December 24, 2008 – New York – AJC condemns the decision of British broadcaster Channel 4 to invite Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to deliver an “alternative Christmas message” tomorrow, Christmas Day.
“It beggars belief that a British broadcaster wants to enable a serial human rights abuser to invade the homes of families on Christmas Day,” said David A. Harris, AJC Executive Director. “Ahmadinejad claims there are no homosexuals in Iran, even as he persecutes them. He says Iran’s women are the world’s freest, even as he jails advocates for their rights. He consistently denies the Holocaust and calls for another nation, Israel, to be wiped off the map.”
Harris asked, “Why would any responsible broadcaster choose to give this hatemonger an unchallenged platform – especially on the day that celebrates peace on earth and goodwill to all men?”
Channel 4 first began broadcasting an “alternative” to Queen Elizabeth’s traditional Christmas message in 1993. The slot has usually been filled by a comedian or a controversial public figure. Though Ahmadinejad is the first head of state to be featured, his speech will be shown a few hours after the Queen delivers her message.
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