Saturday, September 04, 2004
Egyptian-born and Qatari-based prominent sunni cleric Youssef Qardawi issued a fatwa declaring that it is a must to kill American civilians in Iraq because they are "invaders" just like the army. The fatwa was issued in a meeting with the Egyptian journalist syndicate here in Cairo.
Qardawi is the spiritual leader of the Islamist political party the Muslim Brotherhood. He left Egypt and is now living in Qatar in a mansion that would fill Bill Gates with envy. He lives under the protection and blessing of his fat financier the Emir of Qatar.
There are two very interesting points in Qardawi's fatwa. First, he didn't include the British on his target list. Aren't the Brits "occupying" south Iraq? Well, it seems that the multimillionaire cleric excluded them because London gave him a visa and enabled him to travel and speak at the inauguration of a huge Islamic center in Londistan, ops, I mean London. Qardawi is barred from entering the United States due to his support for suicide bombings in Israel. So, hey you Americans out there, if you wanna get excluded from the holy man's hit list, give him a visa.
Second, my dream is to ask Qardawi this question: your holiness, are we allowed to kill American soldiers in Qatar? You sure know that the ratio of American soldiers to Qatari citizens far exceeds that of Americans soldiers to Iraqis, besides, the US command center during the war in Iraq was not in Florida but in Qatar! I am sure Qardawi will pee on himself if someone asked him such a question. If he answered yes to my question, then I guess he will have to say goodbye to his Qatar mansion and to the Al-Jazerah program he uses to preach to the masses. He'll also bid farewell to the money pipeline that connects the Qatari government to his many bank accounts and "Islamic sound" investments.
Qardawi's fatwa must shed light on US-Qatari relations. The Emir of Qatar controls both Al-Jazerah and Qardawi, yet the fat man likes to have it both ways: the largest US base in the region and the richest Sunni cleric who calls for murdering US citizens as long as they are outside Qatar! When will the US tell the Emir enough is enough?
WHAT!!!! WHAT!!!! Al-Arabiyah Called Them "Criminals"!!!
Ladies and gentlemen, yesterday I was shocked! The hair on my head stood up and my eyes popped out. No, I didn't pock my finger in the electricity socket; I was just watching an Al-Arabiyah news report on the recent slaughtering of hostages in Iraq.
The report was on the recent killing of the 12 Nepalese and the 2 French hostages. In a dramatic shift in Al-Arabiyah's previous rhetoric, the presenter labeled the kidnappers as "criminals" and not "legitimate resisters", and in a clear reference to Al-Jazerah, he went on criticizing satellite TV channels that allowed such groups to promulgate their deadly propaganda. He added that the kidnappings became a way of blackmailing nations and obtaining ransoms. He mentioned how a Kuwaiti company paid $500,000 to secure the release of its workers and how Al-Arabiyah was approached by one of those groups who asked it to pay money in order to get one of their tapes. Al-Arabiyah refused the deal. The presenter went on to say how Al-Arabiyah sticks by the professional rules of journalism, blah blah.
Now, frequent readers of my blog know that I've written before about this slight shift in Al-Arabiyah's reporting. Don't get me wrong, I will never trust an Arab news channel even if an angel told me so, but such small positive developments should be welcomed. I believe the slight change in Al-Arabiyah was a result of the following:
As mentioned before, Al-Arabiyah got a new manager a few months ago. Abdul Rahman Rashidi was the editor in chief of the London based El Sharq El Awsat newspaper. This paper is pro-Iraq and hosts a number of impressive Arab liberal writers. The paper publishes stupid articles written by Islamists and fascists as well, but they're just to balance things up. The paper's overall content is very positive. However, don't expect a complete change in Al-Arabiyah though.
Al-Arabiyah is owned and financed by Saudi Arabia. The channels recent attack on Iraq's kidnappers might be because of Saudi's own fight against its home-made terrorists/kidnappers.
BREAKING NEWS: I am going to buy a digital camera soon. Expect some great improvements in the blog.