Saturday, November 24, 2007

Culture Jihad, cuts both ways

Here's a memo to President Bush: Remember that pro-democracy drive pitched when Condi Rice was appointed secretary of state? Well, Arab states are about to show what they really think of democracy.

Arab League states have agreed to restrict satellite-based media. They plan to seek technological ways to block satellite media broadcasts under the guise of a campaign to boost morality.


"The privately owned channels broadcast a lot of immoral material that harm the youngsters across the Arab world," Mohammed Al Ghazali, an official of the Supreme Authority for Audio and Video Communication, told the "Challenges of Arab Satellite Media" symposium on Nov. 17 in Tunis.

Arab information ministers could formulate controls on the Arab satellite media sector at their forthcoming meeting in Cairo in January 2008. One proposal was for Arab states to standardize restrictions on the satellite media.

Still, delegates acknowledged the difficulty of controlling a sector with more than 30 Arabic-speaking satellite channels. Maybe that's where the United States comes in: American companies could sell the latest technology that could block or ensure government monitoring of satellite channels.

No comments: