Rep. Steven Rothman, a Democrat of New Jersey, and Rep. Joe Knollenberg, a Republican of Michigan, yesterday sponsored a MEMRI briefing on Arab and Iranian satellite channels available in America. Their broadcasts have the potential to incite viewers to jihad and contain messages of hate against Jews and Christians. As the content of such programming is exposed, it is hopeful that the Federal Communications Commission - which answers directly to Congress and the mission of which includes regulating international television in America - would consider legal proceedings against American companies that air Arab and Iranian TV channels spewing hatred.
Programs on these channels include statements clearly directed at Americans. During an official Friday sermon on August 27 aired on Sudanese TV, for example, a preacher stated that Jews engineered the attacks of September 11, 2001. He cited a quote fabricated by the Nazis and inaccurately attributed it to Benjamin Franklin: "The malaria microbe known as the Jews, which the U.S. carries in its stomach, will kill it sooner or later." He added, "These Jews hasten America's death. The U.S. must be aware. We offer this advice via the TV channels."
Similar Nazi falsehoods have resurfaced of late on other Arab and Iranian TV stations available in America, such as Al-Jazeera and Al-Manar. Tuning into those channels can be strikingly similar to watching Nazi propaganda. Programming includes shows devoted to distortions in Jewish religious texts, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," Jewish corruption throughout history, and the blood libel. On a UAE/Saudi channel Al-Majd program of March 22, 2004, the secretary-general of the Islamic Action Front Party of Jordan, Sheikh Hamza Mansour described the "sick psychological nature" of the Jews, adding that they make "matzoth out of innocent children's blood."
In August on Saudi Arabia's MBC TV, Saudi Sheikh Abd al-Qader Hammad said, "From the day civil strife began in Islam, the Jews were behind it. There is no evil in the world that the Jews are not behind. Search in the depths of history ... and you will find the finger of the Jews behind it."
"Jewish treachery is the nature of this race. It runs in their blood and passes from generation to generation," 'Adnan abu Al-Qattam said in an official Friday sermon that aired on Bahrain TV July 30. "The Jews proved to history ... they are a corrupting people ... History clearly attests to their... despicable behavior," he said. He then cited a Koranic verse calling Muslims "to kill Jews."
Saudi professor Walid al-Shuzi explained that according to Islam and the Koran, Muslims "have a duty to hate Jews and Christians," during an Al-Majd TV broadcast of March 18.
Mr. al-Shuzi's topic? "So-called" anti-Semitism.
"The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is often cited as proof of the Jews' evil nature. A Danish cleric, Nabel Shaker Al-Taleqani, appeared on Iran's Al-'Alam TV on October 30. While speaking of Jewish involvement in terrorism, he said, "Go back to the book 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.' We must return to the 24 protocols, to these secret documents." The secretary-general of the Islamic Universities' Association, Dr. Ja'far Abd Al-Salim, cited "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" on Al-Manar TV on April 22, 2004. Mr. Al-Salim said it proved that Zionist-Jews "main goal is to humiliate the human race." He also said that only Jewish companies make drugs and pornography. Egypt's Al-Ahzar Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mussayar appeared on Iqraa TV on July 12 to speak about a global campaign against Islam and the need to "confront our enemies ... expose their secret beliefs" - which he said are laid out in "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."
Arab and Iranian TV also leap to prove the vileness of the Jews through distortions of religious texts such as Talmud and also the Torah. Prominent Muslim religious figures are not above taking this tack. For example, the leading Palestinian Authority religious figure, Mufti Ikrima Sabri, appeared on Al-Majd TV on February 20. During the program he said, "Anyone who studies 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' and specifically the Talmud will discover that one of the goals of these protocols is to cause confusion of the world."
These examples are but a few of the dozens that appear on satellite TV beamed daily into America. There is no doubt that such programming ought not be accessible in America.
Mr. Stalinsky is the executive director of The Middle East Media Research Institute.