March 18, 2008

Reining in the Arab Media

Arab Media & Society has a special online feature covering the new regulations passed by the wise Arab rulers to prevent networks like al-Jazeera from saying anything controversial ever again. You may not be a big fan of al-Jazeera, but if the Saudis figure out a way to stifle the freedom of speech on what Marc Lynch calls the "new Arab media," that will be a bad thing for everyone from democracy promoters to human rights activists to even counter-insurgents. Abu Muqawama holds al-Jazeera responsible for fanning the flames of sectarianism since 2003, sure, but he also recognizes a good long-term trend when he sees one. Repression of political speech is only going to lead to more radical Islamists in the Arab world, and it's hard for this blogger not to be cynical about these new regulations.

Disagree? Sound off in the comments. But read this first.