Murdoch’s Man, Director-General of Al-Risala Tareq al-Suwaidan with Fellow Jew-Hating Jihadist and Broadcasting Companion at Al-Risala, Salah Sultan
The perspicacious and intellectually courageous journalist and writer Diana West has just published an exposé which unveils the breathtaking hypocrisy of the various News Corp entities that have been lambasting Al Gore’s sale of Current TV to Al-Jazeera.
Why are the attacks hypocritical? News Corps (and Fox News) CEO Rupert Murdoch co-owns the full-throated Muslim Brotherhood Arabic language Al-Risala via his 18.97% stake in Saudi Prince Bin Talal’s Rotana Media group.
Al-Risala, the flagship “religious broadcasting” television network of Rotana is an odious mouthpiece for the Sharia supremacism, anti-Westernism, general xenophobia, Jew-and broader infidel-hatred spewn forth from, and sadly pathognomonic of, contemporary Middle Eastern broadcast media.
While Diana summarizes earlier analyses of Al-Risala’s programming by the Anti-Defamation League, and an especially comprehensive analysis by Steve Stalinsky of the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), her report, uniquely, draws explicit attention to Murdoch’s investment in this Arabic media megaphone for the dissemination of jihadist hatred.
Murdoch’s Al-Risala investment is run by Tareq al-Suwaidan a US-educated, Caliphate promoting luminary of the Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait. Despite presenting himself as a moderate, al-Suwaidan has alleged ties to Hamas, espouses virulently antisemitic views (his publication, The Encyclopedia on the Jews, is rife with Muslim Jew-hatred), supports terrorist attacks against Israel, and was an “Un-indicted Co-conspirator and/or Joint Venturer” in the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development case (wherein funds were raised for Hamas in the US.
Recently (March 26, 2012) al-Suwaidan openly expressed his antisemitic views in an interview (see MEMRI transcript here and video here), which included fomenting violence against Israel, within the 1948 armistice borders:
Power lies with the politicians, who are influenced by two things and two things only: money and the media, both of which are controlled by the Jews. The most dangerous thing facing the Muslims is not the dictatorships. The absolutely most dangerous thing is the Jews. They are the most dangerous. They are the greatest enemy. We must support the armed resistance in Gaza, and if possible, we must spread it to the West Bank, and even to Palestine [within the 1948 borders]. If we can, we should do that. Third, the countries bordering [Israel] must be serious in their resistance to the Zionist entity.
Earlier (during an interview from June 4, 2011, MEMRI transcript here), al-Suwaidan opined.
The Palestinian Authority, with its spineless positions, has a major part in the loss of the Palestinian cause. When the PA is replaced, and becomes serious about confronting the Zionist enemy, and about the option of resistance – that’s when we will have hope. That’s why I call upon the Palestinian youth to adopt the slogan: The people wants to change the PA to an authority that views resistance as its strategic option. […] The other day, I was asking myself: why shouldn’t I personally go on Jihad? First of all, my body cannot stand it. Secondly, is what I am doing any less important than Jihad?
More ominously—consistent with his global jihadist, Sharia-supremacist Weltanschauung, as MEMRI’s Stalinsky notes, Al-Suwaidan also often speaks about the looming collapse of the West, insisting that “Islam is coming” and elaborating that the Arab Spring will ultimately lead to the reestablishment of the Islamic Caliphate, under the rule of the Sharia.
A sampling of Al-Risala’s jihadist, Western-hating content—from insults of Apple entrepreneur Steve Jobs upon his death, to support for the West’s destruction, 9/11 conspiracy theories, jihad martyrdom, and the most draconian Sharia-based punishments (from wife-beating to mutilation for theft)— as summarized by Stalinsky, demonstrates the network comports with Director-General Al-Suwaidan’s vision:
…on October 8, 2011, following the death of Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple…[t]he channel aired an interview with influential Saudi cleric Sa’d Bin Al-Shathari, who called Jobs “an infidel” and continued to insult him by stating that it is forbidden to pray to Allah to place him in Paradise.
