Accession Number:

ADA478865

Title:

Al-Manar and Alhurra: Competing Satellite Stations and Ideologies

Descriptive Note:

Occasional paper no. 2

Corporate Author:

GEORGE C MARSHALL CENTER APO AE 09053 EUROPEAN CENTER FOR SECURITY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2006-10-01

Pagination or Media Count:

27.0

Abstract:

The current US administration has identified the Lebanese Islamist group Hizbullah as a key threat and the groups media a source of increasing anti-Americanism. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld blamed al-Jazeera, the leading Arabic language news station, for encouraging Islamism by broadcasting beheadings of hostages in Iraq, a charge the station denies. In President George Bushs State of the Union address in 2004, he focused on Arab television stations he claimed are responsible for hateful propaganda against the US. The stations distort news and show explicit images producing anti-Americanism. Al-Manar, a satellite television service launched by the Lebanese Hizbullah, is one of those stations. The US maintains that al-Manar is anti-Semitic and promotes hatred, and lists Hizbullah as a terrorist group. To counter what is viewed as the promotion of anti-Americanism, hate and terrorism, the administration banned al-Manar from American airwaves in December 2004, though legally, the basis for banning the television station was due to its role in aiding Hizbullah, not its messages. The US launched its own television station, Alhurra, to compete with messages from Arab media outlets in general. Are these efforts likely to succeed, winning the hearts and minds of Arab and Muslim TV watchers To answer this question, an analysis of Hizbullahs appeal is necessary. What messages is the station actually carrying, and with which constituencies do they resonate How does banning the station affect their credibility I analyze al-Manars ideology and link it to its bases of support. I then examine the American actions to counter this ideological influence, and how those attempts are received in the Arab world. In contrast to previous reports of al-Manars broadcasts, my study did not find overt support for suicide bombings or attacks on Americans or Israelis. Most coverage was comparable to other stations.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE