Yemeni women hold placards during a protest gathering notably journalists on June 25, 2014 in the capital Sanaa in solidarity with Al-Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED HUWAIS
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Al-Jazeera, the Qatari-funded television station whose reporting on the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings won it millions of viewers in the Middle East, is defiant following a backlash by Arab governments that accuse it of supporting Islamists.The ruling reflected the misfortunes of the Muslim Brotherhood – in retreat across much of the Middle East after the Arab Spring gave way to large-scale fighting – and was equally a blow to Al-Jazeera and its patron Qatar.They are under pressure in countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates that are intent on crushing the Muslim Brotherhood and accuse Qatar and Al-Jazeera of promoting the group's activities.From 2011 until last year, Al-Jazeera and its Gulf benefactor Qatar looked set to benefit from the new Arab order.Added to that, Al-Jazeera's image as champion of the underdog changed over the course of the Arab Spring, when its coverage drew charges from some viewers that the network was supporting the Brotherhood over other opposition groups working to topple authoritarian rulers in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.Al-Jazeera says its coverage is evenhanded.Even before the Arab Spring, Al-Jazeera was making enemies.These days criticism of Al-Jazeera comes as readily from ordinary people as from Arab governments.
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