- The Washington Times - Monday, July 8, 2002

LONDON The editors of London-based Arabic newspapers have been accused of inciting racial hatred by publishing strong defenses of suicide bombings and quoting an al Qaeda official's "justification" to kill millions of Americans.
Security officials say they fear such articles could incite attacks similar to last week's fatal shooting at an El Al airline counter in Los Angeles by Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, a 41-year-old Egyptian national.
Members of Britain's Jewish community voiced their concerns at a public forum with Arabic-language media officials late last week, accusing the news outlets of stoking racial attacks on their children and their synagogues.
Security expert Mike Whine said in an interview that he had no doubt that material published in the Arabic language media provided a motivation to attack Jewish and Israeli targets in Britain.
"This has been a constant theme of our argument to government and the police revolving around what we believe is the failure to prosecute incitement that comes from Islamic organizations and the Middle East," he said.
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has told Arab states that anti-Semitic material in the Middle Eastern media was being republished in Britain.
"There have been a series of attacks in recent years by Muslims who have got so wound up by what they have heard in the mosque or what they have read that they have gone out and attacked the nearest Jew," said Mr. Whine, whose Community Security Trust is responsible for protecting Jewish buildings in Britain.
He cited the example of a Jewish man who was stabbed 22 times in October 2000. The Algerian asylum-seeker suspected of committing the attack has yet to face trial.
Mr. Whine said the Arabic media "glorifies suicide bombers, or at least there's a lack of condemnation."
"There are countervailing views," he added. "But there's a distinct trend that's been supportive of suicide bombings and of violence not only against Israel but Israeli organizations and Jewish organizations around the world."
Ayad Abou-Chakra, managing editor of the Saudi-sponsored daily al-Sharq al-Awsat, denied that the Arabic-language media's content could contribute to an attack.
"Do you think that these people who are carrying out these events are avid readers of newspapers?I don't think so. That would be very simplistic," said Mr. Abou-Chakra, whose newspaper last month published a lengthy article by a leading al Qaeda spokesman.
In the article, Suleiman Abu Gheith justified "jihad against the Americans, the Jews and anyone who has gone in their path."
He argued that Muslims "have the right to kill 4 million Americans 2 million of them children and to exile twice as many and wound and cripple hundreds of thousands. Furthermore, it is our right to fight them with chemical and biological weapons."
Mr. Abou-Chakra's newspaper has also published interviews with the mother of a suicide bomber who encouraged all her sons "to die a martyr's death," and the Saudi ambassador to London, Ghazi al-Qusaibi, who wrote a poem in praise of a female suicide bomber.
Mr. Abou-Chakra said in an interview: "Our newspaper doesn't publish material that's hateful or irresponsible. We're a British publication and abide by British laws. We never publish any material which is deemed to be inciteful to anything."
Distributed by World News & Features

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