qaradawi, aired on Al-Jazeera.  They were uttered by then-Hamas political bureau head Khaled Mash'al, who has also found asylum in Qatar's capital Doha.

These statements by Al-Qaradawi and his supporters are only some of the antisemitic content disseminated in the Qatari media, particularly by the Al-Jazeera network. Furthermore, in the past year there has been frequent repetition of Holocaust-denial messages in the Qatari media – especially messages like those in the AJ+ video alleging that the Jews are inflating the Nazis' deeds against them and are leveraging the events of the Holocaust to extort Germany and the entire West.

This report will review some of the antisemitic statements regularly found in Qatari media:

Al-Qaradawi On Al-Jazeera: The Holocaust Was "Divine Punishment" For The Jews; "Allah Willing, The Next Time Will Be At The Hand Of The Believers"

For many years, as noted, Qatar has been sponsoring Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi, IUMS founder and longtime head and spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Qaradawi, who appears regularly on Qatari media, makes frequent antisemitic statements. In January 2009, on Al-Jazeera TV, he even called for a second Holocaust against the Jews, to be carried out by the Muslims:  

"Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers."

View this clip on MEMRI TV here  or below

Al-Qaradawi's Ramadan Religious Lesson In Qatari Government Daily: The Jews Opposed Muhammad, Therefore Allah Cursed Them And Turned Them Into Apes And Pigs

On May 14, 2019 the Qatari government daily Al-Arab published a Quran lesson by Al-Qaradawi focusing on the concluding verses of the first Surah of the Quran, Al-Fatiha (The Opening),  which state: "Guide us to the straight path – the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not [the path] of those who have evoked [Your] anger or [the path] of those who are astray" (Quran 1:7). Al-Qaradawi reiterated the common interpretation of this verse, i.e. that "those upon whom You have bestowed favor" refers to the Muslims, while "those who have evoked [Your] anger" refers to the Jews. He also quoted Quran 5:60, in which Allah turned the Jews into apes and pigs. (See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 8079, Ramadan Religious Lesson By Muslim Brotherhood Spiritual Leader Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi, Published By Qatari Government Daily: The Jews Opposed Muhammad, Therefore Allah Cursed Them And Turned Them Into Apes And Pigs.)

 

Qatari Emir Honors Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, Other Dignitaries At Ramadan Iftar Banquet

On May 13, 2019, Qatar TV reported on a Ramadan banquet held by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Aal Thani. The banquet was attended by many dignitaries and Islamic scholars, including Al-Qaradhawi.

 

View this clip on MEMRI TV here or below:

IUMS Director Following Uproar Resulting From MEMRI's Translation And Exposure Of Al-Jazeera Antisemitic Holocaust Video: Questioning The Holocaust Is Not Only A Right But An Obligation

Several days after MEMRI translated and exposed the AJ+ Holocaust video and the subsequent worldwide media coverage, IUMS head Dr. Ahmed Al-Raissouni posted an article titled "Why It Is Necessary to Question the Holocaust" on the IUMS website and on his personal website and Facebook page. In it, he claimed that the Holocaust has acquired an "exaggerated halo" and that questioning its veracity and scope is not only a right but an obligation. Listing 10 reasons why it is necessary to question the Holocaust, he wrote, for example, that the Holocaust narrative, "fabricated by the Zionist movement," consists of claims that are "politically slanted and questionable" and many of which cannot be verified. Moreover, this narrative has been sanctified and forced on the world, to the extent that "anyone who dares to think independently about it or about any of its fake details or figures" is subjected to slander, intimidation and exclusion. He called to subject the issue of the Holocaust to scientific scrutiny, free of all exploitation, threats and intimidation.[2]  