The same month that Al-Risala was launched, on March 15, 2006, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Kubeisi stated: “When there is no hope for peace, there is no alternative but to resort to the gun… The West’s conflict with Islam and the Muslims is eternal, a preordained destiny that cannot be avoided until Judgment Day.” The following month, on an April 6, 2006 program on the channel produced by the Saudi Ministry of Religious Endowments, Daw’a, and Guidance, Saudi author Muhammad Al-Arifi claimed that the West is inhabited by “infidels” committing adultery. “If he [the infidel] feels like having any type of sexual relations, he does… they have organizations for homosexuals, organizations for people who marry animals.” He went on to state that Dutch women are so promiscuous that most of them are not sure who fathered their children.
Al-Risala has also been a veritable platform for proponents of 9/11 conspiracy theories, with an emphasis on the theory that the Saudis are innocent and the U.S. is the one behind the attacks. For example, on May 17, 2006, Dr. Salah Sultan, who at the time lived in the U.S. and now resides in Egypt, said on the channel: “I share the view of many Americans, French, and Europeans, who say that 9/11 could not have been carried out entirely from outside [the U.S.] – by Muslims or others… The entire thing was of a large scale and was planned within the U.S., in order to enable the U.S. to control and terrorize the entire world, and to get American society to agree to the war declared on terrorism, the definition of which has not yet been determined.” On December 2, 2011, Prince Al-Waleed’s brother Prince Khaled Bin Talal appeared on the network and called the U.S. the real “terrorists.” He went on to allege that Osama bin Laden is actually alive and in prison in the U.S.
Programming on Al-Risala also features support for jihad and martyrdom. On one program, on January 22, 2008, Palestinian Kuwaiti cleric Sheikh Ahmad Al-Qattan explained what happens to a person after they perform a martyrdom operation: “The martyr gets seven rewards from Allah. From the first drop of his blood, he is pardoned. He sees his place in Paradise. He is spared the torments of the grave. He is spared the Great Horror [of Judgment Day]. He is crowned with the Crown of Glory, the stone of which is more precious than this entire world and what is in it. He is wedded to two… to seventy-two black-eyed women. And he vouches for 70 of his relatives to be admitted to Paradise.” Prior to this discussion, on a January 25, 2007 program on the channel, Egyptian cleric Hazem Sallah Abu Isma’il (who was disqualified from being a candidate in the 2012 Egyptian presidential elections) explained the rewards of martyrs. He said, “In Islam, one of the goals of jihad, one of the goals of fighting is for there to be martyrs. We used to think that when people are martyred, it is a disaster, but they are martyrs…” He continued, “One of the goals of the Muslims is to attain martyrdom. This is very important. Why? Because a Muslim harbors the love of martyrdom. Of course, Western thinking does not understand this. They think this is a kind of suicide, despair, and so on. Absolutely not. The martyrs are the ones who have changed the course of history. They are the ones who have changed the course of human life. The course of human life proceeds this way, until a martyrdom-seeker collides with it, changing and diverting it. Whenever a martyrdom-seeker collides into it, he restores the course of humanity to the path planned by Allah. Men march towards evil this way, unless they encounter a mujahid who strikes at them, and diverts their course to what Allah had wanted. Therefore, for Muslims, martyrdom embodies hope, not disaster…. The [martyr] does not lose anything. He does not die. All of a sudden he ascends to the angels and lives next to Allah. He pleads on behalf of 70 of his family members. When a martyr is next to Allah, he has an important role and is greatly rewarded. He pleads on behalf of 70 of his family members. In his death, he feels no pain beyond a mosquito bite. That’s it. Allah removes from him the marks of death and its torments. The martyr is not tested in his grave. He is not asked about his god or religion. The glitter of the sword over his head suffices. The Crown of Honor is placed on his head. The gem in this crown is more precious than the whole world. He is married off to 70 black-eyed virgins. If one of these virgins were to descend to this world, her light would extinguish the light of the sun and the moon. That’s how beautiful she is.
From its inception, Al-Risala’s broadcast content often mocked Western laws, and has included support for wife beating and Islamic punishments, including chopping off thieves’ hands. For example, the Mufti of Egypt appeared on Al-Risala and discussed whether it is allowed to beat a wife.