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Sectarian wars in unrestrained space

As extremism and the rhetoric of sectarian violence increase, Iran is in its element

Turki Aldakhil

Published: Updated:

As extremism and the rhetoric of sectarian violence increase, Iran is in its element. It dominates Lebanon by spreading sectarian terror and increasing tensions, particularly between Shiites and Sunnis, and it uses Hezbollah to politically and psychologically escalate the situation.

Satellite TV

Historic vendettas between Shiites and Sunnis were only revived following the 1979 Iranian revolution, and after the wave of media expansion and the establishment of satellite TV channels by fanatics from both sides. To fight sectarianism, there must be international efforts to curb these extremist channels.

According to the annual report on Arab satellite broadcasting, the number of Arab satellite channels in 2015 reached 1,230, of which 1,097 were private Arab and foreign channels, and 133 were Arab public channels.

Uncontrolled satellite channels threaten sectarian disaster in the region. Arguments about history and who is more innocent can ignite wars, some of which have already begun

Turki Aldakhil

There are also foreign public channels broadcasting in Arabic and other languages. The number of controlled TV channels does not exceed 133.

Uncontrolled satellite channels threaten sectarian disaster in the region. Arguments about history and who is more innocent can ignite wars, some of which have already begun, as we see in Iraq. Meanwhile, in Lebanon a civil war on the political and media fronts has erupted between Shiites and Sunnis - we hope things do not escalate any further.

This article was first published in Okaz on July 11, 2016.
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Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.