By Abdul Nishapuri
November 30, 2011
With billions of petro dollars to fund
their global clout, the Saudi lobbies have simply brought off opposition to
their continued efforts to spread Wahhabism worldwide. In failing to confront Wahhabism, North
America and Europe remain paralysed by a combination of political correctness
and a racism of lower expectations while in Muslim majority countries, the
Saudi lobbies have used the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Ikhwan to infiltrate every
level of the State. Together this
ensures that the relentless radicalization of millions of urban, upper and
middle class Muslim youth is going on at a relentless pace in only Pakistan,
India, Middle East, Egypt, Somalia, Indonesia and Malaysia but also in North
America and Europe through the concerted efforts of Saudi-funded Islamic TV
channels. Examples of such channels include: Dr. Zakir Naik’s Peace TV (English
and Urdu), Islam Channel, Iqraa TV and a few others.
her book titled ‘Reconciliation’, late Benazir Bhutto offers a bold and
critical description of Wahhabi Islam and its home, Saudi Arabia. She recounts
the history of Wahhabism, with its repeated destruction of the mosques,
monuments and lives of other (moderate) Sunni sects, as well as its war on
Shiites. According to Fareed Zakaria, given that Saudi Arabia has been a
generous patron to Pakistan, it is striking that Bhutto was willing to write
things that would surely have caused her difficulty had she become prime
minister. This threat materialized in
reality with the Saudi regime actively opposing the democratic PPP-lead
government and its President Asif Ali Zardari as evidenced by both wiki leaks
and this New York Times article which both highlight how the Saudis prefer
dealing with the ISI and pro-Taliban politicians instead of those like the PPP
who have the mandate of the nation.
The very fact that Benazir Bhutto and
several other leaders and workers of her party (PPP), and thousands of innocent
Pakistanis, Afghanis and nationals of other countries of diverse faiths, sects
and ethnicities have been martyred by the radicalised Jihadis is an indication
of the violent and intolerant Salafi-Wahhabi ideology at play.
It Is Possible To Identify Three Goals
Of The Saudi-Funded Islamic TV Channels.
1. The first goal of these channels is to
drive a wedge between Muslims and non-Muslims and create a narrow, sectarian
binding identity for Muslims, brainwashing them towards a Saudi version of
2. The second goal is to strip away the
diverse and rich cultural heritage of Muslims world-wide by condemning and
ridiculing their syncretic spiritual practices. The aim is to create a stark,
monochromatic and intolerant version of Islam as per which all other faiths or
sects are deviant or heretic;
3. The third goal of these channels is to
encourage hatred and physical violence against alls those diverse sects of
Islam, e.g., Sufi / Barelvi, moderate Deobandis, Bohras, Isna Asharis, Ahmadis
etc, which do not conform to the official Saudi version.
Naik and dozens of his clones currently being produced by the Saudi-funded
Peace TV network are a classic example of how thousands of moderate Muslim
youth, women and men, are being subconsciously and silently being radicalized
by Saudis. Through a sectarian,
decontextualised and selective misinterpretation of the Quran and the Hadees,
Zakir Naik is creating divisions and hatred not only between Muslims and
non-Muslims (Hindus, Christians, and Jews etc) but also between different sects
of Islam. Naik’s bigoted propaganda and insensitive diatribe against Judaism,
Hinduism, Christianity and also against Sufi, Shia and Ahmadi sects of Islam is
completely opposite to the tolerant and the inclusive practices of the Prophet
Similarly, the Islam Channel is known for
promoting a narrow sectarian version of Islam wiping out moderate Sunni Muslims
and Shia Muslims from its programs and discourse. According to a media
What Islam Channel has done is to give an
un-due prominence to Islamist voices that represent only a small minority of
British Muslims. This over-representation has also led to other voices “for
instance from the UK’s Shia community or from non-Islamist Muslim groups” being
under-represented on the channel.
Many of its speakers are Islamist
extremists from organisations like Hizb ut-Tahrir who use the channel to
promote intolerant and bigoted interpretations of Islam. Others are Wahhabi
graduates of Saudi universities who have denied the Holocaust and promoted
hatred of Shia Muslims. Other presenters are Islamists who have been suspended
from their jobs in government due to their extremist statements or who are from
organisations that the government has broken ties with due to their leading
members’ alleged support for terrorism.
One of the most worrying aspects of Islam
Channel is the promotion of its extremist agenda via the views and politics of
its presenters. Amongst these have been the Wahhabi cleric and anti-Semite
Yasir Qadhi, and Azad Ali of the Islamic Forum Europe (IFE), who was suspended
from his position of civil servant earlier this year, following the publication
of extremist Jihadi literature on the IFE blog.
Iqraa TV channel is yet another Saudi-funded
channel aimed at redefining an Islamic identity among Arab viewers. The channel
is owned by Saudi billionaire Sheikh Salah Kamal’s Arab Media Corporation.
According to Abu Haiba: Two easily
identifiable media discourses in the Islamic media environment today are: the
visibly Saudi-influenced one, which are clearly embodied by the Salafist
ideology. Though narrow in their scope, Salafi stations focus on rituals and
spirituality, where women and music are virtually non-existent on the airwaves.
Furthermore, political quietism is another characteristic of these stations.
However, there is also presence of relatively moderate, more refined and subtle
Saudi-Salafi channels which are characterized by a contradiction of statements
both in style and content stemming from their ostensibly moderate inclinations.
Some shows have expanded their range of issues covered, beyond Islamic laws and
spirituality. For example, they not only addressed issues pertaining to ethics
and values, but also featured women as anchors, guests, or among the general
public presenting media stories. However, political quietism and wiping out of
diverse sects of Islam remains their key characteristic.
