A battle in Media and Ethics!

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban

In an interview with the member of the Supreme Political Council in Yemen, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, conducted by a presenter from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Mr. Houthi delivered a lesson in media ethics to both Western and Eastern audiences.

He demonstrated intellectual, ethical, and historical superiority over a broadcasting entity that claimed to be the oldest and most capable of delivering information. The responses of Mr. Houthi revealed a significant contrast between a superficial, reactive, and racially biased interviewer who lacks an understanding of the value and importance of the cultural intricacies she was addressing, and a figure of authority deeply aligned with his cause in thought, spirit, and performance.

The anchorwoman did not hesitate to consider herself a representative of the Israeli occupation with all its crimes and massacres against civilians, including children and women, when she stated: “What is happening in the Red Sea has not affected the Israeli occupation to cease the war on Gaza.” In a bold response, Mr. Houthi countered, “If it doesn’t affect them, then why did they form an international alliance?” Addressing the anchor’s question about the relationship between the Houthis and Palestine, despite being miles away from what is happening in Gaza, Houthi remarked: “Does it mean that Biden and Netanyahu share the same apartment?! Does the French president live on the same floor? Does the British Prime Minister reside in the same building? Or are there thousands of miles between them and Israel?” In these smart and insightful responses lies a clear exposure of the arrogant and disgraceful colonial logic employed by the West against the Arab world and the East, utilizing it without anticipating the application of the same equation in return. If speakers attempted to judge their Western counterparts by the same standards they impose, they would create a significant gap in the approach.

The starting point should be the ignorant West which relies on disgraceful racist policies and an Orientalist history that bears no relevance to our reality. The second point is to debunk the illusions that the West has implanted in people’s minds worldwide, claiming that its media is objective, impartial, powerful, and civilized. Recent years, especially with the reactions of the West (governments, media, congresses, and parliaments), and the ongoing worst massacre in history in Gaza, have proven it to be a defeated, superficial, and entirely Western-centric racist entity that does not value the principles, ethics, and lives of non-Westerners at all.

Another British presenter, who was supposed to conduct a political interview with Mr. Mustafa Barghouti, turned into a rude girl, stumbling in ignorance fueled by misguided Orientalist assumptions. She exhibited a lamentable combination of inherent ignorance and disgraceful lack of etiquette, extracted from an offensive racist upbringing that supports anti-Arab sentiments.

She accused Mr. Barghouti of refusing to speak to her because she is a woman, insinuating that Arabs do not respect or value women. Her words carried a shameful ignorance about Arabs and their history, displaying a disgraceful bias toward a repugnant Orientalism that has fabricated a series of lies about Arabs. The West continues to perpetuate these falsehoods for centuries without pausing to uncover the deceit and misinformation inherent in this Orientalist perspective.

To this presenter, I say: “An Arab woman ruled the Empire of Palmyra that flourished three thousand years ago. Arab women initiated literary clubs millennia ago. In recent history, Arab women had over twenty thousand magazines authored, printed, and distributed by women before World War I, at a time when European women were in deep darkness. Arab women have a history of civilization, sophistication, and ethics, and Arab men are pillars of support for Arab women and are proud of them. Do not attempt to impose your ignorance and repugnant racism on your audiences!”

The great cultural differences between us and the West became evident between this impolite girl and the ethical activist who respects himself, refraining from raising his voice even though she acted with the utmost lack of good manners towards him.

This is the West that terminated the popular program of the talented presenter Mehdi Hassan, together with three other Muslim presenters, only because they dared to speak the truth. This is the same West that not only dismissed the president of Harvard University, but also claimed that she didn’t even deserve to be a university president and that she got the position solely because she has black skin, and for the sake of expressing diversity in American society.

The clear and explicit conclusion from hundreds of similar examples, brought to light by the Zionist genocidal war on Gaza, is that the notion of a free media in the West has fallen dramatically. The West’s ignorance of the actual situation is disgraceful, and their repeated claims of intellectual and ethical superiority is nothing more than cheap propaganda to persuade others to submit to them. This means that we have reached the decisive point where any more courtesy, hesitation, or ambiguous stance is no longer acceptable. Positions must be clear; there is no benefit in appearing in Western media, and there is no need whatsoever to explain our issues on their platforms because their sole aim is to use those who appear with them to justify their perspectives, not to explore any truths or engage in serious dialogue that sheds light on new or valuable information.

It is imperative for us, in addition to boycotting Western products and avoiding sitting in cafes that support the Israeli enemy, to completely boycott Western media. There is no benefit in engaging with them, especially since they lack the capability for meaningful conversation, discussion or respecting others. This might be among the numerous conclusions that the world will reach in the coming years as a result of the current brutal genocidal war waged by the West against innocent civilians in Gaza, with the aim of colonizing its land and bringing Westerners to settle in it.

The war of genocide against Palestinians, and the heinous Zionist ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, will not only have military or political consequences but also historical, cultural, and social repercussions that will reverberate globally. Today, the world cannot be truly free unless Palestine is free, and humanity today cannot be free unless it takes a clear and supportive stance for the Palestinian people’s right to life, freedom, and dignity.

“South Africa cannot be free until Palestine is free,” this slogan has been raised by South Africa since the time of the global leader Nelson Mandela, who insisted that the freedom of South Africa would not be complete without the freedom of the Palestinian people. Currently, South Africa is filing a genocide lawsuit against the criminal Zionists at the International Court of Justice, which is the first step towards condemning the criminal Zionists, and many courts worldwide will emerge to condemn them and to condemn anyone who stood with them, supported them, or remained silent about their crimes, genocide, and ethnic cleansing.

Such brutal crimes do not end with the burial of martyrs; their effects will continue to resonate in the conscience of humanity, and the human journey towards creating deterrents against criminals will persist. The pure blood of martyrs and injured children, women, elderly, displaced people, and the blood of medical and media teams who have dedicated themselves to serving their fellow human beings, will illuminate the paths towards liberation from Western dominance. It will accelerate the birth of a multipolar world, based on the pioneering human foundation proposed by Chinese President, Xi Jinping, which involves building a community with a shared future for mankind, and jointly delivering a brighter future for the world. A world with lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity, a world that is open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful. A world that opposes hegemony, power politics, unilateralism, and Cold War mentality.

The anger that ignites in the hearts of millions of people across all continents due to the criminal racist unprecedented Zionist war against the innocent Palestinians, along with the blind and shameful Western alignment with the murderers, and the international system’s incapacity to take tangible measures to stop the killing and destruction, will find its way, and will be translated into concrete, clear, and constructive actions as the truths become unmistakably clear.

Children’s cries and sick pleas in Gaza and Palestine will resonate in the ears of future generations, propelling them forward to achieve freedom and dignity not only for Palestine but for the human soul everywhere. Palestine will remain a beacon for the liberation of human will from the shackles of colonialism, brutality, ignorance, and Western Orientalism.

Those who support truth and justice in Palestine will be the fortunate ones, as they will become beacons of bold and noble change. Those who stand with Palestine stand with themselves and with the humanity of all mankind. Those who defend Al-Aqsa and the Church of the Resurrection defend themselves and noble human values. At this point, the ignorant and hypocritical Western narratives are now falling like yellow autumn leaves and will be useless. Zionists today are receiving a portion of the price for their support of the apartheid regime in South Africa over the past thirty years; yet they do not comprehend what awaits them from all free humans on this planet in the years and decades to come.

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