In its war against Islamic extremism the Bush administration is showing no mercy, announcing that it plans to launch round-the-clock television programming aimed at European Muslims.
The U.S. government already sponsors an Arab-language satellite channel, al-Hurra, which spreads positive words about American life and values to counter massive anti-American sentiment in the Middle East.
But administration officials now think the more appropriate target audience is in Europe.
After all, most of the 9/11 hijackers had spent significant time in Europe, and authorities have cautioned that the train bombings in Madrid last year suggest European Muslim extremists are a growing threat.
The administration has earmarked $3.5 million to fund programming intended to persuade Europe’s Muslim population that America isn’t the Great Satan that people like Osama bin Laden have claimed. Al-Hurra, which is headquartered in Virginia, hopes to start broadcasting by the fall.
Bin Laden could not be reached for comment.