Age of Deception
In September 2012, US embassies around the Muslim world witnessed a wave of protests and attacks by tens of thousands of people angry at a YouTube video mocking prophet Muhammad. The US embassy in Cairo wasn’t an exception. Thousands of angry young Egyptians surrounded the walls of the embassy, threw rocks, climbed up the walls, and tore down the US flag. It was a scary time as in neighboring Libya, US diplomats were being slaughtered. At the time, the Muslim Brotherhood held both the presidency and parliament of Egypt. They were disturbed by the violence and the events, so they started the following exchange on twitter
The US embassy was, of course, referring to the earlier tweets of the same official accounts in Arabic. Tweets which called on faithful Egyptians to attack the US embassy. Tweets such as “Egyptians! Revolt for the Prophet’s victory in front of US embassy,” This duplicity is not a new occurrence nor it is an isolated phenomenon.
This form of elaborate deceit schemes is an all too common practice by Islamists, their sympathizers, as well as Arab regimes. The Palestinian Authority is especially known for condemning terrorism in English and praising terrorists in Arabic. The deception is everywhere, and our media is full of it, and it is getting fuller. In the last decade, Saudis, Qataris, Iranians, and more started to invest heavily in English speaking media. The biggest of those is the Qatari investment starting Aljazeera America and the massive social media operation of AJ+. AJ+ quickly became a landmark on social media with their millennial aimed sleek branding and clever captioned videos. AJ+ is so successful the following for its English account surpasses the audience for its native Arabic by few millions. To put in perspective, AJ+ has double the followers of CBS and five times the followers of MSNBC. AJ+ is young, trendy, cool, hip, and most importantly, state-funded propaganda. Based in woke San Francisco, AJ+, unlike traditional media outlets, is not independent but a property of the government of Qatar and they have close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. They sympathize Islamists, appeal to the woke crowd, and can’t seize to demonize the US and Israel.
Like the Muslims Brotherhood, AJ+ can’t help itself even if it tried. They can’t stop the double-dealing to their different crowds. As an Arabic speaker, I always knew this was true of Aljazeera in general. Their Arabic formats regularly promote incendiary anti-American, antisemitic, and pro-Islamist discourse, while their English messaging tries to appear cool and moderate. Recently, after producing an antisemitic video denying the Holocaust in Arabic by AJ+, the world came to notice the deception in action. Marah Elwadia, the reporter who prepared the video, then was discovered to have tweeted antisemitic tweets like “F### Jews!”
AJ+ apologized for the shameful video and announced it fired the responsible journalists as if it was just a fluke. But was it? AJ+ has an excellent record of hiring western Arabs who mysteriously share very similar anti-Israeli, and often Jew hating views. Dima Khatib, the very woke executive director of AJ+, tweeted in 2010 “There is no Jewish people.” Omar Duwaji, a video producer, tweeted in 2012, “If there was ever an international foreign conspiracy it is the nation of Israel.” The list can go on and on exposing the Jew and Israel hating wokeness of AJ+. You can watch this video for more.
If you need an example of terror promoting content from Aljazeera, here is a 2014 article praising and promoting stabbing Jews in Israel and the PA territories. Aljazeera is a pro-Islamist propaganda outlet, they have a clear agenda, and we would be mistaken to believe that is not the goal of their significant social media English language presence. The same kind of propaganda brainwashing and indoctrinating Arab youth in the Middle East is now available in English to do the same for American youth. It is shocking the amount of young Americans who do not even know Aljazeera is a state-sponsored outlet and who share their videos widely. The woke-oriented millennial-aimed LGBTQ+ friendly social-justice framing plays right into mainstream American liberal youth sweet spot. But with the honey, comes a lot of poison.
The western world might be new to the curious phenomenon of fake news, however, I grew up with it. I grew up watching Aljazeera’s hateful, dishonest, and detestable content in Arabic. Of course I didn’t know how dishonest it is back when I was an adolescent and it took me years of education to clean my head from all their hateful filth. I remember listening to their guests, hosts, and reporters talking about how evil the US and Israel are and how glorious armed resistance against westerners is. Following 9/11, for years Aljazeera served as the main outlet for Alqaeda. I still remember their exclusive Bin Laden recordings and new hits. The daily incitement of Aljazeera along with its vicious and inaccurate coverage of the war in Iraq caused such a significant danger to the safety of coalition forces in Iraq, it was regularly discussed in White House meetings during the war.
As we all saw in the Holocaust denial video blunder, the hypocrisy and deceitful toxicity of AJ+ are more dangerous than ever. Using modern technology, duplicitous multi-lingual content, and their ability to poison the minds of a broad audience should alarm everyone. AJ+ has the right to lie, to mislead, and to deceive, however, it is our duty to scrutinize their dishonesty and their ill-intentioned actions. If you have friends, family, or colleagues who follow AJ+, it is your duty to warn them it is not independent journalism, they are funded by a non-democratic Arab monarchy with ties to Islamist groups, and they produce racist and hateful content in Arabic. It is up to all of us to resist the age of deception and expose the true nature of those who wish us and our world harm.