UK media is reporting that the Huffington Post is forming a partnership with Wadah Khanfar, the former head of Al Jazeera and long associated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, to launch an Arabic-language edition targeting Middle Eastern youth. According to the Financial Times report carried on Gulf News:
August 6, 2014 New York The Huffington Post is teaming up with the former head of Al Jazeera to launch an Arabic-language edition targeting a fast-growing population of mobile-connected Middle Eastern youth.
Like most of its international sites, the Arabic edition is a partnership between Huffington Post, which provides its platform, and a local media group. Stories and video will be produced by local correspondents trained by Integral Media Strategies, a digital news start-up founded by Wadah Khanfar, former director-general of Qatar-based Al Jazeera.
HuffPost Arabi aims to ‘increase the diversity of news in this part of the world’ and engage Arabic-speaking youth in a region where more than a third of the population is aged 15 to 30, said Mr Khanfar, who left Al Jazeera in 2011 during the Arab spring protests. ‘This is the population that would love to be connected and to share the news.’
Unlike other western media groups with outposts in Doha, Dubai or Abu Dhabi, however, HuffPost Arabi’s editorial headquarters will be in London. Mr Khanfar said the site ‘should be, at this moment in time, [based]outside the region. That will enable it to be distant enough to be fair, balanced, not politically involved, not ideologically biased.’
Ms Huffington said the site would not shy away from sensitive subjects, despite press and internet restrictions in many countries in the region.
‘It is very important for us to be, as we are everywhere, completely independent and cover everything including issues such as the rights of women, free expression, free speech,’ she said. ‘We are not making any concessions . . . and being in London makes that especially clear.’
Read the whole article here.
Ms. Huffington’s comments about being “completely independent”, partly attributed to the London location, strike us as highly ironic given that Mr. Khanfar has long been tied to Hamas and the Global Muslim Brotherhood. His presence in London will only serve to facilitate those relationships given that London is essentially the European headquarters for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The GMBDW has an extensive profile of Wadah Khanfar detailing his ties to Haas and the Global Muslim Brotherhood. The profile begins:
According to a report in a Mideast business publication, Wadah Khanfar was born and educated in Jordan where, consistent with a Muslim Brotherhood background, he was educated as an engineer. The same report indicates that he also was a student activist, organizing a student union an activity also consistent with a Muslim Brotherhood background. In a TV interview, Khanfar stated that started his career as a journalist as an analyst on African affairs, mainly on Al Jazeera, while living in South Africa where he was doing graduate study in international politics and African studies at the time. He also described himself in the interview as “a researcher and consultant in Middle Eastern economics and political affairs.” In 1997, Khanfar became the Al Jazeera correspondent in South Africa. However, while living in South Africa, Khanfar was also was the Director of Human Resource Development for the International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations (IIFSO), an organization closely tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood. A memo purporting to be a 1998 briefing document prepared for the South African President Thabo Mbeki has long been posted on the Internet and describes the IIFSO as working closely with Hamas:
Read the rest here.