Terrorism watchdog, Islamic radio station at odds

Islamic internet radio station Ghurabaa says it wants an open dialogue with anyone who accuses it of spreading jihadist sentiments.

The radio station said so on its website today, following reports that the National Coordinator Terrorism Enforcement (NCTV) suggested that the station was violating conditions set by its hosting company. In a letter the hosting company, NCTV said that Radio Ghurabaa’s channels been used for propaganda when the station broadcast a certain radical lecture by the late imam and Islamic militant Anwar Al Awlaki last week Tuesday. “The website characterizes itself as a channel on which jihadist intellectual values are broadcast. The intention is to win the hearts and minds of Muslims for a very radical ideological form of the Sunni Islam,” NCTV wrote.

It said Ghurabaa calls the jihad an obligation and encourages individuals who want to travel to jihadist warzones; in addition violent acts by jihadists should remain unpunished. The west is being characterized as an enemy and terrorist organization like al Qa’ida is being glorified. “The propaganda broadcast by Radio Ghurabaa is being done in a very subtle way. The channel does not appear jihadist, but that is where the big risks hide. By profiling itself as an ‘Islamic radio station’ where one can find religious song and scripture, they attract oblivious listeners,” the terrorism watchdog warned.

Ghurabaa (Stranger), which started internet operations a few weeks ago, said in a reaction the NCTV’s accusations held no ground. “We have conferred with our lawyers and came to the conclusion that NCTV’s email is nothing more than cut-and-paste-work,” the station wrote.

It admitted that it had broadcast lectures by Anwar Al Awlaki, but stressed that while these are not forbidden they are part of a series of history lessons that it airs. “Will NCTV also characterize the history lessons  in schools about WWII as hateful behavior toward the Germans? No? Why do they do that with Islamic history then?”

Ghuraaba management said it had no intentions to discriminate anyone or encourage violence. It said anyone who thinks it does may send an email that was put in place just for this intention. "We  do not want tense situations. We would rather have an open debate." The station questioned why NCTV hadn’t chosen for this direct approach. "NCTV is trying to demonize Ghurabaa," the station charged.