This an editorial I did for the Norwegian magazine Perspective last month. not sure if it is available in UK, but here is the editorial now the magazine is out
The House of Commons vote on Syria, 29 August, triggered a chain of events not only thwarting a war that seemed inevitable that day but also set higher ethical and democratic standards beyond Britain’s shores. Instead of focusing on getting public to back attack on Syria’s despotic regime, western leaders began working with the Russia and United Nations ( which finally got Security Council to agree on the strongest resolution available) to end a bloody civil war by a political settlement and to get an ambitious humanitarian aid programme into action.
Once again fellow hacks in various sections of British media were quick to report rumours and gossip on streets of cairo and Egyptian social media as factual news, namely a false claim that the Egyptian government banned or outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood. This led to Egyptian government quickly denying media nonsense. Below are the full details of the judicial review, its recommendation and the background to who asked for the review, which was a group of Egyptian MPs, activists, women groups and others who have nothing to do withe the government. Several court case to challenge the MB charitable status were filed some 14 months before June 30 movement that ousted them from power with help from the army and both Muslim Church ( Azhar) and Christian Church ( coptic) as well as all other political parties, trends, NGOs and trade unions ina national council meetings 1-3 July 2013 . Below are the details.
Not only our news organisations, Broadcast and Fleet Street ( and the American ones across the pond) covering Egypt failed to do any research on Muslim Brotherhood history of and association with terrorism, they also omit, from their copy or videos, historic facts, personalities and information vital to the narrative thus misleading British listeners, viewers and readers.
By constructing false and untrue narrative of the Egyptian Crisis the BBC, followed by other liberal left media, then copied by nearly all, is harming long-term British interests in Egypt and the Middle East region, especially with our Foreign Secretary William Hague unwisely following a foolish European course threatening Egypt while Cairo influential and rich Gulf allies led by Saudi Arabia have already warned the European Union against such folly. It seems that BBC led other left-wing/liberal media in setting the agenda to convince the British chattering classes and the larger political establishment of a false narrative of the crisis in Egypt. A false narrative and analysis which is not only misleading and doesn’t reflect reality on the ground, but also causing anger and resentment among the vast majority of Egyptians and their interim government, which, alongside the military, enjoys huge public support. Even the perception of policy that Egyptians might interpret as racist, demeaning or hurts their pride, poses a danger to our long term interests in Egypt and in the Arab world, especially UK Britain economic interests in the important markets of the Gulf and security interest in the Middle East region that could be damaged beyond repair.
Looks like the Independent is heading for a costly and damaging liable case about to be launched by two, and possible three Egyptian publishers and media companies, unless the Inde prints a humiliating apology and retraction, although the injured party, being a publisher and media savvy himself, tells me he is adamant the apology printed to the same space of the offending piece.
Gulf News Cairo journalist, Linda S Heard reports on Muslim Brotherhood exploitation of orphanage children to bus to the pro #Morsi sit-in under false pretence.
Cairo Today (Qahera el Youm) have just reported a shocking police intervention that goes to confirm something we already knew. A bus was stopped en route to Rabaa Adawiya as part of a routine check. In the bus were dozens of orphans, street children and children of poor families under the supervision of an MB cleric. They were scruffily dressed but were clutching bags containing smart new clothes. They told the police that the ‘sheikh’ had given them the clothes plus LE 20 and promised them good food. They said their didn’t know where they were going. In a few cases, their parents had been given substantial sums to release their kids in the temporary care of the cleric. The program showed photos and videos of those poor kids scheduled to be used as human shields and to boost the MB’s PR campaign. This really is too much. I had heard about it but now I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
It was exactly a month ago that Egyptian Military put its three day old ultimatum ( to all political forces in the country to form a national unity government, or the army would enforce a road map out of the crisis). The result was the ousting of President Mohammed Morsi, and following steps clearly defined in the constitution for such eventuality. This account I wrote three weeks ago for the New African Magazine, now it has been printed. I can put it on this blog.
Four weeks after masses of Egyptians –between 18m to 35 Million ( de-pneds whether you take police or protesters figures) at least three fold the numbers who overthrew President Honsi Mubark regime in February 2011, took to the streets all over the country in “ June 30 Revolution” a tale of two Egypts still unfolding and edging toward serious, and possibly nasty clash.
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.
Celebrated Egyptian Playwright and commentator, peace activists and democrat Ali Salemcalls upon western commentators arguing whether what happened in Egypt was coup to understand realities on the ground. Here is a translation of his column.
Gentlemen, thinkers and politicians of Western civilization, we have learned the thought of how to be practical from you, and it seems, the time has come to re-remind you . The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Rationally speaking, to prove how sound an idea is, or how correct is a theory, isn’t the components or philosophical structure of the wording of the theory, but the practical results, or the practical outcome of the theory/the idea. In theory, the questions raised and the argument about the rational of the idea. might be necessary or even logical in the forums of academe, but it seems, that such questions and arguments are designed to escape from reality due to an intellectual deficit in facing the facts and dealing with them as presented by real situation ion the ground.
Egypt 30 June revolution – despite the helping hand from the military ( some calling it a coup) is by all measure a people’s revolution, causing some ripples in the region and beyond, and certainly earthquakes in many places sending the gurus and prophets of political Islam into a panic sprint trying to save what they see as their survival in places where they are in power by fluke after the 2011 uprisings have upset the applecart mainly in North Africa, by means election, manipulation. or by army intervention, or a mixture of all, like Tunisia, or where they made remarkable advance towards power due to anarchy and arms like in Libya and Syria, or they were already in powers directly or indirectly like Sudan and Gaza.