January 30, 2006 | Press Release

CATM Praises the Netherlands for Banning Iranian-Backed Terrorist Broadcasts

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 31, 2006) — The Coalition Against Terrorist Media (CATM) today praised the Netherlands for banning two Iranian-funded television stations – Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV and Iranian Sahar TV1 – after concluding that both sought to spread hatred and inspire acts of terrorism.


“As Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner said, there needs to be a strong European-wide response to al-Manar and other terrorist media,” said Roberta Bonazzi, Executive Director of the European Foundation for Democracy, a founding member of CATM. “Given the Iranian regime's avowed hatred of the West and its ongoing efforts to build nuclear weapons, European officials must act now to stop these Iranian-backed stations from inspiring new acts of terrorism on European soil.”

“The Militant Islamist Iranian regime has made clear its desire to destroy the West and the freedom it represents,” said Mark Dubowitz, the Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (www.defenddemocracy.org), which organized CATM. “It should come as no surprise that Iran is actively using the mass media to recruit new terrorists and inspire hatred and violence.”

CATM has briefed hundreds of government officials and private sector executives in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia about Hezbollah's al-Manar television and other terrorist-controlled media outlets. Its global campaign has been instrumental in removing al-Manar from eight satellites around the world. As a result, al-Manar is no longer broadcast in North America, South America, Asia, Australia, and much of Africa.

Al-Manar's broadcasts include commercials 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 music videos calling for suicide bombers to attack coalition soldiers in Iraq. It still reaches the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa on two remaining satellites: ARABSAT, which is based in Saudi Arabia, and Nilesat, whose majority shareholder is the government of Egypt. The Netherlands' action does not impact broadcasts into Europe over these satellites.

According to the Agence France Presse, officials in the Dutch Justice Ministry are also monitoring two other stations, Iranian Al Alam and Art Iqraa from Saudi Arabia.

“We will continue to work to remove al-Manar and all media that puts innocent lives in danger by spreading hatred and supporting terrorism,” Bonazzi said. “These terrorist broadcasts are a direct attack on European society and values.”

For more information on CATM's activities to ban terrorist media worldwide, please visit www.stopterroristmedia.org.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) is a non-partisan Washington, D.C.-based policy institute dedicated exclusively to promoting pluralism and fighting the ideologies that drive terrorism. For more information, please visit www.defenddemocracy.org.

The European Foundation for Democracy (EFD) is a non-partisan Brussels-based policy institute dedicated to defending democratic values and promoting freedom. EFD was founded after the terrorist attacks in Madrid and London to support the defence of European civil society and to unite organizations and individuals across the ethnic and political spectrum within the European system and across Europe in key member countries.