I am writing my final for my Middle Eastern Politics class and the following question has come to my mind – does the “Arab CNN” al-Jazeera (indirectly) support or stop terrorism?

The western answer is that it, of course, al-Jazeera indirectly supports the spread of Islamic fundamentalists’ and al-Qaeda’s rhetoric by providing much air time to their releases.

I think it could be argued, nonetheless, that al-Jazeera’s work may have just been doing (again, indirectly) the opposite.

If you look at the history of ideological Islamic fundamentalism, you may find out that their empowerment came about from western-supported persecution of thought.  The BBC has a shocking documentary called “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” that deals with this exact phenomenon.

Sayyid Qutb, “the man whose ideas would shape al-Qaeda,” was nothing but a conservative critique of western materialism.  He was an Egyptian writer who studied in Colorado.  Of course the guy was crazy in the way he disagreed with American values (such as calling Jazz music a tool for sex). But he was treated even crazier (just for his crazy thoughts) by American-supported Egyptian government.  Placed in jail, tortured and executed.

I think giving voices to all parties should not be required, but forcefully silencing voices can bring about unanticipated fanaticism. So perhaps al-Jazeera has not been given the credit for actually toning down Islamic terrorism?  Just a random thought.