After creating a sports channel in French, Qatar is preparing to launch a 24-hour satellite news channel in the language of Molière.

Founded at the initiative of the Frydman brothers, Al-Jazeera was revamped in 2005 by the Libyan Mahmoud Jibril and the Palestinian Wadah Kanfar to serve the political agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood [1].

The chain, which had steadily gained credibility through its coverage of the conflicts in Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq, veered unexpectedly in January 2011 to become a war propaganda tool. It did not hesitate to misleadingly present footage shot in a studio as having been taken live, for example the fake entrance of Libyan rebels in Tripoli’s Green Square, or the contrived images of Syrian opposition protests at the Clock Square in Homs.

The channel has acquired a spiritual adviser in the person of Sheikh al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s star preacher. Even though he drummed up support for the French intervention in Libya and has called for the assassination of Muammar el-Qaddafi and Bashar al-Assad, the sheikh was barred in March 2012 from entering France on the grounds that "his discourse is not compatible with republican ideals."

Al-Jazeera in French will be broadcast via satellite all around the world. The Emir Hamad had initially planned to lodge the studio in Paris where he is already involved in program production jointly with the Lagardère Group. However, after Sheikh al-Qaradawi was served with the barring notice, the Emir decided to set up the channel’s headquarters in Dakar, Senegal.

[1] “Wadah Khanfar, Al-Jazeera and the triumph of televised propaganda”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 26 September 2011.