Huff Post Arabic Promotes Islamist Themes; It Didn’t Take Long

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US media is reporting that the new Huffington Post Arabic edition is rife with what the report calls “article after article infused with religious and social conservatism.” The BuzzFeed News report begins:

An Algerian columnist recently warned of a growing trend that could bring Islamic civilization crashing down: the selfie. More young Muslims are taking selfies, he noted, a symptom of ‘the diseases and the viruses of the Western world’ making their way into Arab lands.

‘I consider my article as an open letter to all the Islamic Ummah’s youth,’ the piece said, excluding the approximately 1 in 10 Arabs who are not Muslim in the process. ‘It is a call to stop adopting such sick behaviors that come to destroy our traditions and the basics of human cultural identity.’

Such sentiments are typical fare for readers of socially conservative and politically Islamist media in the Arab world. But its publisher was one new to the Arabic-language media scene, and better known for its close ties to liberal and progressive politics: the Huffington Post. ‘

While selfie culture is a mainstay of the Huffington Post’s English-language sites, readers would rarely expect to see religious-tinged screeds denouncing them. Many Arab readers have expressed surprise and disappointment that Huffington Post Arabi, as the new site is known, seems to have taken such an editorial departure from its parent.

@HuffingtonPost your Arabic edition is a shame. Better revisit your strategy here. best of luck! — Ahmed Maher (@AMaheer)

With this homophobic, vitriolic post esp @HuffingtonPost has let its Arabic site disgrace its brand http://t.co/BFfGnmfCzh — ????? ??? (@Mokhtar_Awad)”

Read the rest here,

The GMBDW reported last month on the Muslim Brotherhood connections of Huffington Post’s new Arabic language edition. As we wrote at that time:

The GMBDW does not expect the new Huffington Post edition, known as HuffPost Arabi, to become an overt news outlet of the Muslim Brotherhood. Rather we believe that the Brotherhood perspective will be subtly introduced through choices of stories and commentators. Accordingly, the current edition of HuffPost Arabii headlines the case of three individuals currently imprisoned in Egypt. One of those individuals, journalist Abdullah Al-Fakharani is accused of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and the network which employs him is confirmed by reliable Western sources to be affiliated with the Brotherhood. In addition, one of the side columns is titled Palestine … Hell Between The Zionists And The Misery Of Black Flags (software translation). The edition also features an article by Kemal Helbawy, the former official spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West.

The GMBDW has been reporting since June 2007 on the Muslim Brotherhood ties of former Al Jazeera General Manager Waddah Khanfar who resigned his position in 2011. We reported in August 2014 that the Huffington Post was 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. At that time we noted that Ms. Huffington’s comments about being “completely independent”, partly attributed to the London location, struck 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.

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