An Iraqi religious Shia channel has been brought into disrepute after it was discovered to be using an Israeli broadcast provider to reach audiences. An interesting satellite trick has disguised this fact for long enough, attempting to protect the channel from furore.
Reports published in June last year uncovered discrediting information about known Iraqi Shia channel, Fadak, broadcast by an Israeli satellite provider. Fadak, as Orient news first reported, is one of 6 Iranian aligned channels broadcast on Asiasat 8 and 9, via satellite 4°West.
The Asia satellite provider has been leasing its satellite to Amos after it lost Amos-6 in an explosion known as Falcon 9.
Fadak, alongside, Al Imam alhussein, Al Alamiya, Aal Ul Bayt, and Al Ghadeer, stand accused of using an Israeli provider to provide services their anti-Israeli viewership bases.
Fadak founder, Kuwaiti-born Shia cleric, Yassir al-Habib, is a renowned hate-preaching firebrand, whose denigrative remarks towards Sunnis landed him a hefty prison sentence that Kuwait later withdrew.
A Vice UK report dating back to 2013 noted that Habib had “made a hobby out of insulting revered Sunni Muslims”.
Months after the channels launch, Fadak ran into problems with UK media regulator Ofcom for using its channel as a platform for hate sermons.
A satellites expert FRB spoke to, stated that Amos borrows part of AsiaSat’s satellite signal, using the 4°West. Amos 1, 2 and 7 all share the same position”, he added”.
The channels in question represent a rising current of radical Shia channels recognisable by their ideological blend of Islam and politics -- the hallmark of which is anti-Israeli sentiment.
This mode of thinking extends on from the anti-Israeli protests first orchestrated by Ayatollah Khomeini after he rode the revolutionary wave in 1979, forcefully seizing power.
‘Fighting Israel’ became a central banner of Iranian statecraft that Khomeini upheld to justify Iran’s encroachment across neighbouring Arab states. The fall of Iraq’s pre-2003 state furnished the conditions that Iran has exploited to revive this ideology. It has appealed to Shia paramilitary groups which Iraq’s American-installed government recognises officially.
The cultural activities and religious programming of Fadak’s shows, place Iran at the centre of the Shia world.
The latest revelation tests the political and religious loyalty of channels that trumpet an allegedly anti-Israeli stance, in condemnation of its occupation of Palestinian lands.
Iran’s fervent anti-Israeli and western stance -- including death to Israel rhetoric -- is at complete odds with its continued use of an Israeli satellite provider.
The framework of loyalty built by Khomeini and kept alive by his successors is now exposed as superficial and necessary to keep up appearances.