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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Ooredoo under fire for adding ‘anti-Qatar’ MBC channels to TV service

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Qatar’s telecommunications company Ooredoo is facing backlash after it announced it would add MBC channels to its TV service.

With eyes on a wider range of entertainment this Ramadan, Ooredoo confirmed Saudi Arabia’s MBC channels will now be available to viewers in Qatar as a gift for the holy month, leaving many unhappy with this decision.

Following the announcement, many took to Twitter to respond to the Qatar-based company and voice their disapproval.

Much of the anger stemmed from the fact that following the 2017 air, land, and sea blockade on Qatar, Saudi Arabia’s MBC channels aired multiple programmess and shows that were considered to be flagrant and provocative anti-Qatar propaganda.

Read also: Key points from Al-Ula declaration ‘unity’ statement

This included an incident of a video in which a child explained to his schoolmates how Qatar was a ‘terrorist state.’ Many recalled skits that aimed to ridicule Qatar and used the hashtag #BoycottOoredoo.

“Hugely controversial: Qatar’s major telecommunications firm Ooredoo partners up with MBC group, the main mouthpiece of the anti-Qatar propaganda during the 4 year blockade,” one Twitter user said.

“It is responsible for the most vulgar, ruthless, blasphemous, and profane attacks on Qatar and its leaders,” he added.

Some have even gone to cancel their Ooredoo subscriptions as well, opting to use Vodafone instead.

Other complaints addressed how Ooredoo ‘gifted’ access to the channel during a month of self reflection and self control for worldly pleasures, stating that the move was inappropriate during Ramadan.

One social media user said “in Ramadan, the best gifts are Allah’s remembrance, and this channel is far from that …. We do not want your gifts.”

Another said “If Ooredoo wished to gift us something this Ramadan, it should’ve been something appropriate such as a Quran channel or lowered prices, not a channel with a dark history with attacking Qatar.”

The inclusion of MBC on Ooredoo TV comes after the end of a 3 year long blockade onto Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt with the signing of the Al Ula declaration earlier this yes.

Since then, relations between Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been restored.


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