Last week Danish newspapers reported about a Palestinian petition against the Al-Aqsa channel, the Hamas satellite channel which has broadcast the children's show calling to kill Danes. The Copenhagen Post even went as far as saying that the petition was protesting the 'anti-Danish content'.
I could not find any more information about this on the English language media, and so I contacted Rolf Holmboe, the head of the Danish Diplomatic Mission in Ramallah for more details. He was very helpful and sent me the original petition in Arabic. I had originally intended to translate it, but since it will take me a long time to do so and since the petition does not deal directly with Denmark or with this blog's subject matter, I dropped the idea.
The petition, by KofiaPress and PalPress, was started a few weeks before the Hamas rabbit Assud incited Palestinian children to murder Danes. It asks Nilesat, an Egyptian satellite company, to stop carrying al-Aqsa. The channel is currently carried as part of the satellite's Iranian quota.
Nilesat had confirmed they received 150,000-170,000 protest emails. KofiaPress and PalPress say that since Assud called to kill the Danes, the protest has accelerated.
What is the petition about? I understood it more as an anti-Hamas protest. It comes out against the Hamas practice of calling other Muslims infidels and of portraying other fighters as rats (see clip here). It accuses the channel of causing conflict, of trying to give Hamas national legitimacy, of using the Palestinian cause to attack moderate Arab states and of undermining Egyptian, Lebanese and Palestinian interests.
This is not new. The Fatah Palestinian presidency has been accused by Hamas in the past of trying to close down the channel.
In February the Arab League approved a new Arab media charter. This charter was claimed to have been aimed at the Hizbullah channel of al-Manar and at al-Jazeera. Lebanon was the only one who voted against it, Qatar abstained. The charter asks Arab broadcasters "not to damage social harmony, national unity, public order or traditional values," as well as "not to offend the leaders or national and religious symbols" of Arab countries
It is therefore not so surprising that this petition was started off at about the same time, as it uses the same reasoning to demand from Nilesat to stop carrying the Hamas channel.
Egypt recently banned four international newspapers for publishing the cartoons. Though since Egyptian national TV is filled with incitement against Jews, Israel and the West, I doubt that would be cause enough to ban al-Aqsa.