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Aljazeera buckles to
pressures again


MER - Mid-East Realities - MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 7 Sept 04:
Aljazeera, under continuing pressure, has caved in again.

Coerced self-censorship and forcing the media to constantly be wary of offending the powers that be is a long-time hallmark not only in the Middle East, Russia, and China, but also in the West and the United States. The techniques and methods are different, especially when it comes to the American scene, but in many cases the results are similar.

It was last Thursday, 2 September, that Aljazeera published a story about revered Egyptian Islamic scholar Shaikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Included in that story this important paragraph:
" 'All of them (US military personnel and civilians) are invaders who came from their country to invade our country and fighting them [in Iraq] is a duty,' said (Shaikh al-Qaradawi's) office director Essam Talima on Thursday, quoting a fatwa or ruling on religious law by al-Qaradawi."

Then a day later Aljazeera not only published a different story without any comment on the pressures brought on both Shaikh al-Qaradawi and itself, but completely removed from publication its previous story and photos.
Aljazeera's succumbing to pressures was reminiscent for MER of the time MER's publisher in Washington was asked to appear on the channel. He was already in the studio in front of the camera, miked, and ready to discuss current developments and the real situation in Washington when he was told they had changed their mind and it wasn't going to be live but would be screened and edited. He then asked for assurances that the fact that he was publisher of MER and the web-address MiddleEast.Org would definitely be mentioned and put on the screen under his hame; and when they refused he simply took off his the microphone and left.

Whatever kinds of pressures, how and by whom, were put on Shaik al-Qaradawi, as well as on Aljazeera, are in important part of the real story about what is going on these days. The American Secretary of State is known to have personally and repeatedly pressured Qatari authorities that fund the Channel to rein-in Aljazeera; and recently the U.S. and its Baghdad regime has expelled Aljazeera from Iraq, while at the same time setting up and sponsoring competing Channels, U.S.-funded media organizations, and glitzy on-the-take websites.

A careful reading of both stories from Aljazeera shows that the Shaik denied specially calling on Muslims to attack Americans -- but then he also denied that he hadn't called on Muslims to attack all occupiers. The details of just what happened in the short time the original Aljazeera story was published and its disappearance are unknown. What is known is that without telling its viewers and readers Aljazeera simply eliminated its original story and a few days later replaced it with another far milder one. Both stories follows:





RESPECTED MUSLIM CLERICS
DECLARE
RELIGIOUS DUTY TO
FIGHT THE U.S.
OCCUPIERS


"All of them (US military personnel and civilians) are
invaders
who came from their country to invade our
country and
fighting them [in Iraq] is a duty."

"Al-Qaradawi was one of 93 prominent Muslim figures
who in August called on Muslims around the world to
support resistance against US forces in Iraq and its
apppointed interim Iraqi government."


MER - Mid-East Realities - MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 3 Sept: The old southern evangelicals -- Senator Zell Miller a good example as he gave the keynote address at the Republican Convention Wednesday night more preacher than statesman -- keep proclaiming the U.S. is not an occupier but rather a liberator. The Republicans cheered wildly but their proclamations are applauded only by themselves; few worldwide beyond Crusading American shores endorse such a view, except in Israel.

But these repeated crusading declarations coming from the prominent Americans are generating a growing chorus of counter-declarations from leading Arab and Muslim intellectual and political figures further escalating the 'Clash of Civilizations' now very much already underway.

Remember General Boykin on the Pentagon Evangelical side?
"My God is bigger than their god" he proclaimed in uniform from Christ's pulpit.

Remember Prime Minister Mahathir of Malaysia speaking to the Organization of Islamic Conference?
"Powerful Jews control the world..."

The Israelis and their extensive political armies have in fact worked long and hard to help ignite this clash for reasons and ideology of their own. Journals and organizations, officials and writers affiliated with them and now nick-named in part 'the neocons', have been pushing this thesis for a long time, long before 9/11 in fact. They and theirs are the primary beneficiaries in the crucial Middle East region, at least in the short term. The American evangelicals and theirs -- including the military-industrial complex and key media organizations they control ranging from Fox News to the Washington Times to the 700 Club -- are the primary beneficiaries in the U.S. as both power and wealth are redistributed away from other segments of society and social concerns, at least in the short term.

In the longer term we are all the loosers, the hatreds and dangers are escalating all around us, worldwide arms production and arms sales are increasing, social programs are being drained, and crucial issues and problems are being short-changed and short-discussed while the 'War on Terrorism' and 'security' become all dominant -- as both American political conventions in recent weeks have made so miserably evident. MER






Revered Egyptian Cleric:
Muslims should fight US in Iraq

Al-Qaradawi wants French journalists freed immediately

Thursday 02 September 2004 7:23 PM GMT
An Egyptian cleric based in
Qatar and often described as a moderate has ruled that it is a religious duty for Muslims to fight Americans in Iraq , including US civilians, his office director has said.

