Published June 15, 2002
NEW YORK – A television station backed by a Saudi prince has sparked outrage by broadcasting clips that show young children being taught to hate Jews — referring to them as "apes and pigs" — and embrace martyrdom.
Recent broadcasts on Iqraa Television, one of the global satellite channels packaged by the Arab Radio and Television Network (ART), a Saudi-based company, features anti-Semitic interviews with a father, a psychiatrist and even a 3-year-old girl.>
During a May 7 episode of Muslim Woman Magazine, anchorwoman Doaa 'Amer asks her special guest, a 3-year-old girl named Basmallah, a series of questions the youngster quickly and calmly answers.
"Are you familiar with the Jews?" Amer asks.
The girl says yes, and says she does not like them "because…they’re apes and pigs."
"Who said so?" the anchor asks. "Our God," the girl replies, adding that Allah says this "in the Quran."
In another interview broadcast in April, Prof. 'Adel Sadeq, which the station identifies as head of a psychiatry faculty at a university in Cairo, talks of Islamic martyrs reaching "the apex of happiness."
"The height of ecstasy and happiness — and I am talking to you as a professional, a psychiatrist — comes the moment ... just like the producer told you: ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and then he presses the button to blow himself up.
"The most beautiful moment, for which he would have time speed up, is the moment he says "one ... this man explodes, and he feels that he is flying."
On another program, a father discusses what lessons he’s sharing with his son.
"I am already preparing him for martyrdom, either mine or his. He asks me: If I carry out an operation and blow myself up, will Allah give me a car, a rifle to shoot with, toys? I answer him, ‘You will get everything you ask for.’"
The Middle East Media Research Institute translated and released the videotape compilation, with English subtitles, from the ART, which has transmission facilities in Italy and describes itself as "the leading producer of premium Arabic family programming and entertainment worldwide."
Widely watched Iqraa television is ART's effort to provide "a focused insight into the teachings of the Quran" to "intellectual, elite, and conservative Islamic markets."
Prince Alaweed, a member of the Saudi royal family, is reportedly a major backer of ART. He made headlines in the United States last year when he tried to donate $10 million to the World Trade Center relief effort, but was rebuffed by then New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani after saying U.S. support for Israel in part prompted the Sept. 11 attacks.