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Editor's Blog: In the Massad case, we should have done better

On the (temporary) removal of Joseph Massad's article, "Last of the Semites", from these pages.

Last Modified: 21 May 2013 19:38
Imad Musa

Head of Online, Al Jazeera English
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Recently there has been much give and take about a column published on our website, and the decision to remove that column. During the past few days, people have speculated that Al Jazeera succumbed to various pressures, and censored its own pages.

Al Jazeera has always demanded transparency from the centres of power around the world, and we demand it from ourselves as well.

The article was "The Last of the Semites", and is reposted here. It was written by Professor Joseph Massad, who teaches at Columbia University in New York. His article featured in the Opinion section of our website.

After publication, many questions arose about the article's content. In addition, the article was deemed to be similar in argument to Massad's previous column, " Zionism, anti-Semitism and colonialism", published on these pages in December.

We should have handled this better, and we have learned lessons that will enable us to maintain the highest standards of journalistic integrity.

Our guiding principle has always been "the opinion and other opinion". Our pages have always been - and will always be - open to the most thought-provoking thinkers and writers from across the globe.

Al Jazeera does not submit to pressure regardless of circumstance, and our history is full of examples where we were faced with extremely tough choices but never gave in. This is the secret to our success.

As always, we welcome your thoughts and comments. 

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