Praises Middle Eastern Media as Democratic
In a recent statement at the International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon curiously hailed Middle Eastern media for its promotion of “transparency, accountability, and democracy.” The U.N.-backed media seminar takes place annually and focuses on, amongst other topics, “enhanc[ing] dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, while sensitizing public opinion to the question of Palestine and the peace process.”
Aside from the fact that Middle Eastern media is neither transparent, accountable, nor democratic, blatantly absent from the Secretary General’s statement was any mention of the multitude of Middle Eastern television programs aimed at indoctrinating children towards hate and suicidal-homicidal violence. Television stations such as Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV, Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV, and Iranian TV are notorious for broadcasting cartoons, music videos, and other child-oriented programming that encourage child “martyrdom” for the sake of “jihad,” or holy war, against Christians and Jews. Such programs illegally encourage their young audiences to execute suicide-homicide bombings and engage in other forms of violence. Al-Manar TV has been banned in the United States, Spain, France, and Germany. Al-Aqsa TV was similarly banned in the United States and France because of the violent nature of its programming.
One of the most egregious examples is Al-Aqsa TV’s children’s show titled “Pioneers of Tomorrow,” which starred a Mickey Mouse lookalike who taught children the “virtue” of killing Jews. On a children’s puppet show broadcast on Al-Alqsa TV, a young Muslim child goes to the White House and tells former President Bush that he is going to “take his rights with the sword of Islam.” After President Bush repents, the young child calls him “impure” and stabs him to death. On a recently aired Al-Manar talk show, a Palestinian child no older than four years old is interviewed about the “martyrdom” of his grandfather, a Hezbollah terrorist mastermind. The boy, dressed in military clothing, is asked what he wants to be when he grows up. Adults answer for him, saying he will join “the resistance” like his grandfather, and the child is then given a gun to play with.
Unfortunately, this year’s U.N. seminar has neglected to address the real obstacle to peace in the Middle East: the ongoing, illegal, and state-sponsored education of innocent Muslim children towards violence.
The Children’s Rights Institute calls upon Secretary General Ki-moon to correct his false statement and properly use the platform of the media seminar to expose and respond to the hate programming emanating from the Middle East and its devastating impact on its innocent viewers. By turning a blind eye to this egregious form of child abuse, Ki-moon has effectively given a green light to Middle Eastern media to continue indoctrinating children towards violence with impunity.