The Daily Telegraph is normally better informed about the Middle East and Africa than other Fleet street papers, especially the leftwing ones like the Independent or Guardian who’s ideology blind them to basic facts on the ground. What is shocking about today ( Monday 29 July) Telegraph leader on Egypt it got it wrong, misleading, message is meaningless and worst of all contains factual errors and inaccurate facts.
The telegraph statement ” after troops opened fire on a Muslim Brotherhood protest in Cairo on Saturday,” is misleading, because it is incomplete. The sit-in protest ( or encampment ) is exclusively run by Muslim Brothers and no policemen or security troops have entered there since the start or at any time, despite repeated requests by the residents of the area complaining and asking for the camp to be removed. Complaining about filth, and destruction of their gardens and neighborhood as wells as harassment ( especially of unveiled women in the neighborhood ) by Muslim Brothers thugs .
Only when an organised mob ( allegedly armed) left the encampment of Rabaa and headed over a flyover straight into the army barracks and launched attack the tragic incident happend. No army in the world train its soldiers for crowd-control. When police arrived they used tear-gas. Obviously shooting at protesters should be condemned not condoned or excused. But for us journalists to mislead our readers is unprofessional and shameful. At least a full picture should be presented and let readers make up their minds.
Again the second claim of ” But the best-organised political group, the Muslim Brotherhood, won the subsequent election only to be removed by a military coup last month.” is misleading, and factually wrong.
The Military didn’t just wakeup one morning and decided they didn’t like former president Morsi and plotted to remove him. but when Millions went out on the streets demanding they won’t go home until Morsi resigns and hod new election not because of his failure but his unconstitutional changes to constitutions giving himself sweeping powers Mugabe would envy. Majority, estimated as between 70% to 85 % of Egyptians wok up to the fact that they did not want Egypt to end up like Iran where women are second class citizens, told what to wear, and people told what to eat or drink ( or not drink) what to read or watch. With Muslim-brotherhoodsation of all organs of states and of every institution, Egyptians instinctively realized if they waited for the next election, in four years, it would be too late. There would be a system like Iran which won’t permit any candidate from outside the theocratic autocracy to run for office.
As we know generals are not democrats by default, but they are faced with millions so before siding with majority, they gave ALL POLITICIANS an ultimatum to engage in dialogue to form inclusive government, and tried to peersuade Morsi to be inclusive ( and so did the American ambassador Anne Patterson trying to persuade Morsi but refused). Did the Telegraph want the Egyptian army to behave like Syria army and shoot at over 20 million people demanding Morsi holds election?
Neither the Telegraph, nor our Foreign Secretary William Hague ( or the clever academics – non of them been to Egypt wheeld out by BBC) ever told us what exactly they suggest the Egyptian military could have done?
It is not a battle of two ideologies between Islamists and secularists, but between majority of people who reject ideology, who reject ideological government because majority of Egyptian people are non-ideological. They see the army as non-ideological national institution and backbone of the nation-state.
The telegraph became like Orwell Animal farm ” military bad, election good” without understanding the full picture.
The vast majority of people 95% or more are peaceful and unarmed, who would protect them from the Muslim Brothers who are armed and have a long history of terrorism but the army? This brings me to the Telegraph third factual error in saying “The Muslim Brotherhood maintains it is a peaceful organisation, but there are other more extreme Islamist groups in Sinai who assuredly are not, and which will soon make their presence felt.” The first part of the statement is a load of nonsense and factually wrong as well as being historically inaccurate.
I often challenge fellow journalists who make this claim to show me one example of a Muslim Brothers Leaders short direct unambiguous statement like the IRA post Good Friday Agreement,where MB declares it has revised terrorism of 1930-1960s ( bombs in cinema’s bars, assassinating judges and assassinating the Egyptian Prime Minister when the country joined the allies and declared war in Hitler because Hitler was ‘ a friend of Allah who was cleansing the earth from the jews” and the burning of central cairo in january 1952) a clear revise saying ” worry to Egyptian people, it was a mistake we won’t repeat “. There is no such statement any where. The second part of the statement is also false since those groups are part of Muslim Brothers sleepers cells , many led by convicted MB terrorists who were pardoned from jail by Morsi.
it is nonsense also to compare Egypt with Algeria since demographic realities on the ground doesn’t create any conditions remotely near possible for aa civil war. but telegraph have the right to differ here, I am only concerned with what is inaccurate or factually wrong .. which mentioned