Where's the Arab Media's Sense of Outrage?

(Washington Post) Mamoun Fandy- In the Arab media, the recent beheadings were generally reported as if they were quite ordinary. In the video of South Korean Kim Sun Il in Iraq, Al-Jazeera did not note what any person knowledgeable about the region's dialects would have known: that the terrorists who read the "verdict" were not Iraqi and therefore not part of the Iraqi resistance. They clearly spoke a dialect from the Saudi heartland of Najd. The Arab world today swims in a sea of linguistic violence that justifies terrorism and makes it acceptable, especially to the young. Articles which glorify death and urge young people to be suicidal are part of the steady diet that Arab youths are exposed to every day. Arab satellite television portrays terrorists as resistance fighters and broadcasts in their entirety the videotaped messages of al-Qaeda. Indeed, al-Qaeda has become mainstream and being part of the movement is "cool" in the eyes of young people. Unless Arabs themselves muster the courage to speak out against these heinous acts and those who perpetrate them, very little success can be made in the war on terrorism. The writer, a columnist for Asharq al-Awsat in London and al-Ahram in Cairo, is a senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

2004-07-06 00:00:00

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