BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s interior ministry has banned Al-Manar satellite television, the mouthpiece of Lebanon’s Hezbollah anti-Israel guerrillas, a ministry spokesman said on Friday.
The station, which the United States designated a “terrorist organisation” shortly before banning it in 2004, was also barred in France.
Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the ban was introduced because the channel did not promote international understanding and violated the German constitution.
The ministry said the restrictions covered Al-Manar advertisements, fund-raising for its studios and the reception of the satellite television station in hotels. Private homes will still be able to view the channel.
Al-Manar is the mouthpiece of Hezbollah guerrillas who played a major role in forcing an end to Israel’s 22-year occupation of south Lebanon.
Hezbollah funds Al-Manar, its sister radio station Al-Nour and the parent company Lebanon Media Group.
By way of comment, it’s most likely the cited constitutional provisions are among the ‘Never again’ clauses enacted after World War II as a part of campaign of de-Nazifying Germany. Some of these clauses — such as the constitutional ban on the straight-hand salute — may appear slightly silly to an average Westerner, but some are very powerful and valuable tools against hateful ideologies and organisations whose views of multiculturalism are rather, shall we say, monoculturalist.