Opinion: A guest on Al Jazeera

About three weeks ago, I was invited on to Al Jazeera in Qatar to provide some analysis on developments in Egypt.
I did not hesitate to take up the offer and became more assured of my choice after my stay there, despite criticism from colleagues and friends. I based my decision on two things.
First, those that criticized me belonged to two categories of people: intellectuals and opinion makers on the one hand, and acquaintances on the other. Both did not seem to listen to what I actually said, instead focusing on formalities.
I say that because I know that no single media source enjoys an unquestonable place. Instead, one should rely on diverse sources of knowledge and information.
From the same angle, my visit to Al Jazeera was important to Egyptians who did not listen to any news channel other than Al Jazeera because they wanted to be aware of other points of view.
The second factor. Whenever I appeared on Al Jazeera before, none of its staff told me what to say or set any limits to what could be discussed. If that had happened, I would have jumped on a flight back to Egypt the same day.
Thirdly, I did not hesitate to appear on Al Jazeera particularly after I watched on-screen guests from my point of view: Hassan Nafaa, Saad Hagras, Suleiman Gouda and Khaled Dawoud. Figures from opposing groups and trends also joined discussions. I think more are on their way. 
Fourthly, my visit came after I discussed the offer with Journalists Syndicate chief and director of Al-Ahram Political and Strategic Studies Center – and no one can doubt his positions – Diaa Rashwan. I always keep in touch with Rashwan from Qatar, while he praises my opinions expressed on Al Jazeera.
My opinions come from a desire to support the revolutionary legitimacy bolstered by millions of Egyptians who called for the overthrow of Mohamed Morsy from the streets. I reject religion's involvement in the state. Religion's place is in religious institutions, not politics. And I also reject the use of violence in politics. 
Finally – I have repeatedly criticized Al Jazeera on air for lacking in objectivity and taking the side of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Amr Hashim Rabie is a senior analyst at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, heading its Egyptian Studies Department.

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