Why We Should Not allow terrorists on Lebanon TV’s ; the Rima Karaki case.

The past week, Lebanese supported TV Host Rima Karaki for reacting strongly to the so called sheikh Hani Al-Seba’i, but why should we allow outspoken supporter of terrorism (and maybe terrorists themselves) to speak on live TV’s in the first place ?

Rima Karaki from al Jadeed was conducting an interview with Hani Al-Seba’i, an islamist based in London. She even wore a loose hijab over her heard to show respect to her interlocutor. The latter was explaining how the fact that Christians and other “Nasriyeh” joining terrorist groups weren’t you. Rima Karaki cut him decently and explained to him that they had no time to go into the historical details, Al-Seba’i overly reacted (how the hell could a woman cut Him?) but Karaki tried to calm down the situation, Al-Seba’i continued disperecting her, and even told her to shut up. Karaki demanded from her TV team to end immediatly the interview and the “Sheikh” was muted and out. Karaki wanted to have a respectful and decent debate but she claimed that she couldn’t do an interview like this.

Rima Karaki reacted swifly and bravely to Hani Al-Seba’i. She showed to him that it’s not so easy to shut up a woman on TV within a complexed and macho Middle East, although I want to get into another side of the story.

Who is Hani Al-Seba’i ? An Egyptian strong supporter of Bin Ladin al Quaeda, who has been banned by the UN for supporting terrorism.

Resolution 1267 (1999) and subsequent resolutions have all been adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and require all UN Member States to inter alia: “freeze the assets of, prevent the entry into or transit through their territories by, and prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer of arms and military equipment to any individual or entity associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban as designated by the Committee”.

So Hani al Seba’i is in fact a terrorist.

He also claimed that non-muslims are all criminals and that France liked to drink blood to get close to Satan.

Here’s another lovely transcript from another interview back in 2011, this time on al Jazeera.

“Let me tell you: I love Sheikh Osama bin Laden as a Muslim. I am not glorifying or extolling anything. I am simply telling it as it is – Sheikh Osama is loved by millions of Muslims. Sheikh Osama is a hymn in the hearts of the downtrodden – from Jakarta to the Hindu Kush Mountains, to the villages and rural areas of Egypt… Ask those downtrodden and poor people, and they will tell you that they are grieving for Sheikh Osama bin Laden.

He adds without any restraint or shame.

“Sheikh Osama bin Laden fought occupation forces. He never killed civilians, and he never said he did. On the contrary, he extended his hand in peace to Europe and the West, and they were the ones who rejected it.”

He thinks that all non-muslims are targets (and murderers) so the victims of 9/11 were not civilians. Absurd.

Why should we allow this sort of man on live TV ? They already have the internet and probably a Mosque to spread their disgusting and stinking lies that actually harm more Arabs and Muslims than the Western civilisation. I confirm and don’t deny that they’re part of our societies. In Lebanon, we have similar “Sheikhs” that called for an insurrection against the military in Tripoli, what followed was a fierce battle between extremists galvanised by the Sheikhs Friday speeches and the Lebanese soldiers. Tripoli residents fled the battle in a massive exode. What if those Sheikhs were given the primetime on TV to call for a “rebellion” against the Lebanese soldiers ?

The media of Lebanon has a role in the spreading of their “ideology” and dogma. As the adage says, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, making  Live TV is a springboard for their words.
Of course, the interviews they participate to are not the sole explication of their existence and their supporters. The issue is political and social. Lack of jobs and education are one of the main reasons, but not necessary always the explanation, the western intervention in Iraq back in 2003 and the War in Syria also played a part in their fast expansion.

I strongly believe that our society and media is way better off without them, their ideas and their brainwashing lies. What do we lose if we stopped allowing them on Lebanese (and Middle East) TV’s ? Nothing, because there’s never been any real debate on TV, just shouting extremists that want to impose their “vision”. Maybe the TV’s like the sort of tension and electricity it creates. But Apart a good fiasco, there’s no real value added. They are a part of our society, but let us restraint this part by beginning to censor them on TV. Yes, censorship is what I am thinking of. I don’t need any euphemism.

In France, the apologists of terrorism, aka their supporters, are not allowed to speak on TV. The dimension it took after Charlie Hebdo attack got out of hand, and I strongly mocked them and condemned the French authorities as they were arresting a child over some words spoken in recreation courts. I’m not saying we should do as France, jailing people over drawings mocking Charlie Hebdo attack (see the irony here), but someone who openly support terrorism (or a terrorist) that already have faithful followers and armed extremists shouldn’t be allowed on TV. Sheikh al Assir should have never spoken on TV, we realised that after his peaceful protest transformed into a bloody battle against the Lebanese army, we shouldn’t have let him have this voice that he needed so much. But again, it’s not the fault of the media.

Al Jadeed is an example in Lebanon, it’s not openly supportive of any political party and I respect the fact that they want to allow the expression of all the Lebanese voices. But there must be limits. Al Manar (Hezbollah owned) and Mustaqbal (Future owned), should learn from it.

Finally, I wish a happy International Woman day to Rima Karaki and all the woman who said “stop” against any form of Machismo, including violent extremism. We need more woman like her in the Middle East and in the World.

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