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Statement On Oz Katerji’s Request To Be Given A Platform After ‘No-Platforming’ Rania Khalek

For the past days, those who follow my journalism may have noticed exchanges between Oz Katerji, a freelance writer and journalist, and me. I confronted and berated Katerji for attacking a colleague, Rania Khalek, and playing a role in getting her speaking event at the University of North Carolina canceled.

Katerji has committed himself to destroying the livelihood of Khalek. His campaign started months ago.

When asked if he would campaign to make sure nobody would ever donate to her work again, Katerji replied, “Yes, that would be preferable. Maybe one day you will all apologize for your shameful politics but that won’t stop me,” and, “I will never stop. Not with any of you. I will never rest while you are given platforms or publishing opportunities.” He later specifically described me as an enemy of mankind and hoped God would have mercy because he had no plans to show mercy.

After I interviewed Khalek and wrote a report on the cancellation of the event, Katerji sent me a message indicating he read the report and requested I invite him on “Unauthorized Disclosure,” a weekly podcast I co-host with Khalek. He said, “If you truly are interested in the story of what is really going on here and why, I’ll agree to an unedited interview.”

I find this solicitation to be truly baffling and reprehensible. How does someone who has campaigned for months to destroy someone’s professional career contact that person’s colleague and ask someone to give them an opportunity to share their side of the story? How does an individual who has obsessed about denying platforms to a journalist turn around and act as if they are owed a platform to defend their actions?

Katerji will never appear on “Unauthorized Disclosure” nor will he ever be interviewed for the purpose of an adversarial interview for Shadowproof. He has no remorse for the damage he is inflicting on people like Rania Khalek, and the absolute last thing a person should do is seek common ground with Katerji—and others like him—to understand why he has taken his advocacy for Syrian rebels to the extreme level of destroying professional careers of journalists.

The Pentagon. Photo by David B. Gleason (mindfrieze) on Flickr.
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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."