Al-Jazeera to beam in
north of border

By WND Staff

The Canadian commission that approves applications for television access yesterday OK’d Arab news network Al-Jazeera to broadcast on the nation’s satellite system.

While approving Al-Jazeera and eight other new non-Canadian third-language services, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission rejected applications from an Italian and several Spanish-language outlets.

As part of the welcoming of Al-Jazeera – which broadcasts news programs 24 hours a day from Qatar and often features videos from the al-Qaida terror network – the panel required that distributors record the channel’s programming to ensure that none of its content is harmful.

“This measure will enable the commission and licensees of BDUs [broadcasting distribution undertakings] to verify and assess the context of the programming in the event of any future concerns about abusive comment on Al-Jazeera’s programming,” the commission said in a statement.

The Toronto Globe and Mail reported the Al-Jazeera application received considerable support from many of the 500,000 Canadians of Arabic and west Asian origin. The Canadian Jewish Congress, among others, however, argued that the 8-year-old network disseminates “anti-Semitic hate speech.”

Distributors will be allowed to “alter or delete” Al-Jazeera programming in an attempt to keep offensive speech out of Canadians’ homes.

The panel also approved ART Movies, an Arabic-language movie channel.

The approval of Al-Jazeera comes as the U.S.-based Fox News Channel continues to seek access to Canadian television. The commission currently is taking public comments regarding a request by the popular cable network to be added to the list of approved channels. The comment period ends Aug. 9.

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