It should be noted that the IUMS, which was founded by Sheikh Youssuf Al-Qaradawi and headed by him until Al-Raissouni succeeded him last November, is supported by Qatar and Turkey. In an interview he gave on Al-Jazeera shortly after he replaced Al-Qaradawi as the head of the IUMS, Al-Raissouni revealed that Qatar has supported the organization since its inception and that Turkey now funds it as well, and added: "There is nothing wrong with that and we don't hide it. On the contrary, we are proud of it and we urge all the countries to follow in the footsteps of those two."[3] (See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 8083, Dr. Ahmed Al-Raissouni, Head Of The International Union Of Muslim Scholars Which Was Founded By Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi In Dublin: Questioning The Holocaust Is Not Just A Right But An Obligation, May 23, 2019)


   

Al-Raissouni's article on his personal website (source: raissouni.net, May 22, 2019)

Then-Hamas Political Bureau Head Khaled Mash'al At Event In Honor Of Al-Qaradawi: Holocaust Was Exaggerated And Is Used To Extort Germany; Zionist Holocaust Against Arabs Much Worse"

On July 16, 2007, Al-Jazeera TV broadcast an event honoring Al-Qaradawi. During the event, then-Hamas political bureau head Khaled Mash'al, who is also protected and supported by Qatar, stated that the Jews were extorting Germany for the Nazis' deeds, and that the Holocaust that he claimed the Zionists were perpetrating against the Palestinians was much worse than the one against the Jews in World War II.

Mash'al said: "I want to make it clear to the West and to the German people, which is still being blackmailed because of what Nazism did to the Zionists, or to the Jews. I say that what Israel did to the Palestinian people is many times worse than what Nazism did to the Jews, and there is exaggeration, which has become obsolete, regarding the issue of the Holocaust. We do not deny the facts, but we will not give in to extortion by exaggeration. As for the Zionist holocaust against the Palestinian people, and against the peoples of the Arab and Islamic nation – this is a holocaust that is being perpetrated in broad daylight, with the coverage of the media of globalization. Nobody can deny it or claim that it is being exaggerated."

It should be noted that Al-Qaradawi, who was seated next to Mash'al at this event, also spoke, saying that he supported Hamas and its martyrdom operations – that is, suicide bombings.

View this clip on MEMRI TV here or below:

April 2019 Article In Qatari Daily: The Jews Used The Alleged Holocaust To Blackmail The West

An article presenting statements similar to those in the AJ+ video was published one month earlier, on May 30, in the daily Al-Raya. The article, by Jordanian journalist Ahmad Dhiban, stated: "The Zionist movement managed to establish the 'Holocaust culture' in Western political ethics, and morally forced it on the European societies. According to assessments, Germany has paid Israel and the Jews in European countries some $100 billion since the end of World War II, as compensation for the 'victims' of the alleged Nazi Holocaust!...

"The Arab Jews were not subjected to collective deportment which could be described as 'forced expulsion.'[They] did not live in refugee camps like Palestinians, but left of their own accord or because of isolated incidents that occurred in response to the Palestinian disaster. But, after the establishment of Israel, the Zionist movement made intensive efforts to incite and tempt them to come there, in order to frighten them [as part of a campaign] titled 'Return to the Promised Land.' It even went so far as to perpetrate several acts of violence and bombings of Jewish sites, such as those which took place in Iraq in 1951.[4]

"Just as the Israelis blackmailed Germany and Europe, they have also established organizations to demand compensation from Arab countries for alleged assets of the Arab Jews who had been 'expelled.' The most famous of these organizations is Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC), which operates globally and especially in the U.S. to obtain compensation for the Jews who emigrated from the Arab countries...

"The present period of Arab decline provides Israel with a golden opportunity to reap additional benefits. The question is: Will Israel manage to market this lie and describe it as another 'holocaust,' just as it managed to use the specter of the '[Nazi] Holocaust' to blackmail the West and obtain huge sums of money, as well as unlimited military, political and economic aid?"[5]

 

[2] Iumsonline.org, raissouni.net, May 22, 2019.

[4] The reference is to a series of attacks on Jewish targets that took place in Baghdad in 1951 and was attributed to the Zionist movement, which allegedly perpetrated them in order to encourage the Jews of Iraq to emigrate to Israel.

[5] Al-Raya (Qatar), April 30, 2019.