March 17, 2005 | Press Release
Coalition Against Terrorist Media Praises Netherlands for Banning Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV
European Action Against Hate Broadcasts Follows Month of Advocacy
Washington, D.C. (March 17, 2005) – The Netherlands today banned Hezbollah's al-Manar television from New Skies Satellite following an agreement by the European national audiovisual authorities to oppose broadcasts inciting hatred and violence. The move follows a month of meetings and briefings with European officials by the Coalition Against Terrorist Media and its executive director, Avi Jorsich.
“This move by the audiovisual authorities is a tremendous blow to al-Manar and opens the door to even further action,” said Jorisch. “The Netherlands should be praised for recognizing that al-Manar is a deadly weapon in the hands of known terrorists who use it to incite violence and sow hatred.”
The Coalition Against Terrorist Media , which was organized by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, has been in Brussels this week meeting with the audiovisual authorities, members of the EU parliament, and other officials concerned with al-Manar.
Prior to today's meeting, the coalition provided each of the national audiovisual authorities with a copy of Jorisch's book on al-Manar, Beacon of Hatred, (published by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy), a CD-ROM of video clips, and background information highlighting al-Manar's history, operations, and support for terror. Jorisch had met with many European officials during an earlier visit in February arranged with the support of one coalition member, the American Jewish Committee.
The Coalition Against Terrorist Media includes American Muslim, Christian, Jewish and secular organizations urging action against terrorist owned and operated media outlets, in particular Hezbollah's al-Manar television station.
Since beginning its work last year, the Coalition has briefed more than 100 government officials in the U.S. and Europe and appeared in major international media numerous times to educate the public about the danger posed by al-Manar. Its U.S. efforts were rewarded when, on Dec. 17, 2004, the U.S. State Department added al-Manar to its Terrorism Exclusion List, which resulted in satellite providers ending broadcasts of al-Manar to North America.
“While there have been some significant victories against al-Manar, much more remains to be done to end its threat,” said Jorisch, including:
* Pressuring Saudi-owned Arabsat, Egyptian-owned Nilesat, Spain-based Hispasat and France-based GlobeCast to remove al-Manar.
* Having al-Manar named as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity by the U.S. Treasury Department, which would allow the U.S. government to freeze financial assets tied to the station and to sanction foreign banks that provide services to the station, affecting its ability to broadcast.
* Having the European Union name Hezbollah to its official terrorist list; and,
Ending advertising by global companies on al-Manar.
Hezbollah uses al-Manar to recruit terrorists and incite violence through direct calls for killing and through programming – including music videos – preaching hatred. According to one al-Manar official, the station is meant to “help people on the way to committing what you call in the West a suicide mission.”
For more information on the Coalition Against Terrorist Media, its activities and policy recommendations, or al-Manar's broadcasts, please visit www.stopterroristmedia.org.