Does Anyone Remember?

by on April 18, 2014 - 3:04pm

SOC-100.01 Intro. To Sociology                                                                                                        Jeffrey Cook

Dr. Kaldor’s class


Does Anyone Remember?

Recently I saw a TV commercial that infuriated me. It was an advertisement for the Al-Jazeera network now being carried through a local cable subscriber here in Western New York. Does anyone remember the events that followed in the days and weeks after the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01? If anyone was watching the news in the months after the attacks, there was a news story, more like Breaking News, of a video-taped copy of a message from Osama bin Laden which aired on CNN. Clearly, if anyone recalls, he was seen in the frame with rocks in the background, (as the American citizens were told he was hiding in the mountains somewhere in Afghanistan or Pakistan), with his trusty AK-47 perched next to him, also in the frame. In the video recording, he promised there would be another imminent attack on targets “of American interest,” and perhaps further attacks on American soil. Bin Laden also threatened to kill as many Americans (and their families) as possible, “Jihad on all Americans,” continuing that “Americans are the real Terrorists.” And now we are broadcasting a terrorist-funded network.  Does this make anyone else angry in this country, besides me? 

According to an article, entitled Al-Jazeera vs. Al-Jazeera by S. Fahmy and M. Al Emad, an Al-Jazeera website conducted a survey of 1760 people. The goal was to study how and where people obtained their news information about the Al-Qaeda conflict. Of the participants who logged on, 139 or 12.7% were Arabic-speaking and 14.9% of the users were English-speaking. Al-Jazeera debuted the Arabic news based website in 2001. Later that year, in September, Al-Jazeera further extended their website to an English-speaking audience.

Furthermore, the Al-Jazeera Arabic TV network was criticized for the way in which it covered the Afghan War. According to the article, the English (American) network was heavily scrutinized by the Muslim community for the ways in which they portrayed civilian victims killed in the conflict. U.S. officials further complained that the Al-Jazeera network was providing valuable air time to propagandize their message of hatred toward Americans. Actually, this is the Al-Jazeera English or American network. Its parent company is Al-Jazeera Arabic, which is the network that originally broadcast bin Laden’s video. This copy was later sent to CNN for air. When it first aired, it received a great deal of criticism, fear and anger. But now it seems few people remember its impact. The Qatar-based network has been scrutinized as broadcasting anti-American content, and THAT I have a big problem with. Is Al-Qaeda trying to take us over from within? What do you think?  

Sources: Al-Jazeera vs Al-Jazeera: A Comparison of the Network’s English and Arabic Online Coverage of the US/Al Qaeda Conflict by Shahira S. Fahmy The University of Arizona, USA Mohammed Al Emad Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, USA