The Huffington Post's Arabic site is an Islamist hotbed

A stream of hateful, reactionary articles on the newly launched Arabic-language edition of the supposedly liberal Huffington Post says John R Bradley

November 24, 2016 23:31

A stream of hateful, reactionary articles on the newly launched Arabic-language edition of the supposedly liberal Huffington Post - coupled with a steady dose of analysis that tallies with Gulf regime propaganda and sectarian biases - have provoked widespread incredulity and ridicule.

One article actually allowed an Al-Jazeera journalist and convicted terrorist collaborator, Taysir Alluni, to sing the praises of former Taliban leader Mullah Omar, while another promoted conspiracy theories about the September 11 attacks.

An especially unhinged diatribe against gays, atheists and independent women was deemed so offensive that it was immediately deleted.

Few, if any, pro-Israel voices are given a word in edgeways by this staunch defender of diversity and free expression.

In contrast, anti-Israel opinions are given free rein, while secular, progressive Arab voices are given short shrift.

Astonishingly, there is no indication thus far that there will be any direct or meaningful criticism of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt or the other "moderate" Arab dictatorships - a curious omission for a news outlet claiming to promote the concepts of democracy and universal human rights.

Instead, the ranks of contributors to Huffington Post Arabi, as the site is known, include commentators who have written for established and censored Arab media.

But what intelligent Arab wants to read what they have to say? Their columns, often reflecting very closely the agendas of the writers' Qatari and Saudi paymasters, already pollute that and every other pan-Arab media outlet.

For a different perspective, though, readers are at least offered the words of wisdom of Syrian "opposition activist" Hakam Al-Baba.

He has praised Daesh and poured scorn on the idea of protecting any of Syria's non-Wahhabi religious minorities in a post-Assad scenario.

Unsurprisingly, the editorial team is led by a Muslim Brotherhood supporter, Wadah Khanfar, who headed the Al-Jazeera satellite news channel and was accused by former staffers of pushing it in an Islamist direction.

During her pre-launch trip to Qatar, Mr Khanfar was kind enough to introduce Arianna Huffington, the "brains" behind this bizarre project, to another Islamist: Majid Adwa.

Mr Adwa runs Sasa Post, an Arabic website that publishes homophobic and antisemitic articles.

How could Mrs Huffington have been so naive, in her bid to promote throughout the Middle East the classic Western values of positive dialogue and mutual respect, to have believed that these crazed bigots would embrace anything but a hard-line, anti-Western and pro-Islamist agenda?

In fact, Mr Khanfar seems to have been openly laughing at her foolishness from the outset.

Of the Middle East quagmire, he wrote in an editorial note to mark the launch of Huffington Post Arabi: "I in turn believe in the positivity of looking for a way out."

But, he added, he also believes that "the inherent wisdom that stems from our history and religious heritage are necessary weapons in this time of #WorldWar3."

World War Three?

His words, taken in the context of the voices Mr Khanfar is so enthusiastically promoting, sound to me terrifyingly similar to the contents of the secret Islamic State document found this week that has been compared to Hitler's Mein Kampf.

It singles out Israel as the root cause of Muslims' woes and calls for a global jihad and the establishment of a universal Caliphate.

Mrs Huffington should immediately admit the folly of this journalistic enterprise, and close down Huffington Post Arabi.

If she does not, it will prove to be nothing more than another example of an ignorant Western liberal (mis)applying the "diversity" values of her own culture to the Middle East, believing every lie she is told by those who in reality hold in contempt all she holds dear - and getting in return nothing but an anti-diversity platform.

November 24, 2016 23:31

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