Wednesday, April 3, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

The Aljazeera or The Peninsula satellite news television station does not know what else that they can do other than to organize the annual Aljazeera international documentary film festival.

Aljazeera was established with a good intention, which is to create a better world so they could report news that offers an alternative view compared to what is being offered by the western media organizations.

There were many Arabs and other Muslims who charged the media organizations in the west especially in America to be biased against them; they were Zionist-controlled organizations who only aimed to push for their own agenda, which was said to be hidden for a while, but was exposed later.

No wonder, the Palestinian freedom-fighters were described by them at ‘terrorists’, that even the media in Muslim countries including in Malaysia also described the Palestinians as such, for so long until they realized their mistake and folly.

So now the Palestinians are freedom-fighters.

But this still did not help to change the situation in the Middle East, with the Palestinians still living in squalor and their land seized by the Zionists.

American media was charged for not practicing freedom of the press with their mainstream media acting as the propagandists for the Zionists.

So Aljazeera was formed.

The goal is to provide the alternative views on important world affairs and not just those related to the Palestinian issue.

Unfortunately, since Aljazeera was established sometime ago, things have not changed. They are not allowed to enter America, the land where there is freedom of expression and the press is free.

But they are not deterred as they expand their viewship to other countries that are willing to embrace them.

The Iranian government, too, has established their own satellite television station called Press TV, and another in Spanish for the South American countries.

But how has Aljazeera fared so far?

They are based in Doha, Qatar. And they have stations in some countries including in Malaysia, but they have not yet achieved what they had set out to do.

The question is: Is Aljazeera stuck in the old mode?

Ever since it was established, the world is not getting better and better especially in the Arab and Muslim World.

What if Aljazeera had not been created, would the Arab and Muslim World be much better than it is now?

And for that matter since the Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival, have the Arab and Muslim Worlds become better? I have not seen how this can be so.

Think about it.

Surely, Aljazeera was formed to create greater awareness of the Arab and Muslim Worlds, and perhaps to counter anti-Islam and anti-Arab sentiments promoted by the other media in the west. But how much has Aljazeera done to create this?

I propose Aljazeera does more than it is doing now.

Maybe if Aljazeera had not been established all the countries in the Gulf and the Middle East and in Africa would not have gone in the way like they had done, with their leaders expelled and some killed.

Maybe if Aljazeera knew exactly what they were doing, they did not have to fall in to the trap that caused these countries to be demolished one by one.

And the situation in the Arab and Muslim Worlds is not any better now than it was even last week. And chances are that it will continue to become worse and worse.

What can Aljazeera do then?

Do they have the intelligence to move on and become a better international media organization that embraces diversity?

Can they engage the best qualified Arabs and other Muslims as well as non-Muslims who can give them better news to report and share with their viewers all over the world?

Can they also create greater awareness of what they are and what they want to achieve?

They have established their Aljazeera Documentary Film Festival which is held in Doha every year.

But how far is this festival successful in bringing the documentary filmmakers to come up with interesting works to share with their viewers?

I am afraid Aljazeera has failed to develop and expand. By having just this international documentary film festival does not mean that they know how to move forward.

CNN does not have such a festival. BBC and CCTV, as well as the other international satellite television stations too do not have it.

Yet, CNN and to some extent the BBC have all been able to do wonders to serve their cause.

And what is the cause of Aljazeera for existing?

There is no need for anyone especially me to ask those in the corporate departments of Aljazeera to do some soul-searching.

They must realize that Aljazeera may not have a soul to search for.

They have to do something else. And they have to do it quickly or they can become complicit to what’s happening in the Gulf and the Middle East, for which they can report on the destruction, killing and other atrocities that have happened and are continuing to happen.

Unfortunately and ironically, some of that can be indirectly or directly attributed to Aljazeera’s presence, for without which, some of them would not have happened.

Maybe Aljazeera wanted to create destruction of the Arab and Muslim Worlds so they can report on the goings-on much like their counterparts in America and Europe.

Aljazeera definitely can do more if it truly and sincerely wishes to help cause the Arab and Muslim countries be given due respect, so that they are not being used by the enemies of Islam and the Arabs any reason to invade, destroy and flee… How?

Aljazeera does not seem to know how they can do it. They only know how to operate an international television station, out from Doha, Qatar, because their financial backers can afford to finance it.

But what they are not capable of doing it to take Aljazeera further.

If they knew, they would have done it. But they have been given many years since they were established and all that they can think of is to see how they can invade America, other than to organize the documentary film festival every year.

Even then their international documentary film festival has not become an interesting feature in the international film festival scene so much so that there is none of their winners who have bragged about their success in the festival.

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