Al-Jazeera, the Qatari state-run propaganda site that made a name for itself after airing exclusive videos by Osama Bin Laden and his al-Qaeda affiliates, bills itself as a legitimate international news broadcaster. With its Arabic channels airing across the Middle East, the network caters to a majority-Muslim and generally anti-Western audience. Following Monday’s horrific St. Petersburg metro station terror attack that left 11 dead and 45 others injured, many of Al-Jazeera’s viewers rejoiced on Facebook, posting celebratory responses to the deaths of innocent people in what appears to be yet another jihadist attack.
Here’s a screen shot of Al-Jazeera’s live feed airing coverage of the terror incident. Notice all the smiley faces blasted across the screen. Each one of those smiley faces represents a viewer’s live reaction to the news.
How did Al Jazeera viewers react to the St. Petersburg, Russia Terrorist Attack? pic.twitter.com/AFRExg8lF0— Stefan Molyneux (@StefanMolyneux) April 3, 2017
Instead of shame or outrage, many of the viewers cheer the disturbing news. Similar reactions were posted on the channel's Facebook page (scroll down and use the translate function for the initial flood of celebratory reactions). While certainly not all responded in celebration, a shocking percentage did.
"Excellent," one viewer responded, posting several laughing faces. "Hopefully many are dead," posted another viewer. "God is great! May God increase," another wrote. "Thank you God," another said. Gleeful emoticons likewise appear frequently on the page.
Partly funded by the House of Thani, the ruling family of Qatar, the Doha-broadcaster is by all measures a propaganda arm of a Sunni Islamist monarchy. It’s no surprise then that Al-Jazeera airs negative coverage of the United States, Europe, Israel, and even Shia-majority countries like Iran. With a majority Sunni audience, Al-Jazeera profits off of disinformation and conspiracy theories peddled against forces that are perceived as hostile to Sunni states like Qatar.
After all, this isn’t the first time Al-Jazeera’s audience has celebrated death and destruction. Here’s a screenshot of Al-Jazeera live audience reaction to the horrific terror attack on Parliament in London just a couple weeks ago:
Al Jazeera Viewers Seem To React With Joy Over London Terror Attack pic.twitter.com/noJXk760ll— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 22, 2017
Notice a pattern?