With the Qatar-government-owned Al-Jazeera network buying Current TV, viewers of former Vice President Al Gore’s left-leaning cable franchise may be wondering what sort of programming the newly Christened “Al-Jazeera America” might feature. Wonder no more: As a public service, The Daily Caller is presenting a moment with Al-Jazeera’s top-rated host as an example.
Sheik Yusuf Al-Qaradawi is an Egyptian Islamic scholar linked with the Muslim Brotherhood there. He’s also seen by an estimated worldwide audience of 60 million on “Shariah and Life,” his weekly show on Al-Jazeera’s flagship Arabic-language network.
On January 28, 2009 — during the Gaza war — the network aired remarks from al-Qaradawi about Adolf Hitler and the Jewish Holocaust.
As translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, Al-Qaradawi said that “throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler.”
“By means of all the things he did to them –- even though they exaggerated this issue –- he managed to put them in their place,” Al-Qaradawi continued. “This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.”
Concluding his speech, Al-Qaradawi said that “the only thing I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of Jihad and resistance, even if in a wheelchair. I will shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Allah’s mercy and blessings upon you.”
Current TV co-founder Joel Hyatt told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that his network was being sold to the Qatari media company because “Al-Jazeera was founded with the same goals we had for Current,” including “to give voice to those whose voices are not typically heard” and “to speak truth to power.”
The New York Times reported Thurdsay night that Gore personally persuaded the cable distributors who carried Current TV to remain with the network after it changed ownership.
“To preserve the deal — and the estimated $100 million he would personally receive — he went to some of those same distributors, who were looking for an excuse to drop the low-rated channel, and reminded them that their contracts with Current TV called it a news channel.” The Times’ Brian Stelter wrote. “Were the distributors going to say that an American version of Al-Jazeera didn’t qualify, possibly invoking ugly stereotypes of the Middle Eastern news giant?”
Charles C. Johnson contributed reporting.