August 19, 2005 | Press Release
Coalition Against Terrorist Media Condemns Al-Manar Television Interview with Known Terrorist
Coalition Against Terrorist Media Condemns al-Manar Television Interview with Known Terrorist
Hezbollah's TV Broadcast Continues to Incite Hatred and Violence
Washington, D.C. (August 19, 2005) – The Coalition Against Terrorist Media (CATM) said that a recent interview in which Hezbollah's al-Manar television promoted the extremist views of a known terrorist is yet another example of why al-Manar must be removed from broadcast.
CATM, which is a project of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), has been instrumental in removing al-Manar from seven satellite providers, but two others continue to broadcast al-Manar to the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa.
“Al-Manar is an operational weapon in the hands of one of the world's most deadly terrorist organizations,” said Avi Jorisch, CATM executive director. “It gives a platform to terrorists, not to inform or educate, but to spread Hezbollah's agenda of hatred and violence.”
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, on August 3, 2005, al-Manar interviewed Anis Al-Naqqash, a terrorist who had spent 10 years in a French prison. He was involved in a 1975 attack on an OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna, in which three people were killed and 70 were taken hostage. He also took part in a failed assassination attempt in France during which two people were killed.
During the interview, al-Naqqash argues that “Islam is one of the greatest advocates of violence,” and that terrorism is a legitimate tactic: “Who said that violence is futile. What happened in Spain?” He warns, “You must be prepared for the killing of your civilians. For the full interview, please click here or visit http://www.memri.org/.
Al-Manar's broadcasts include videos glorifying suicide bombers and encouraging others to join their ranks; viciously anti-American and anti-Semitic material, including the infamous and false “blood libel” depicting Jews killing a child to make Passover Matzah; and calls for suicide bombers to attack U.S. soldiers in Iraq. View al-Manar videos at the FDD blog at the CATM website here.
“As long as al-Manar remains on the air, someone, somewhere will answer its call to violent Jihad,” said Jorisch. “And tragically someone else will lose their life as a result.”
Following intense advocacy by CATM and Jorisch, al-Manar has been removed from seven satellite providers. It is still broadcast by ARABSAT, owned by the government of Saudi Arabia, and Nilesat, whose largest shareholder is the government of Egypt.
Two weeks ago, 51 U.S. Senators wrote to President Bush asking that he name al-Manar a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity, which would allow the government to take action against al-Manar's sources of funding and organizations that do business with it. In December, 2004, the U.S. State Department named al-Manar a terrorist organization for immigration purposes.
Members of the European Union have also taken action against al-Manar. In March, 2004, European audiovisual ministers agreed that al-Manar falls under the Television Without Frontiers directive prohibiting broadcasts that incite hate. In May, French Minister for Culture and Telecommunications Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres called on all European Union members to cease broadcasting al-Manar.
The Coalition Against Terrorist Media includes Muslims, Christians, Jews and secular organizations. Since its formation in the fall of 2004, CATM has met with hundreds of government officials in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East and has appeared numerous times in the media. For more information, please visit http://www.stopterroristmedia.org/.
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