Al-Jazeera to Islam: We’re sorry

March 6, 2008 § Leave a comment

(Note: This is not the clip that prompted an apology from al-Jazeera.)

Al-Jazeera issued an apology to viewers on their website today (and possibly on-air) for comments that were made against Islam during a broadcast of their controversial debate show “The Opposite Direction” or, al-Itijah al-Muakkis.

The official statement does not give specifics, but an English-language article from The Gulf Times says that the anti-Islam comments were made by Syrian female Wafa Sultan during a debate on the cartoons of the Prophet in Denmark.

(Update: Al-Quds al-Arabi reports that the university professor Wafa Sultan expressed support for the drawings of the Prophet and sought to justify the recent Israeli massacres in Israel.)

The program al-Itijah al-Muakkis is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, show on al-Jazeera. The moderator, Faysal al-Qasim, is very blunt and direct in the questions that he poses to the two guests who are expected to debate on a given subject. The topics range from “America’s democracy in the Middle East” to “Why are there autocracies in the Middle East?” What ensues is normally a very heated debate, so I am curious as to what could’ve been said which prompted al-Jazeera to issue an apology.

I posted a video of the show above to give people a feel for the format and a chance to listen to the ominous intro music. The topic of debate for this episode is Bush’s visit to the Middle East. Faysal al-Qasim poses such questions as: Isn’t George Bush the one who has killed millions of Iraqis or turned them into refugees? Then, debate ensues.

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