2921Published on February 3, 2021
Sharif Shahab Uddin:
The same drama is being repeatedly staged once and again by the same group of people who are known for their notorious past of opposing the creation of Bangladesh and took part in conducting history’s worst genocide during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. Despite their frantic and repeated attempts to thwart the progress of Bangladesh, including the tragic assassination of the father of the nation Bangabnadhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, nationwide mass killings after the election in 2001, the 21st August grenade attack on a peace rally organized by the then main opposition Awami League, spreading rumours against the development programme undertaken by the government, Bangladesh is marching towards non-stop development goals under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
These defeated forces perhaps having arrived at a conclusion that they will not be able to stop the forward march of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, now have resorted to wage propaganda against the country staying abroad.
The anti-Bangladesh propaganda is being conducted by some convicted criminals patronized by those defeated force Jamaat-e-Islami whose armed cadres had been engaged in killing our intellectuals, university teachers during the War of Liberation. It is alleged that the Al-Jazeera has joined hands with those criminals. There are so many reasons to believe that the Qatar- based Al-Jazeera have recently joined with those criminals forgetting the ethics of journalism. There are a lot of discussions, criticisms and debates over the Al- Jazeera. The channel is a flagship of the media conglomerate Al -Jazeera Media Network. There is no other global news agency which has drawn such a lot of flak because of its policy and news authenticity like Al -Jazeera.
After observing several investigations against Al- Jazeera, it seems that this is no news channel; it is a spokesperson of different gangs or groups instead.
In the latest instance of its malpractice in journalism, Al -Jazeera ran the false and defamatory report against Bangladesh on Monday. The Bangladesh government has officially dismissed the report calling it “false and defamatory” and a desperate “smear campaign” instigated by extremists and their allies, working in London and elsewhere.
The report is biased, fabricated, provocative and defamatory. In preparing the report, Al -Jazeera did not follow the ethics and professionalism in journalism. This was totally one-sided and baseless.
We wonder how an international news channel comes to a conclusion about the top brass of any armed forces without talking to any responsible person of the country. Where are their morals, principles and professionalism?
The foreign ministry statement noted that the main “source” of Al -Jazeera’s allegations is an alleged international criminal claimed to be a “psychopath” by Al-Jazeera itself.
Bangladesh has achieved a lot of success in various fields. The country is undoubtedly going in absolutely right direction under the prudent leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. When the whole world came to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bangladesh has attained various achievements, including maintaining a good pace in the remittance inflow, forex reserves, infrastructural development, economic development and so on.
Amid such development endeavours, the Al- Jazeera runs the report maligning the progress of Bangladesh. It shows the biasness and ill-motive against the development of the country.
Al- Jazeera started its journey with less criticism earlier in 1996. Later, questions cropped up about the news channel’s ethics and policies, and authenticity of its news contents.
Algeria was first to ban Al- Jazeera for airing biased and provocative news items. Iraq also temporarily banned Al- Jazeera for the same reasons the same year. Later, in 2011 many journalists of the news channel resigned with several allegations against it.
According to a United Nations Security Council Resolution, “Freedom of expression cannot be used to justify and shield the promotion of extremist narratives.” It means the media cannot establish or promote extremist narratives or discussions under the banner of “Freedom of expression”.
It seems that the editorial policy of Al- Jazeera is promoting extremists and provoking and misguiding others with its news item.
Al Jazeera interviewed terrorist group Al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden in a grand style after the deadly and brutal ‘Twin Tower Blast’ in America in 2001. The news channel also interviewed several other top terrorists and militants and brought them into the limelight.
In 2013, Al- Jazeera opened its office in the US while Al-Qaeda opened its office in Qatar the same year. Following that, an agency named Qatar Charity became the medium of receiving finance for militants. Al -Jazeera was allegedly involved in the whole process.
It is alleged that Al- Jazeera donated 1.25 million pound to radical militant group ISIS.
We all know about the activities and biased roles of Al- Jazeera in Bangladesh. Earlier on May 05 in 2013, the news channel misguided people broadcasting fake and fabricated news centring a clash between Hefazat-e-Islam followers and law enforcers in Dhaka’s Motijheel area.
The TV channel went against the true information regarding the trials of those who faced trial for wartime atrocities, including crimes against humanity, genocide, rape and arson, during the Liberation War in 1971.
Al Jazeera’s news broadcasting during the protests advocating improved road safety (Nirapad Sarak Andolon), quota reformists’ protest and so on are also objectionable.
The channel’s irresponsible news broadcasting is simply ‘yellow journalism’. Moreover, its involvement with fundamentalist and extremist groups is now a matter of concern.
On several occasions, it obtained statements from David Bergman, who launched a global campaign against the trial of the war criminals in Bangladesh, and Tasneem Khalili, an alleged Jamaat activist who went into self-exile during the caretaker government to escape trial.
It is shameful and demeaning. Hopefully they will regret their mistakes and practise proper journalism in future.