Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Inside Al-Jazeera

/ journalism / arab /
In these Times features this interview with Al-Jazeera journalist Samir Khader about the Arab news network, the Middle East, Iraq and the Media. Offers a refreshing perspective, miles away from the current stereotypes, and is definitely worth a read. Excerpt:

For decades, American administrations fully supported Arab dictatorships under the pretext that these governments allied with the United States in the war against communism. They didn’t care that the Arab world lacked democracy and freedom. After 9/11, they discovered this policy has transformed some Arab countries into factories producing terrorists. Now the United States wants to change things by introducing democracy to the Arab world. But how can they do that with guns? Therefore, we see ourselves at Al-Jazeera as the manifestation of the change that should happen in the Middle East. We introduce free speech, pluralism, openness to the Arab world. We were the first, only network to cross red lines. To break taboos. To uncover corruption in the Arab world. This is why we are Enemy No. 1 of many Arab governments. So when you see America attacking Al-Jazeera, you wonder what they really want for this Middle East.

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