Al-Jazeera and Qatar’s Soft Power
Chapter 5. Al-Jazeera’s Obsession With the Clash-of-Civilizations Theory and Its Contribution to Qatar’s Core-State Ambition
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AL-JAZEERA’S OBSESSION WITH THE CLASH-OF-CIVILIZATIONS THEORY AND ITS CONTRIBUTION TO QATAR’S CORE STATE AMBITION
As Muslims we believe that Allah is our god, that Islam is our religion, and that Mohammad peace be upon him is our prophet. As Muslims we are required to apply the teachings of Islam in every situation of our life. At the same time the West has a worldview which is opposed to this position. Therefore it is only natural that a struggle between the two will follow.
—Abdallah Taj al-Din, on Al-Jazeera Stage (October 29, 2007)
This chapter illustrates how Al-Jazeera Arabic consistently employs an “us and them” prism to address topics of relations between Arab or Muslim countries and Western sovereignties. The constant depiction of events from such a worldview, it is argued, promotes Qatar’s standing as the leader of the Arab world against the perceived attack by the West on Arabs and Muslims.
Recruiting the Clash-of-Civilizations Theory to Explain 9/11 and Other US-Arab Relations
The environment of common poverty and scarce freedom provides for a politically volatile “Arab street” in many Arab countries. According to several accounts, Arab governments frequently use the media to direct that anger ← 65 | 66 → outward towards Israel and the United States, as they are “convenient villains on whom Arabs’ misery can be blamed.”1 This popular narrative assumes that Arabs and Islam are under attack and that the Arab world...
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