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I will apologize…but to whom? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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It seems that my previous article, entitled “Israel to negotiate with al-Qaradawi?” has drawn the interest of many. However, I was surprised to see what was reported on al-Jazeera Online. This website like the news channel is another story altogether, where news articles are published that the satellite channel will not touch, regarding Saudi Arabia or Syria for example. My surprise relates to what al-Jazeera Online quoted, explicitly; from the Israeli paper “Maariv”, commenting on my article.

The article, which I wrote on the 26th of February, focused on the proposal submitted by former Mossad Chief Ephraim Halevy, calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to negotiate with Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. This was followed by al-Jazeera Online explicitly quoting selected excerpts from a piece written by Israeli writer Linda Menuhin (according to the website), which commented on my article, under the title “Do Not Be Afraid of al-Qaradawi”. Indeed, it is difficult to understand what was intended by the Israeli writer’s article, as we are relying on the wording published by al-Jazeera Online. Here, the website exaggerated with paraphrases such as “from the writer’s understanding of the article”, or “according to what the author understands”. It is clear that al-Jazeera’s report brings up a number of observations, the most important being: either the Israeli writer was very upset with the article “Israel to negotiate with al-Qaradawi?”, or al-Jazeera Online itself is not happy with the article.

If this is the case, I will not treat the truth with disdain; rather I will offer an apology to those offended. However, the only thing I want to understand is: Is Israel offended because I said that Sheikh al-Qaradawi is not a genuine Arab heavyweight, or is al-Jazeera the one that is offended, because I told the Israelis that Sheikh al-Qaradawi is not a representative for the Islamic and Arab world? If the Israelis are indeed offended, and they believe that Sheikh al-Qaradawi is able to offer them an advantage, then I will not apologize to them, but instead I will say by all means negotiate with al-Qaradawi, for they know where he is. If al-Jazeera Online is offended, then please explain why. Is Sheikh al-Qaradawi the sheikh of revolutions, jihad, and the deposer of rulers, a man who issued a fatwa permitting suicide attacks, or is he the sheikh of normalization and peace?

With regards to myself, I repeat what I said in my previous article; this is my personal opinion, not the opinion of Asharq Al-Awsat, as al-Jazeera has tried to claim. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi can negotiate with the Israelis if he wants to, this is up to him and I have no control over his rights, he is fully aware of his own affairs. Yet I still cannot get over the quotes which al-Jazeera Online attributed to the Israeli writer. Having read al-Jazeera’s report, I am still unable to understand who was offended by my article. Was it al-Jazeera, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, or the Israelis? The quotes, adapted by al-Jazeera, are difficult to understand. Is Sheikh al-Qaradawi angry, because he wants to negotiate with the Israelis? Or is al-Jazeera angry, because it wants the negotiations to happen? Or are the Israelis angry, because they want the negotiations to start? I just want to understand, and I am willing to apologize to the offended party if someone can be kind enough to point me in the right direction!

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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