But the cleric, Shaikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, said that two French journalists kidnapped in Iraq should be freed immediately.

Al-Qaradawi gave his opinion at a meeting on Tuesday evening at the Egyptian journalists' syndicate in Cairo .

"All of them (US military personnel and civilians) are invaders who came from their country to invade our country and fighting them [in Iraq] is a duty," said his office director Essam Talima on Thursday, quoting a fatwa or ruling on religious law by al-Qaradawi.

Revered

Al-Qaradawi is revered in the
Muslim world

Al-Qaradawi is revered in much of the Muslim world for his intellectual rigour and ability to adapt the fundamental tenets of Islam to the modern world.

The cleric was quoted by pan-Arab daily newspaper Al-Hayat as saying during the Tuesday meeting that the French journalists should be freed.

"If those kidnappers care about the reputation of Islam they should free the two French journalists," the newspaper quoted him saying.

Al-Qaradawi said the presence of the French journalists "broke the American monopoly on relaying information and facts (on the situation in Iraq ) to the outside world".

Example

He also referred to France 's foreign policy in dealing with the Islamic and Arab worlds, which he said could serve as an example to other countries.

"If those kidnappers care about the reputation of Islam they should free the two French journalists"

Shaikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi

The kidnapping of Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot on 20 August by a group called the Islamic Army in Iraq has deeply shocked France which was a fierce opponent of the US-led invasion and has no troops in Iraq .

The kidnappers have demanded that Paris rescind a law banning Muslim headscarves and other conspicuous religious symbols from state schools. The deadline passed on on Wednesday and France enforced the ban from Thursday.

Al-Qaradawi was one of 93 prominent Muslim figures who in August called on Muslims around the world to support resistance against US forces in Iraq and its apppointed interim Iraqi government.

After the 11 September 2001 attacks al-Qaradawi urged Muslims worldwide to donate blood to help the victims and also condemned the 2002 Bali bombing as barbaric and immoral but he caused controversy during a visit to Britain in July after condoning some attacks by human bombers against military targets. Aljazeera, 3 September 2004.

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/626A8CFB-EE21-4C5E-B929-6ACC10988F0C.htm



Muslim scholar denies media reports

Al-Qaradawi is a leading Muslim theologian (file photo)

Friday 03 September 2004 10:37 PM GMT - Egyptian Islamic scholar Shaikh Yousif al-Qaradawi denied media reports suggesting he had called for Americans, including civilians, to be killed in Iraq.

In a telephone interview with Aljazeera.net, Shaikh al-Qaradawi said his words were taken out of context.

"I said that the occupation of any Muslim country should be resisted, I never used the words Americans and civilians."

"Wherever and whenever there is an occupation, there would be a resistance. That is natural," he said.

Described as a moderate, al-Qaradawi was one of 93 prominent Islamic figures who in August called on Muslims around the world to support resistance against the US occupation of Iraq and its proxy Iraqi government.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks on US cities, Qaradawi urged Muslims worldwide to donate blood to help the victims. He also condemned the 2002 Bali bombing as barbaric and immoral but he caused controversy during a visit to Britain in July after condoning some human bomber attacks.

He is a prominent poet; writer, public speaker and preacher who attracts a wide audience.

Al-Qaradawi is revered in much of the Muslim world for his intellectual rigour and ability to adapt the fundamental tenets of Islam to the modern world.

Mediation

The Qatar-based Shaikh al-Qaradawi headed a delegation to Sudan to start mediation between warring parties in Darfur.

He met on Friday with Sudanese interior minister and representative of the president of Sudan Abd al-Rahim Muhammad and held talks about Darfur.

The revered scholar hopes to use his good relations with all parties to try to reach a settlement in the war torn province of Darfur.

Release French journalists

Al-Qaradawi is also involved in efforts to release the two French journalists held in Iraq.

"If those kidnappers care about the reputation of Islam then they should free the two French journalists," he said.

Al-Qaradawi said the presence of the French journalists "broke the American monopoly on relaying information and facts (on the situation in Iraq) to the outside world."

He also referred to France's foreign policy in dealing with the Islamic and Arab worlds, which he said could serve as an example to other countries.

The kidnapping of Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot on August 20 by a group called the Islamic Army in Iraq has deeply shocked France which was a fierce opponent of the U.S.-led invasion and has no troops in Iraq.

The kidnappers have demanded that Paris rescind a law banning Muslim headscarves and other conspicuous religious symbols from state schools.

The deadline passed on Wednesday and France put the ban into force on Thursday.

Aljazeera - Friday 03 September 2004 10:37 PM GMT
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/7451987C-9E6B-4CBA-9ABA-CEA53318D4B4.htm

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