October 21, 2005 | Press Release

CATM Praises U.S. Senate Action Against Hezbollah’s Al-Manar Television

Washington, D.C. (October 21, 2005) – The Coalition Against Terrorist Media (CATM) praised the Senate for unanimously adopting an amendment aimed at naming Hezbollah's global satellite channel, al-Manar, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity.

The amendment was introduced to the Transportation-Treasury Appropriations bill by Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Gordon Smith (R-OR). It urges the Treasury Department to name al-Manar to the SDGT list. The unanimous voice vote yesterday puts the entire Senate on record in its concern about al-Manar.

Senators Nelson and Smith have been leaders in the effort to remove al-Manar's support for terrorism and incitement to violence from the global airwaves. In July, 51 Senators signed a letter by Senators Smith and Nelson to President Bush requesting that he name al-Manar to the SDGT list.

While the State Department has classified al-Manar as a terrorist organization for immigration purposes, an SDGT designation would allow the Treasury Department to target al-Manar's operational capability and global reach by imposing financial sanctions and other penalties against organizations that do business with it, including satellite companies that broadcast it.

The Coalition Against Terrorist Media has been instrumental in removing al-Manar from seven satellite providers. As a result, al-Manar is no longer broadcast in North America, South America, Asia, Australia, and much of Africa. Al-Manar still reaches millions of viewers in the Middle East, Europe and North Africa through two satellite providers, ARABSAT, based in Saudi Arabia, and Nilesat, whose major shareholder is the government of Egypt.

Hezbollah created al-Manar in 1991 as an operational weapon. Al-Manar's programming is designed to recruit terrorists and incite violent attacks. Its programming includes videos glorifying suicide bombing to children, calls for Jihadists to slaughter U.S. soldiers in Iraq, and extreme anti-American and anti-Jewish libels, including accusations that Jews kill Christian children to make Passover food and that the United States and the Mossad were behind the attacks of 9/11.

CATM is a project of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a Washington, D.C.-based policy institute, and brings together Muslim, Christian, Jewish and secular organizations concerned about al-Manar. For more information, please visit www.stopterroristmedia.org and www.defenddemocracy.org.

Prior to the consideration of the amendment, FDD President Clifford May wrote on behalf of CATM to Senators on the Transportation, Treasury, the Judiciary, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee urging their support: “We believe that the Nelson-Smith amendment is an important step in ending the incitement to murder of this terrorist station.”