They pushed Yvonne Ridley out not long ago...now this. The word is out among Arab journalists...Al-Jazeera is being tamed through great American and Arab establishment pressures, and maybe a little CIA intrique.
Shaista Aziz has been sacked by Al Jazeera's english website
Leading British journalist Sister Shaista Aziz who is a strident supporter of Palestinian rights and a vocal opponenent of American imperialism has been sacked by Al Jazeera's english website.
The shock dismissal sees another departure of high profile British journalists originally head-hunted by the English section to inject some bite and professionalism into the editorial content of the newly-launched site.
Days before her exit, Sr Aziz had made an official complaint of sexual discrimination and sexual innuendo against one of the non-Muslim journalists on the site. This has given rise to speculation that Al Jazeera management is trying to cover up complaints of sexual harrassment in the newsroom. 'I'd like to see how Abdulaziz would react if someone pinched his second wife's bottom in the office or made fun of her dress,' said one of the Arab journalists on the Arab section of the website.
On a more sinister note, her termination also gives credence to neighbouring Bahrain's accusations that the website is under the influence of Zionists and the Bush administration. During her time at the site she broke many exclusive stories which were followed up by the international media. The stories incurred the wrath of the US military, Ariel Sharon's government and the British Foreign Office. It is no secret that Sr. Shaista and Sr. Yvonne Ridley, who was also recently sacked by Al Jazeera, are both leading members of the anti-war movement, supporters for Palestinian rights and critical of the treatent of the Guantanamo Bay detainees. Both known in the newsroom as the Lipstick Jihadis, their departure has sent shock waves through the newsroom with the remaining Muslim journalists.
Their boss, pseudo-Palestinian Ahmed Sheikh and editor in chief Abdulazeez al-Mahmoud, are the gutless duo who were too cowardly to deliver the news in person. Sr. Yvonne was terminated on the doorstep of her home in Doha, Qatar at 11pm by a secretary and Sr. Shaista was delivered a letter by a third person. Apart from being shopping cohorts to Zionist-supporting Marks and Spencer, Ahmed Sheikh and al-Mahmoud are also responsible for recruiting Hindus to the website and diluting the Muslim journalist presence. The only Muslim senior editor remaining is well known British journalist Faisal Bodi who just happens to be the subject of disciplinary proceedings.
Sister Shaista was one of two journalists who were told in the newsroom by Ahmed Sheikh that their probationary period was being fast-tracked. A man of his word (not) Sr. Shaista learned on New Year's Day that her services were no longer required at the end of her three months probation. Perhaps he needs to be reminded by those who heard him say that Sr. Shaista was on staff ... seven weeks ago.
Three other British journalists have quit in disgust in recent weeks and a recruitment drive is now going on in the Middle East and Asia to bring in 'more compliant' staff.
On hearing of this latest sacking, Sr. Yvonne said: 'I am saddened and dismayed. Sister Shaista is an excellent journalist who was poached from the BBC.'. 'Journalistic integrity and talent seems to count for nothing on the English website. They brought us in on Western-style contracts then set about trying to treat us like Filipinos.'. 'Al Jazeera wants to launch an English channel soon but I doubt if anyone will want to move from the UK to work in such an oppressive atmosphere.'. 'The appointment of Waddaah Khanfar on the television side was seen as a dynamic, ground-breaking move by Al Jazeera's editorial board.'. 'But now Sheikh Hamad's attention needs to be seriously diverted to the shenanighans at the English website before it becomes a mediocre cut-and-paste news operation.'. 'There is strong evidence of Islamaphobia and racism creeping into the website newsroom.'
Sr. Yvonne was speaking from London after battling to get an exit visa to leave Qatar. Despite five written requests by her lawyer Gebran Majdalany to the Al Jazeera administration department, it took five weeks before she was allowed to leave. She has now handed over power of attorney to Majdalany who is proceeding with her case for unfair dismissal.
Sister Ridley's letter of termination stated she was a threat to national security, regarded as an arrestable offence in many countries for treason in both the East and the West. 'I want to thank everyone around the world for the support they showed me during my enforced stay in Qatar, and now I ask everyone to inundate Al-Jazeera with letters of protest over Sister Shaista's sacking. 'She continually fights the corner of the oppressed and is an excellent example of a Muslim. Please let the management know how you feel,' asked Sister Yvonne.
Since we suspect that your last email letters were hidden by Ahmed Sheikh and Abdulaziz send your email to the company spokesman Jihad Ballout and ask him to pass them on to the head of Al-Jazeera Sheikh Hamad bin Thamir al-Thanee and/or other personalities in higher responsible position
Al-Jazeera spokesman Jihad Ballout Email: firstname.lastname@example.org