By Hassan Hanizadeh
The Al-Jazeera network’s recent insult of the Iranian nation was totally unacceptable.
The Arabic network, which broadcasts its programs from the little Arab country Qatar, has recently posted an insulting cartoon about the Islamic Republic of Iran on its English site.
In the cartoon, a cleric, who is the symbol of the Islamic Republic of Iran, indifferently passes by various scenes of the current problems in the Islamic world, but reacts strongly when he sees that the name of the Persian Gulf has been changed to the unacceptable “Arab Gulf”.
Iranian officials made a prompt denunciation of this very amateurish and dishonorable measure, which has its roots in Al-Jazeera officials’ animosity toward Iranians.
The Al-Jazeera network was founded in 1997, ostensibly to create a new movement in the static media of the Arab world, which are mostly government controlled, and was initially welcomed.
Many media experts believed that the new network would create a revolution in the field of information dissemination, particularly in the Arab states on the Persian Gulf.
However, at the same time, rumors arose suggesting that the network was established by U.S. and Israeli agents in order to present a bad image of Islam to the world.
Some regional experts expressed doubts about the allegations though, because the establishment of a media outlet with the aim of promptly informing Arab nations about the latest world news seemed to be a good idea.
But the actions of the network gradually revealed the fact that Al-Jazeera officials, on the orders of Zionist agents, are trying to divide Islamic countries and tarnish the image of Islam.
After Al-Jazeera broadcasted some distorted news reports about Saudi Arabia, tension rose between that country and Qatar, and the two Arab states almost cut off diplomatic relations.
Yet, instead of adopting a defensive stance toward the negative propaganda of the network, Saudi Arabia took an innovative measure and established the Al-Arabiyya network to confront Al-Jazeera.
At the beginning of the U.S. attack on Afghanistan, Al-Jazeera became the tribune of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorist groups in order to give the world the impression that those terrorists represented real Islam.
In addition, since the occupation of Iraq began, ethnic tension has risen and there have been clashes between Iraqi Sunnis and Shias, partly due to the efforts of Al-Jazeera.
By broadcasting abhorrent scenes of the beheadings of foreign hostages by the criminal agents of the Abu Musab al-Zarqawi terrorist group, the network succeeded in increasing anti-Muslim sentiment throughout the world, particularly in the West.
Following the advice of U.S. and Israeli experts in psychological operations (psyops), Al-Jazeera took actions which gave Westerners a negative image of Islam and Muslims.
In fact, the Al-Jazeera network was founded at exactly the same time when Iranian President Mohammad Khatami introduced his Dialogue Among Civilizations initiative as a logical strategy to bring the West and the Islamic world closer together.
Of course, the Zionists were not pleased at the idea because they believe that increased proximity between the Islamic world and the West is not in their interests. And that is why they founded the Al-Jazeera network to tarnish the image of true Islam.
Now, after seven years, it has become apparent that the real strategy of the network has been to create divisions between Islamic countries, to give the impression that Islam is a threat to the West, to present a negative image of the real Islam to the world, to isolate Muslims residing in the United States and other Western countries, and to create sectarian divisions between Shias and Sunnis in the Middle East.