Friday, March 13, 2009

The shame of Arab Media Support for Sudanese al-Bashir

“Even if al Bashir were to be found guilty of what he has been accused, the issuance of an arrest warrant is nothing more than an attack on Arab conscience, dignity, and identity.”

This is a quote from one of the arguments made in defence of President Omar al Bashir, which is just one example of a deluge of similar “bold” Arab positions that have been flooding the television stations, newspapers and internet sites since the International Criminal Court [ICC] issued an arrest warrant for al Bashir accusing him of committing war crimes in Darfur.

Indeed, since the arrest warrant was issued, the majority of Arab media has united in condemning this move.

However, this same media did not unite to report on the suffering of the people of Darfur, whose pictures and stories were hardly visible in the Arab press, and today we see sweeping demonstrations being staged in solidarity with al Bashir that remind us of the rallies that used to take place during the Saddam Hussein era. The live transmissions of al Bashir’s speeches, where he rouses public opinion and dances waving his stick or sword to the cheers of the crowd, have formed the dominant image of him on our satellite channels over the past week.

More of this article in Al-Sharq al-Awsat by Diana Mukkaled HERE.

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