• Al-Jazeera (Arabic) satellite television: a platform for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

      Abunajela, Mohammed-Ali M.A. (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015-06)
      The Qatari-funded channel, Al-Jazeera Arabic (AJA) has been subject to criticism as being in favour of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Egypt. The approach taken by AJA Satellite Television to represent the MB, the Mubarak regime and other political actors in Egypt, during its coverage of four key electoral moments - before and after the 2011‘revolution’- is reviewed in this research. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is applied to study the constructive effects of AJA’s language in an interpretive way (Parker & Burman, 1993). The effect of the language used by two predominant AJA TV programmes, Without Borders بلا حدود and Opposite Direction الاتجاه المعاكس has been investigated and a number of current and former AJA journalists have been interviewed. Van Dijk’s Ideological Square and Pier Robinson’s Framing Model, in conjunction with Chouliaraki’s Three Rhetorical Strategies (Verbal Mode, Agency and Time Space) have been used as analysis tools to study the process of AJA’s representation of different political ideologies: the MB’s Islamic ideology and the Mubarak regime’s secular ideology. Van Dijk’s Ideological Square helps to identify the boundaries between ‘us’ (the good) and ‘them’ (the bad), and to classify people according to their support of specific ideology against another - the ‘in-group’ or the ‘outgroup’. AJA positively framed the Islamic MB movement on the basis that the group and its members were democratic, Islamic and victims, whereas it negatively framed the Mubarak regime and the Military Council in Egypt as repressive, secular and villains. The assigned role of different actors (including; the Egyptian people and opposition parties) in AJA TV programmes changed from one electoral moment to another. While the Mubarak regime, its supporters and the Military Council were represented as the ‘out-group’ at all times, the role allocated to the Egyptian people and the opposition shifted between the ‘in-group’ and the ‘out-group’, depending on the political mood they held towards the MB.