An earlier post discussed reports that Al Jazeera General Manager Waddah Khanfar was likely on his way to being dismissed from Al Jazeera due to his alleged connections with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Variety interviewed Mr. Khanfar in response to the reports, describing him as “arguably the most man in Arab TV news.” In the interview, Mr. Khanfar denied that his removal from the board of Al Jazeera implied any change in his position at the TV station:
I know what has been written, but I can assure you that Al-Jazeera will remain the same. There has been no change in our editorial line or our editorial policy…As far as I’m concerned, I run Al-Jazeera and I’m in charge.
The Variety article also described an interview with the
former Washington bureau chief of Al Jazeera who said he left the station ” because of its increasingly Islamist outlook and marginalization of liberal journos.” In July 2006, Dr. Khaled Shawkat, director of the Netherlands-based Center for Promoting Democracy in the Arab World, also accused Al Jazeera of being under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood:
Al-Jazeera has been hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood organization – either at the wish of the channel’s owners as part of a certain political game [played]by the Qatari rulers, or out of the lack of awareness of the Qatari rulers, who think that the situation is under control and that even though they have given the Muslim Brotherhood a chance to control Al-Jazeera, for local, regional, and international considerations, they can get rid of them or restrain them any time they want..