December 7, 2009 | Press Release

FDD Praises Legislation Targeting Media that Incites Violence Against Americans

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Press Release
December 8, 2009
Judy Mayka

[email protected]

FDD Praises Legislation Targeting Media that Incites Violence Against Americans

Bill Sponsored by Reps. Bilirakis and Crowley Approved by U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. (December 8, 2009) -The Coalition Against Terrorist Media (CATM), a project of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, praised the House passage of legislation (H.R. 2278) by a vote of 395 to 3. The legislation targets media outlets in the Middle East that incite violence against Americans.

“We applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for recognizing the danger that terrorist-owned and -operated media poses and for taking steps to limit the transmission of broadcasts that incite violence,” said FDD Executive Director Mark Dubowitz and co-manager of CATM.

“Free speech protections should not cover the role of these media outlets as operational weapons,” said Dubowitz. “Radical groups like Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Hamas, the Taliban, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and others use media outlets all over the world to plan attacks, recruit and train jihadists, fundraise, intimidate, and incite violent attacks.”

“There is strong precedent for such legislation,” Dubowitz continued. “Hate speech and violent incitement have been prosecuted as war crimes, initially at the Nuremberg trials against the Nazi regime and, in 2003, at the United Nations tribunal for Rwanda against three Rwandan media executives who used Rwanda's Radio Mille Collines to call for the extermination of Tutsis. In response to the conviction by the U.N. tribunal, Reed Brody, Human Rights Watch's legal counsel, said that ‘if you fan the flames, you'll have to face the consequences.’”

The legislation requires that the president prepare a report to Congress on media outlets that call for attacks against Americans.

It sanctions any satellite provider that willfully and knowingly carries the media arm of a Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization. These media arms include Hezbollah’s al-Manar television (which itself has been designated as a terrorist organization) and Hamas’s al-Aqsa television.

The legislation also requires that the U.S. government consider state-sponsorship of anti-American incitement to violence when determining assistance to countries in the region. It urges investors who own shares in satellite companies to oppose transmissions of terrorist-sponsored telecasts.

The Coalition Against Terrorist Media has led a global campaign to remove terrorist media from the airwaves. Since the inception of this campaign, Hezbollah’s al-Manar television has been removed from 10 of 13 global satellite providers, following CATM’s support for its designation as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity. In addition, the coalition worked with Western advertisers to remove more than $12 million in advertising revenue from al-Manar. The coalition was active in winning a warning against Hamas’s al-Aqsa television by France’s audiovisual authorities. It regularly provides briefings to government and counterterrorism officials on terrorist online media.

CATM unites Muslim, Christian, Jewish and secular organizations in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East to remove terrorist media from the airwaves and the Internet. For more information please visit the FDD Terrorist Media Project.


The Foundation for Defense of Democracies is a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute dedicated exclusively to promoting pluralism, defending democratic values, and fighting the ideologies that drive terrorism. Founded shortly after the attacks of 9/11, FDD combines policy research, democracy and counterterrorism education, strategic communications, and investigative journalism in support of its mission. For more information, please visit