Al-Jazeera English ban in Canada smells of fear
February 17, 2009
A Canadian cable company is applying to the CRTC for the right to broadcast Al-Jazeera English. Although controversial, the station should be allowed in Canada – you may not agree with all their views, but that should be possible in a free society. In addition, since the station is already available on the Internet, the discussion is essentially moot.
Al-Jazeera is reviled by some and exalted by others – sometimes due to the person’s viewpoint, sometimes because the coverage shows the other side of the story, and sometimes due to purposely inaccurate accusations – like the accusation of affiliation with Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Many feel that their coverage of the war in Gaza may be their debut (in the west) as a legitimate and balanced news station. Gideon Levy from Israel’s Haaretz newspaper has praise for Al-Jazeera English and especially forAyman Mohyeldin – the war correspondent from Al-Jazeera.
With the likes of Avi Lewis, Ayman Mohyeldin, and Tony Burman in their ranks, Al-Jazeera is primed to reach Canadian audiences who have the ability to dissect their news and form individual opinion. Others will continue to suppress fact, speech and opinion by using fear.