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June 18, 2014 9

Social Media Campaigns Glorify Kidnapping of the Three Israeli Teens

Along­side the out­pour­ing of con­cern on social media for the safe return of the three Israeli teens kid­napped last Thurs­day, includ­ing a twit­ter cam­paign with the slo­gan #bring­back­our­boys, exists a cyn­i­cal, hate­ful and dan­ger­ous cam­paign prais­ing the kid­nap­ping.

The pro-kidnapping mes­sages, being pro­moted by some Pales­tini­ans and oth­ers across the Arab and Mus­lim world, are con­veyed through pic­tures, car­toons, blog posts, memes and even songs.

The most promi­nent is the “Three Fin­gers” cam­paign, rep­re­sent­ing the three kid­napped youths. This is a vari­a­tion on the four-finger salute adopted by the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in their fight against cur­rent Pres­i­dent and for­mer gen­eral Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi, and in sup­port of ousted pres­i­dent Muham­mad Morsi. Social media images depict adults and chil­dren per­form­ing a three-finger salute in sol­i­dar­ity with the kid­nap­pers. In some pho­tos, objects, such as three bananas, are used as props to recre­ate the salute, and sim­i­lar themes have also appeared in car­toons in Arabic-language newspapers.

The other ele­ment to the pro-kidnapping cam­paign is the invo­ca­tion of for­mer Israeli sol­dier Gilad Shalit, who was held cap­tive by Hamas for five years and released in 2011 in exchange for Israel free­ing 1027 Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ists. A Face­book page titled “Three Shal­its” calls on the pub­lic to share pic­tures of them­selves hold­ing up three fin­gers in sup­port of a sim­i­lar exchange of the kid­napped Israeli teens for addi­tional Pales­tini­ans in Israeli jails. Some of the cap­tions sug­gest that each kid­napped boy should be released in exchange for 1027 Pales­tini­ans, bring­ing the total num­ber to 3081.

The pro-kidnapping social media cam­paign also includes a song prais­ing the kid­nap­pers called “A Hand­ful of Shal­its.” The singer says “We’ve got you all, Shal­its,” which is fol­lowed up by a call to Pales­tini­ans in Israeli pris­ons that their release is near.

A dif­fer­ent, and no less dis­turb­ing cam­paign, also exists on the other extreme in the form of a Hebrew Face­book page call­ing for “the exe­cu­tion of one ter­ror­ist every hour until the teens are released.” The page has already gar­nered almost 20,000 likes, and con­tains selec­tive Bib­li­cal quo­ta­tions and other state­ments to sup­port vio­lent reprisals to the kid­nap­ping of the three Israeli teens.

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May 15, 2014 1

Conference In Qatar Features Anti-Semitism and Pro-Terror Messages

The Inter­na­tional Union of Mus­lim Schol­ars (IUMS) held a con­fer­ence ear­lier this week in the Qatari cap­i­tal of Doha called “Al-Quds [Jerusalem] and Al-Aqsa: Between Con­spir­acy and Con­fronta­tion.” The day­long con­fer­ence, which took place on Sun­day, May 11, fea­tured speeches by the direc­tor of Hamas’s for­eign rela­tions depart­ment, Osama Ham­dan, who is based in Lebanon, and by rad­i­cal cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi.qatar 2014 conference Al Aqsa

In his speech, Qaradawi reit­er­ated his past anti-Semitic remarks glo­ri­fy­ing the killing of Jews as part of the Islamic tradition.

Accord­ing to the IUMS web­site: “He [Qaradawi] deliv­ered the good news of Mus­lims’ vic­tory over Jews with evi­dence from the Qur’an and Sun­nah includ­ing the say­ing of the Prophet, peace be upon him, ‘The last hour would not come unless you fight the Jews and the stone, with a Jew behind it, would say: oh Mus­lim, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.’”

Qaradawi also reit­er­ated his oppo­si­tion to Abdel Fat­tah Al-Sisi, the for­mer gen­eral who is poised to be elected as Egypt’s next pres­i­dent fol­low­ing elec­tions that will be held later this month. Qaradawi accused Al-Sisi – who led a coup against The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood–affil­i­ated pres­i­dent last year – of being the choice of the Jews. Accord­ing to IUMS’s web­site, Qaradawi also noted the “hap­pi­ness of the Jews” with the Egypt­ian pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi. He stated, “the Jews con­sider him their Sisi and not our Sisi.”

For his part, Ham­dan used the plat­form to pro­mote the use of vio­lence against Israel and deny Israel’s right to exist, say­ing “Time has come to encour­age Arabs and Mus­lims to fight for the lib­er­a­tion of Pales­tine because rights can’t return with­out force.”

Ham­dan also said, “It’s shame­ful to for­get what was occu­pied in 1948, which is the major­ity of the land of Pales­tine,” and expressed hope that the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion between Hamas and Fatah would lead to a “recon­sid­er­a­tion of the lib­er­a­tion project.”

IUMS is led by Qaradawi and is par­tially spon­sored by the Qatari gov­ern­ment. Qatar’s repeated pro­vi­sion of a plat­form for events marked by anti-Semitism and sup­port for ter­ror­ism calls into ques­tion the country’s claims to be a mod­er­ate and rea­son­able voice in the region. The con­fer­ence is also an exam­ple of the per­va­sive anti-Semitism that exists in the Mid­dle East and North Africa.

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December 24, 2013 0

Muslim Brotherhood Rabaa TV Starts Broadcasting From Istanbul

The Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood launched a new tele­vi­sion sta­tion on Decem­ber 20, 2013, in Istan­bul, Turkey. The new sta­tion, Rabaa TV, will broad­cast news about the Mus­lim world in Ara­bic and claims it will be a “plat­form for freedom.”

rabaa-tv-muslim-brotherhood

Rabaa TV logo

To kick off the net­work, Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the rad­i­cal Mus­lim Broth­er­hood ide­o­logue and out­spo­ken sup­porter of ter­ror­ist groups, made an appear­ance on the station’s inau­gural broad­cast. Qaradawi, has been vocally opposed to the mil­i­tary takeover of Egypt in July, call­ing the inci­dent a “coup that raped the office of the Egypt­ian president.”   

The network’s name, Rabaa, refers to the name of the Cairo mosque where pro-Brotherhood demon­stra­tors were faced with vio­lence by secu­rity forces after weeks of protests. Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan, who wel­comed the Brotherhood’s ascen­sion to power fol­low­ing the 2011 rev­o­lu­tion, has been out­spo­ken in his sup­port for for­mer Broth­er­hood leader, Mohamed Morsi.

The com­ing days will tell if the chan­nel will embrace pre­vi­ous anti-Semitic nar­ra­tives fea­tured in other Mus­lim Broth­er­hood media outlets.

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