Arab journalists accuse Al-Jazeera TV of conspiracy

By NNN-AlArab,

Tunis : Since its launch as the first specialised news channel in the Arab region, Al-Jazeera TV has been the subject of argument and criticism in the Middle East and internationally.

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The channel has been the cause of a number of Arab disputes, as well as tension in diplomatic relations. Some Arab and foreign media outlets criticised Al-Jazeera, even as others defended it.

Questions have always been revolving about the role of the channel and those who stand behind the curtain. A number of Arab writers, intellectuals, and journalists who participated in the programme “Al-Rabeaa” broadcasted on the Tunisian channel Hannibal recently slammed the channel, its sponsors, and the country which hosts its headquarters (Qatar).

Editor-in-chief of the Egyptian magazine Rose Al-Youssef, Abdallah Kamal, pointed to the “subversive role” the channel was playing. Writer Said Al Laoundi said that the channel was tackling “the troubles and offenses in the Arab region”.

Right from the beginning of the programme, the participants criticised the Arab satellite channels in general, and accused some channels of “political, religious, and cultural fraud”. The participants agreed that all channels were governed by an ideological vision and that each channel “has its own goals”.

The greatest criticism was directed towards the news channel Al-Jazeera. Significant Questions about the role of the channel, its agenda, relations, and hostility towards a number of countries, notably Tunisia and Egypt were discussed.

Writer Abd Al Hamid Al Riyahi noted that there is an unprecedented hostility, on the part of Al-Jazeera, towards Tunisia, pointing that the North African country has been achieving significant growth and grabbing first ranks, internationally, in different fields and sectors.

Journalist Akram Khazem who worked for Al-Jazeera for years said that journalists and directors of the channel could not “make a step” without asking the permission of the Qatari government.

Egyptian writer and journalist, Majdi Daqaq, said: “I wonder why has Al-Jazeera been investigating Egyptian, Tunisian and Yemeni history, whilst ignoring topics like, the Qatari family coup, the American bases stationed in the country, and the financial contributions to the Israeli industry. “Can we consider that the channel is revolutionary, liberal, and free when it avoids criticism of Qatar?” he asked.

Writer Abd Hamid Ryahi noted, “Al-Jazeera wants to obliterate every reformist, avant-gardist, and enlightening model in the Arab region; and Tunisia enjoys the three features: Reform, avant-gardism, and enlightenment. Al-Jazeera wants the extension of the Taliban model in the region to provide a good excuse for foreign aggression and intervention.”