memri

July 15, 2004
Clip No.
167

Iraqi Political Analyst Hisham 'Iqabi on the Arab Media's Double Standard

Iraqi political analyst Hisham 'Iqabi was interviewed by Al-Jazeera TV and spoke about the Arab media and its coverage of the Palestinian and Iraqi situations. The following are excerpts:

Hisham 'Iqabi:The sanctity attributed to sovereignty and other such concepts that are treated with sanctity as though they were the Koran, which one must be purified to hold - the world has abandoned these things.

Honestly, these concepts never existed among us in the past. These concepts have developed following WWII; millions of people gave their lives for them in the West. Later, in the name of these concepts, the Iraqis were laughed at for 35 years and many millions perished?

I reject the sanctity attributed to sovereignty. I refuse to sanctify these concepts so much so that I even oppose sanctifying patriotism.

Sir, you lived in Europe, and received your doctorate there. A European in Britain can go on a trip. If asked, "Why are you going?" he answers, "I hate this country." He can even add a selection of English phrases you are familiar with. What will they do to him? Tell him, "You are betraying your country?"

Brother, enough with the citizen in the service of the state, I want a state in the service of the citizen?

Allah blessed the Arabs. I boarded the plane and you depressed me. Here is the 'great' Al-Raya newspaper, on the first page it says, "32 People Killed [in Iraq]." People, people. While it says, "Israeli Massacre in Nablus. Two were martyred." Why? Are the Iraqis not humans? The newspaper calls them "32 people, killed"? They are the people of Iraq, this is Baghdad the cradle of your Arabism, and you call? In the dear Al-Raya newspaper. In this country, "32 people killed" and others wounded, while two were 'martyred'?! Today, here on Al-Jazeera, on the subtitles [i.e. news-ticker] it said, "Two children killed [in Iraq] and two Palestinian children martyred." Today on the morning news.

This is the mighty Arab media. Don't tell me the Arab media is weak. Believe me that in comparison, the Western media are like a mosquito, that does not equal the Arab media in its potential for devastation. The Western media are novice, because they aim at logic, not at sentiment.