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October 12, 2005


Mike Nargizian

The host is good looking, at least in the picture in the link you gave.
I don't know if you agree with some of what Pipes said and don't with other parts or if you just think he is an "extremist"? or if you think Al Jazeera is a problem or it isn't?

However, I can say that I am surprised that Daniel Pipes was on Al Jazeera and apparently treated fairly?

I still think it's show and a way to make him look bad, though according to your analysis he did it on his own?

Please explain and please explain more about this host who of course I've never heard about. Is she a moderate.

Further, the idea that Al Manar and Al Jazeera don't foster and assist extremism and violence is nonsense. Talk to the French and how Al Manar and Al Jazeera is blasted into the Algerian sections of France? lol...


I missed this?!

Bloody hell. Bloody stupid soap opera watching, rotted.


Have to check for the rerun.


Mike, clearly you haven't been reading AA for long, if ever. I suggest this top-notch primer.


Hmm, I missed that comment.

What is nonsense is the simple mindedness of the comment. Al Manaar and Al Jazeerah are not in any way in the same league.

As for Jumana, well, clearly you don't watch much Al Jazeerah (which makes a comment correcting the Father of Aardvarks on this more amusing).

As to Pipes, he's an axe grinder and an ideologue, although he does excel in throwing red meat to the know nothing wing of the bolshy American right and Islamophobes generally.

Regardles, that you are expressing suprise with respect to Pipes appearing on al Jazeerah and being treated fairly merely means you've been lapping up too much agitprop.

Lounsbury, your friendly financier.

David Kane

If you don't like the term "Islamofascism," what term would you use instead?


Was this debate in English or in al-luga al-Arabiyya?


"He does have a point, you know: it's hard to argue that al-Jazeera doesn't give a platform to extremists when Pipes keeps getting invited back..."

Haha...I love it! They should have an award for most smart-ass political scientist ;)


For those who are not lapping up ideological rubbish, instead of clear-headed thought, the perfectly useful term "radical Islamist" is far more useful than the ugly and inaccurate "Islamo-Fascist."

Islamism is lots of thinks, but it's hardly "fascism" in any coherent sense (other than the sort of typical empty abusive 'I don't like the politics' usage or sense one used to see more on the left).

Stupid term used by dishonest, stupid or just simply ignorant fools.

the aardvark

David -

"Islamofascist" just makes no sense as a concept, and muddies more than it clarifies. Too often it is taken as a description of Islam as a whole, which is absurd. When used more responsibly, it refers to a specific form of Islamist activism - but it doesn't describe its ideology or its goals accurately. "Jihadism" or "Radical Islamism" better captures them.

John - in Arabic, except (I think) for Pipes (I relied on the transcript, which doesn't say whether it's translated or not, but I've seen Pipes on al-Jazeera before and he spoke English).


Islam O'Fascist is a perfectly clear term -- it refers to Blueshirt-supporting Irish Muslim converts. A narrow category, but I beleive it may include the singer/rapper Everlast (formerly of House of Pain). Jump Around!

Yes, the above is not only a stupid joke, its an old one -- I've been repeating for three years. But dammit, I think its funny. Every time I hear Islam O'Fascist and I think of some sort of Jihadi Lucky Charms Leperchaun -- Islamicly Delicious!


Pipes spoke in English. Does he know any Arabic?

Also, whether by intention or habit, he spoke rather slowly, which means the translation was relatively coherent (to the degree that the original allowed). In respect to Abu Aardvark's PR vision, I think a first useful step would be to get American guests to grasp the idea that jabbering through a translator is a *bad* idea.

Tom Scudder

I think Pipes has at least *some* Arabic (lounsbury had some amusing anecdotes about the young Daniel Pipes and his bodyguard a while ago which I cannot be bothered to dig up), but there's a considerable distance from "some Arabic" or even "I can understand what they're on about" to "I can speak in Arabic in the midst of a complicated political discussion". I know precious few westerners who can manage the latter.

John Penta

Yeah, not exactly a shining moment in cross-cultural dialogue.

Pipes is...embarassing.

But, Lounsbury...

Bolshy American right...

Bolshy...right...isn't that a contradiction....?


JPenta - Not when you examine the careers of the neocon wing of the Republican Party.

Mike Nargizian

I read the article that Lynch wrote, I assume that's abuaardvark. And I get his basic point.

My feeling is that basically he is unforunately saying that Al Jazeera is the first and most dominant force in opening up fierce debate in the Arab world. And it is reflective in some and large part of the Arab street where it gets "street credibility"....
That it panders and promotes often bigotry, populism (exact word?), sensationalism for its ratings and I would argue 'street cred' as well is just an unfortunate (hopefully temporary) fact.

And it is true you can't slam a region with true liberalism, secularism or real human rights reform that is not ready for it. Which the Arab world truly isn't..... especially when they can blame anyone who tries this as a "zionist/colonialist or American hegemonist" etc...

However, the comparison I thought of in my own mind whether fair or not is this.
In 1920 Jim Crow South if you broadcast on NBC regularly that you wanted Negroes to be able to vote and/or hold office on television there would be rioting and hangings... not to mention that local papers and television stations would destroy the national media for this. Any politician affiliated with this would be voted out of office and anyone who damned it (a nice populist effort) would be voted in. Similar effect Big Pharaoh described the Muslim Brotherhood in causing riots against the Coopts.

Now if there were Southern Liberals who declared that blacks should get the right to vote and use the same bathroooms, what would happen to him/her? besides losing all credibility?

So what the Professor describes is a reflection of where the Arab world is more than anything else. While Al Jazeera surely does provide some quality programming and also opens the debate up it shows an unfortunately sensationalizes and plays to the Arab prejudice and conspiracy mind. One/two steps forward one/two steps back. And if he is correct about Al Jazeera being the real or only powerful enough voice to open up the debate... he is hoping/assuming that the debate will grow larger and more diverse over time in the Arab media and Arab mind...
One can only hope and prey.

Thus, hoping that Israel will eventually get even a 30/70 fair shake for what it truly is in the Arab media/mind/world.... is a loooooooong looooooooong way away. And as long as that crutch is there more people will die there and the Arab world's patent made excuse, not just the dictator's but in the average Arab's mind as well, will always be there to stagnate....


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