Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Many people asked me to write some of the things I hear on Fayhaa. I can’t write exact words now but I’ll tell you an overall summary of the past 3 or 4 days.
A call-in talk show that discussed the issue of postponing the elections had been aired repetitively. The channel called a huge number of political parties to listen to their views. Viewers also called the channel to literally scream out their opinion. The vast majority did not want the elections postponed. Many said that terrorists will win if elections were postponed. Others insisted that Iraq’s transitional law sets the date for elections and nobody has the right to change it.
The channel interviewed a government official who worked in the communication institute, Iraq’s FCC. He said that the ministry of communication had been abolished because all civilized nations have media that is free from government control. He also added that Al Jazeerah promotes terrorism against Iraqi civilians and mentioned an incident where the channel reported something before it happened!! This showed the degree of communication between Al Jazeerah and terrorists in Iraq.
Another program outlined articles from several publications around the world including American ones. The channel then called analysts to comment upon the OP-EDs. All the articles presented were anti-terrorists.
Fayhaa has a program called “Behind Bars”. They interview victims of Saddam’s era. They later advertised an interview with a man who had his hands chopped off. They still didn’t air it though. I think this man was among the group that had surgery in the US.
Between its programs, Fayhaa airs ads about the future of Iraq and it also broadcasts a telephone call from someone living in Latifiya. This city belongs to the “triangle of death” located south of Baghdad. Many Iraqi police, coalition troops, and Shias were killed there. He said that the government is busy dealing with other trouble hotspots except this region.
It is clear that this channel is a “Shia” channel. They put up a sign that read “Allah, Muhammed, Ali”. Sunnis do not include Ali, Muhammed’s cousin and son in law. Shias revere Ali and believe that he and his decendents were the only ones eligible to succeed the prophet. However, I’m sure Fayhaa has a large audience among the Kurds, educated/secular Sunnis, Christians, etc.