Another example of an exclusive and intolerant
agenda of such TV channels is their policy of wiping out Karbala and Imam
Hussain from their transmission even during the first ten days of Muharram when
Muslims across the world, notwithstanding their particular sect or belief,
mourn the great sacrifice of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet
Muhammad. Millions of Sunni and Shia Muslims in India, Pakistan, North America,
Europe and other countries pay homage to Imam Hussain, which is also evident on
moderate Islamic channels such as Noor TV, ARY QTV, Hidayat TV, Takbeer TV
etc. However, the mention of Imam
Hussain and the family of the Prophet is completely censored on Saudi-funded
Peace TV, Iqraa TV and Islam Channel. It must be acknowledged that the great
sacrifice of Imam Hussain has been acknowledged and appreciated by Muslim and
non-Muslims alike who treat the revered Imam as a symbol of humanity and truth. All Islamic TV channels are paying homage to
Imam Hussain except Saudi-funded, OBL & Yazid apologist Zakir Naik’s Peace
TV and other Saudi-financed channels.
While both Muslims as well as Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Jews etc.
respect the timeless Karbala paradigm, the Saudi hate lobby, lead by the likes
of Zakir Naik ensures that Imam Hussain is ignored or that the tyrannical
caliph Yazid who murdered the Prophet’s family is eulogized.
A similar censorship is enforced by the
Saudi-funded channels on the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (known as Mawlid
or Eid-Milad-un-Nabi), which is observed by a dominant majority of all Sunnis
and Shias except those belonging to Saudi-Salafi interpretation of Islam. From
a Saudi-Wahhabi perspective, the majority of moderate Sufi/Barelvi Sunnis are
ridiculed as Mushrik (polytheists) and Shias are reduced to kafir (infidels).
Saudi-funded TV channels are also being facilitated by other pro-Saudi
preachers such as Dr. Farhat Hashmi and other Taliban and Al Qaeda apologists.
Previously activists and scholars such as Sarah Khan, Tarek Fatah, Farzana
Hasan and Raheel Raza have written on the potential threats posed to peace,
tolerance and Islam itself by pseudo-Muslim scholars such as Zakir Naik and
To see the creeping Talibanisation and
sympathy for Al Qaeda initiatives Farhat Hashmi, refer to Salon’s “The
Taliban’s ladies auxiliary” , this Daily Times report and the a collection of
various newspaper articles, reports and comments that have has been compiled by
LUBP. These accounts painstakingly
highlight how Wahhabi proselytizers have made significant strides in creating
rejectionist and misogynist mental ghettos amongst Muslim communities
worldwide, especially in Canada and Britain.
The progenitors of Zakir Naik and Farhat
Hashmi are 20th century ideologues like Syed Qutb, Abul Ala Mawdudi and Hassan
Al-Banna. The last is the founder of the
Muslim Brotherhood/Ikhwan-ul-Muslimeen and grand-father of Tariq Ramadan, a
Swiss acadamic whose subtle Wahhabilite activism needs greater intellectual
scrutiny. These are the ideologues who
have been the biggest promoters of a global Wahhabist agenda that rejects both
moderate Muslim opinion as well as the rights and values of other faith
traditions. This Wahhabist agenda
justifies the horrendous violence against both Muslims and non-Muslims. It is the reason why the many brainwashed
upper-middle class Muslim urbanites of Europe and North America are completely
silent about the violence that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of
Muslims from Somalia to Indonesia. This
is the specific violence committed by Al Qaeda and its Taliban,
Jamaat-e-Islami, Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi affiliates while moderate
Muslims, especially the Ahmedi, Sufi, Sunni and Shia sects are the primary
victims of this violence.
I am painfully aware of the fact that
millions of Muslims not only in India and Pakistan but also in the US, Canada,
UK and other countries across the world are allowing themselves and their
families to be gradually brainwashed by watching the Saudi-Ikhwan sectarian
propaganda of such TV channels.
It is a sincere warning to all those
persons who are allowing themselves and/or their family members to be exposed
to and brainwashed by the Saudi-funded TV channels: you might have a future
Faisal Shahzad, Major Nidal Hasan or Muhammad Ata currently being groomed right
within your own house. Through your
subscription or donation to the Saudi-funded TV channels, you may be, at least
indirectly and subconsciously, contributing to the spread of Al Qaeda, Taliban
and Saudisation of moderate Muslims. It is time to reflect on ways to
discourage and impede the ongoing Saudisation (Wahhabisation) of moderate
List Of Saudi-Funded Wahhabi-Salafi TV
Name Language(s) Established Type Notes
2004 Wahhabi Islam
Saudi-funded; Available throughout UK
and Western Europe via Eurobird. Available throughout Europe and Middle East
via Hotbird 6 and throughout Africa via Eutelsat Sesat and Eutelsat W4
2007 Wahabi Islam Saudi funded; Owned by Zakir Naik.
Peace TV Urdu
2009 Wahhabi Islam Saudi funded; Owned by Zakir Naik.
English / Urdu April 2009 Wahhabi
Islam Saudi funded; IQRA TV is
owned and run by Al Khair foundation under the
supervision of Imam Qasim. Mainly in English but also runs some Bangali and
Urdu programming. Has strong links with PEACE TV and recently hosted the
Al-Khair Peace convention jointly in UK. On Sky in the UK and can be received
in Europe via Eurobird 1.
Arabic 2006 Wahhabi Islam Saudi
funded; Owned by Prince Waleed bin Talal.