April 9, 2009 | Press Release

Hezbollah’s al-Manar television glorifies terrorism on Indonesia Telkom television

Washington, April 9, 2008

Washington, DC — The Coalition Against Terrorist Media today called on Indonesia Telkom to cease its broadcasts of al-Manar, Hezbollah's television station, widely known for its glorification of suicide bombings and incitement to violence.

“Indonesia is widely regarded as a role model for its commitment to democratic principles and for the recognition that democracy can be consistent with Islam. Indonesia Telkom, whose largest shareholder is the government of Indonesia, should follow the lead of other major satellite companies and cease its ties to Hezbollah's propaganda arm.”

Mark Dubowitz, Manager of the Coalition, said, “The Jakarta government should not be enabling the broadcast of al-Manar because it uses the Quran to justify terrorism and violence. Surely, that does not promote the kind of Islam for which Indonesian society is known.”

Dubowitz continued, “Nor do democracies permit speech that incites and encourages terrorism. Indonesia is a growing democracy, one that the world looks to for the way it has preserved and respected Islam while strengthening democratic institutions.”

Al-Manar was the first media organization to be designated a terrorist entity by the United States. In addition to openly broadcasting incitement to violence and recruiting terrorists, al-Manar was found to provide “operational surveillance” to Hezbollah. In designating al-Manar a Specially Designated Terrorist entity, the United States government understood that terrorist organizations masquerading as legitimate media outlets should be recognized for what they are.

Al-Manar has been found to be in breach of the European Television Without Frontiers Directive (TWFD). According to Article 22a, “Member States shall ensure that broadcasts do not contain any incitement to hatred on grounds of race, sex, religion or nationality.”

When al-Manar was launched, its website stated its purpose: to wage “psychological warfare” against its enemies, including the United States. That goal remains the same today. In an interview, an al-Manar official said its programming is meant to “help people on the way to committing what you call in the West a suicide mission.” Implementing its goal, many of al-Manar's videos aim to recruit terrorists. Al-Manar uses music videos and programs aimed at children glorifying suicide bombers and encouraging children to engage in terrorist activity.

In urging Indonesia Telkom to cease its relationship with al-Manar, Dubowitz said, “Indonesia Telkom's relationship with al-Manar cannot be seen merely as a business transaction. In today's world, corporations have global responsibilities besides earning a few extra dollars for its shareholders. Moreover, transacting commerce with terrorist entities can't help shareholder value.”

Asiasat, Eutelsat, Globecast, NSS, Intelsat, Hispasat, Amazonas, TARBS and most recently Thaicom are some of the satellite companies that have ceased broadcasting al-Manar.

CATM, a coalition of Muslim, Christian, Jewish and secular organizations and individuals in Europe, the Middle East and the United States, works to educate the public, the satellite industry and governments about media outlets that are owned or funded by terrorist organizations and those who advocate or incite violence.


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