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November 8, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9630

Iraqi Writer: Al-Jazeera 25th Anniversary Not An Achievement To Be Celebrated But A Source Of Shame

November 8, 2021
Iraq, Qatar | Special Dispatch No. 9630

Ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Qatari Al-Jazeera media network, Iraqi journalist 'Ali Al-Sarraf wrote an article in which he harshly criticizes the network and its founder, Qatar's former emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Aal Thani, the father of the present emir, Tamim bin Hamad Aal Thani. The article, published in the London-based Emirati daily Al-Arab, claims that Al-Jazeera was established as a tool for realizing Sheikh Hamad's plan to topple the Arab countries and turn the region into an theater of war and struggle. It adds that Al-Jazeera, which has become a mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood, is not a news platform but a provocative platform aimed at creating chaos, in the service of the Qatari plan of sowing destruction in the region. The peoples of the region, it says, are still counting the victims of the futile wars  fanned by Al-Jazeera, and therefore its anniversary should not be celebrated but forgotten.


Former Qatari emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Aal Thani addressing the event marking the 25th anniversary of Al-Jazeera's founding (Source: Aljazeera.net, November 1, 2021)

The following are translated excerpts from Al-Sarraf's article:[1]

"What does one do when one has experienced a painful, hurtful and violent incident one cannot overcome? Allah has given one the ability to forget. That is the best thing to do in the case of the Al-Jazeera channel, whose establishment 25 years ago was [recently] celebrated by the previous Qatari emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Aal Thani. Celebrating the anniversary [of the channel's founding], he presented it as a miracle of liberation and as a platform for sacrifice and for martyrs, and defended it as a media project that meets [difficult] challenges.

"On the face of it, Al-Jazeera is indeed a media project, but it is also a political project. Describing it as a new platform just takes advantage of people's inattention. For those burned by its fire, [Sheikh Hamad's statements] do nothing but open up their wounds and pour some more salt on them.

"One of the wounds is that Sheikh Hamad wanted Al-Jazeera to be the face of his special plan to tear the countries of the region to pieces and turn them into hotspots of civil war and tribal, religious and political struggles of every kind. When this shameful plan was exposed, he was compelled to give up the throne. But Al-Jazeera never stopped its actions, and its plan remained unchanged.

"Al-Jazeera has fulfilled its purpose of serving as a tool for tearing [countries apart] and sowing destruction and chaos, and that is what encouraged Sheikh Hamad to return from the world of shame and celebrate the goals achieved.

"Naturally, some will say that these claims are just slander against Al-Jazeera and Qatar, but that is nonsense. No discerning person can ignore the fact that we are still paying the price [of Al-Jazeera's conduct], in the collapse of political [regimes] that could have been prevented, and in unnecessary civil strife. Because, in addition to this 'media project' [i.e., Al-Jazeera], Qatar also funded extremist parties, terror organizations and political chaos, [creating] victims and economic harm…

"Al-Jazeera cannot be distinguished from the destructive plans led by Sheikh Hamad, and I think that he will not escape being held accountable for this, nor will his Al-Jazeera [channel]. The victims who died in the civil war funded by Qatar in Syria, the destruction it encouraged in Egypt, the failed [Muslim Brotherhood] regime it applauded in Tunisia and the destruction and division still prevailing in Libya – all these were part of Qatar's plan, and Al-Jazeera became the media platform for [this plan]. So there is a price to pay, and those who implemented [this plan] must be held to account as the war criminals who nurtured the propaganda that fed the plan to tear [the region] apart and serve the goals that many researchers have exposed…

"The question is not whether these claims do an injustice to Qatar and Al-Jazeera. The question is why is Qatar is perpetrating this injustice against us? What have we ever done? What did Libya ever do to Qatar, to become a victim of plans by terror organizations and political gangs? What did Syria ever do to Qatar, to deserve having Qatar's [former] foreign minister, Sheikh Hamad [bin Jassem], pledge $100 million to terror organizations so they would topple Syria but not the Bashar Al-Assad regime[?] What did we ever do to Qatar, to make it invest its money in pushing a country of Egypt's magnitude to the brink of the abyss[?]… 

"It's true that Al-Jazeera has said out loud what was previously uttered [only] in secret. But is there any fool in the world that fails to realize that it did not do this to air out dirty laundry but in order to defend its dirty plan[?] It is a good thing to debate, air out differences and controversies, and expose flaws and silence over flaws. But that is only half of the equation. The second half is [the question] of why we debate, and [the answer] will reveal whether Al-Jazeera is a golden treasure or sewage-soaked wood.

"The only thing behind Al-Jazeera's false professionalism is that it made noise in a silent environment. It is like a child who lived in a house where nobody ever spoke [out loud] but only whispered, who eventually exploded and began  hollering, cursing, smashing furniture and hitting the guests with shoes. [But] is that really [presenting] an opinion and counter-opinion? Or is it just an attempt to use crudity and rudeness as a means of sparking a titillating debate?

 "Is it surprising that such debates are titillating? Anything unusual is titillating, and the desire to titillate  inevitably led to mutual shoe-throwing. Why? Because when shallow people exchange blows it always comes to this. What kind of dialogue is it when Al-Jazeera brings some feeble journalist to defend Saudi Arabia and confronts him with a firm journalist who was allowed to prepare his ammunition [in advance]?...

"Al-Jazeera's philosophy is to challenge, destroy, curse, and make the coexistence of different ideas impossible – and all in order to feed the idea of ruin, murder, anarchy and complete disagreement. This has nothing to do with democracy. 

"Democracy is a program of coexistence and construction, a plan for finding common ground [among] opinions and counter-opinions, not for invective and curses between [the proponents] of different opinions. Nor is democracy a plan for wars on satellite [tv] that become deadly wars on the ground. It is a joint plan for attaining rational goals, not an aimless Byzantine struggle.

"Al-Jazeera was created to do everything it has done and then to serve as an element that deliberately causes chaos and serves as a platform for struggles and a representative of futile arguments.

"It did not take long to discover that Al-Jazeera had become an official platform for the Muslim Brotherhood. It is this mafia gang that served as the 'spiritual guide' who led us to division and disintegration… and ensured that struggles would turn into civil wars in every home and between all neighbors.

"Qatar defended Al-Jazeera's role, because the plan of destruction became its one and only plan, so much so that it became difficult to tell if Qatar was Al-Jazeera or Al-Jazeera was Qatar…

"Sheikh Hamad celebrated the 25th anniversary of Al-Jazeera's founding while many Arab peoples are still counting their dead. There is no call to celebrate this shame. It is better to conceal and forget it."

 

[1] Al-Arab (UAE), November 4, 2021.

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