One is reference to the noticeable alignment of Al Jazeera with the Muslim Brotherhood, the global Islamic movement whose motto is, "The Koran is our law; jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope." The second (with an exception noted below) is reference to Al Jazeera's superstar host and ideological lodestar, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a leading Muslim Brotherhood figure. The influence of al-Qaradawi at the network and in Qatar -- where, according to Freedom House's 2012 press report, it is against the law for journalists to criticize the Qatari government, the ruling family or Islam -- can hardly be overestimated.
Strange omission? This relationship between the Qatari-controlled network and the Muslim Brotherhood organization has been observed for years. Back in 2007, for example, Steven Stalinsky reported in The New York Sun that various Arab commentators referred to Al Jazeera as "the Muslim Brotherhood channel" and the like. What's more, reference to the relationship appears at least in passing in coverage of the Gore deal at mainstream media sites such as USA Today and the Seattle Times. More discussion is available at some conservative outlets, including Rush Limbaugh and The Blaze. (Searches at Breitbart and the Washington Examiner, like News Corp. sites, yielded nothing on these same points. Call it, perhaps, "the Fox effect.")
Given the rise of Muslim Brotherhood parties in the revolutions of the so-called Arab Spring -- undeviatingly cheered on by Al Jazeera -- the network's Muslim Brotherhood connection, which extends to Al Jazeera's sponsors inside the Qatari ruling family, is a crucial point to miss. Especially when it seems to be missed across the board.
The same goes for failing to mention Al Jazeera's leading personality, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, in the Gore deal coverage. This longtime "spiritual guide" of the Muslim Brotherhood hosts one of Al Jazeera's most popular shows, "Sharia and Life." Among other poisonous pronouncements, al-Qaradawi has called for Americans in Iraq and Israelis everywhere to be targeted by terrorists ("martyrs") who would then find a place in Islamic paradise. Given Al Gore's refusal to sell his network to Glenn Beck's The Blaze TV due to political differences, Muslim Brother Al-Qaradawi and his Shariah ideology become highly relevant. Then again, maybe one man's news story is just another man's clipping on the cutting-room floor.
Meanwhile, the one story I found in News Corp. coverage of the Gore deal that mentions al-Qaradawi -- a column by Gordon Crovitz -- neglected to note al-Qaradawi's place in the Muslim Brotherhood. Particularly given current events, this is a little like forgetting to mention that Hermann Goring was in the Nazi Party.
Could normal editorial discretion or plain ignorance be at work here? I suppose so. Still, there is that tie-in between News Corp. and the House of Saud to consider, a partnership I find more troubling than Gore's deal with the Qatari emirate. Not only does Alwaleed own a stake in News Corp., Murdoch owns an even more substantial stake (18.97 percent) in Alwaleed's Arabic media company Rotana.
Within the Alwaleed-Murdoch-Rotana galaxy is a 24-hour-Islamic outlet called Al Risala, which Alwaleed founded in 2006. The channel's director and popular "tele-Islamist" is Tareq Al-Suwaidan, widely reported to be a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait. The station's "Supreme Advisory Committee" includes Abdullah Omar Naseef, who, according to former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy, is "a major Muslim Brotherhood figure" involved in the financing of al-Qaida.
Al Risala, then, would seem to fit right into the Al Jazeera-Qaradawi-Muslim-Brotherhood lineup.
We know Alwaleed has influenced Fox editorial matters before. Could that Alwaleed influence -- even his very presence - account for why News Corp. hasn't hit harder on the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaradawi angles of the Gore-Jazeera deal?
I don't know, but I wonder. Don't you?