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.
Since I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories and have no desire or time to question BBC and co-lefties motive in falsifying history I will only confine myself to evident errors, historic inaccuracies and selective facts which I personally spotted in news bulletins, reports and current affairs programmes ( let alone expressing opinions in what supposed to be fact-based only hard news for example reporters keep using phrase “Rabaa massacre by Egyptian army/security forces” as if it was undisputed fact like the rise of the sun ). Errors, which, I spotted and alerted BBC as well as reporters themselves; yet they did not correct and kept repeating. It dawned on me that correcting those factual errors will knock the narrative constructed ( by the BBC Middle East Editor and his team) off balance.
For the past four days, the BBC Middle East Editor and his team of reporters have created a narrative that Egypt story was a Military hungry for power who ousted a “democratically elected” president and cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood thus creating a conflict between the army (assisted by the police security forces) on one side and the Muslim Brothers on the other, as if the Egyptian people themselves didn’t exist or just watch from the sidelines.
It is needless to say that the choice, desire, hope and aim of vast majority of Egyptian people who came out on the streets between June 28 (culminated on June 30) and July 3 have little to do with the BBC narrative. They totally reject Theocratic Fascism of Muslim Brotherhood ( that is why they came out on the streets in the first place and threatened to stay out until Mohammed Morsi was out) nor do they want to return to authoritarian rule underpinned by the military (1954-2012). This is what every Egyptian I spoke to have said, yet you never see or hear those Egyptians on the BBC, despite near two dozens of BBC reporters, producers & crews already in Cairo hotels at our licence money expense, and double that number employed at the BBC Cairo bureau and more stringers all over Egypt. Can’t they find a couple of people to say what I hear from almost all Egyptians?
Only once British actor Khalid Abdallah ( whose parents are British Egyptian doctors) was allowed to say it in a short interview (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23731219) with Mishal Husain on a bridge over the Nile, – around 4 pm Friday 16 August, but was never repeated nor his true statement taken any further for discussion or studying or at least using his quote in one of many reports daily by several BBC hacks and hackettes .
Again two reports by Bethany Bell ( late Friday early Saturday and repeated) and reports by Hugh Sykes, on Saturday and in two way on PM ( same idea but different wording at length repeated again on BH Sunday 18th ) they made historic errors regarding the Muslim Brothers ban as an organisation for many years in Egypt.
Both Bell and Sykes said “ Muslim Brothers was banned as organisation by [ Colonel] Nasser in 1954 “ and in repeat “ by the military in 1954”. I tweeted the error Friday and Saturday and the correction, alerted both reporters, yet error was repeated in two reports on Sunday.
( 1954 date background: the fact was Muslim Brothers were banned by court orders – before 1952 military coup during parliemantarin system , rule of law and indepent judiacary, court orders needed. The last ban before 1952 was in 1948 when the Muslim Brothers assassinated Prime Minister Fahmi al-Nuqrashi pasha and other murders and bombing. Eight years earlier a Muslim Brother murdered Egypt Prime Minister Ahmed Maher Pasha for declaring war on Germany and siding with Allies against Hitler; as Muslim Brotherhood had connection with Nazis going back to 1930s ( & http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=764
MBs were already banned for four years, when many of their members arrested and charged with arson, murder, public order offences after they brunet central Cairo on 26 January 1952 including iconic Shepherd’s hotel, British Club by the Nile – now the four seasons hotel on its site- and over 760 b historic building including theatres and arts galleries. When Gen Naguib/Col Nassr coup happened in 1952 . MBs were already part of the plot and some officers were members of the group. In 1953 when the junta banned all political parties, Muslim Brothers secured an exemption from the Administrative Court – later renamed constitutional court, excluding them from the ban by re-registering as a chartable status Isalmic evangelist society. Their leaders even gave theocratic justification to Nasser’s November 1953 political parties ban and breaking a workers strike including hanging the strike leaders. Four months later – March 1954 when Nasser ousted Gen Naguib, defying his orders to return army to barracks and hold elections, Nasser continued his deal giving MBs two cabinet posts, relating to religious affairs and welfare . They wanted more. Nasser refused. Muslim brothers secrete apparatus member Abul Munim Abdul Rauf targeted him while delivering speech in Alexandria in October 1954 fired four bullets but missed- Nasser and the crackdown began).
This brief history regarding Muslim Brothers ban is simple and easy to find by research and in 100s of books. But stating facts and using the correct date 1948 of ban, would not only leave a hole in BBC narrative that the Muslim Brotherhood was a terrorist organisation ( no record of an unambiguous statement of Muslim Brothers renouncing their 1930s-1954 terrorism) which was banned because of murder and arson as well as being supporters of Nazi Germany war efforts but it would totally destroy the BBC narrative of the crisis being military against Muslim Brothers. By stating facts ( which given the BBC army of researchers and other staff in Egypt could easily be established in 10 minutes search) and shown why and when ( long before 1952 military coup) Muslim Brothers were banned, then listeners and viewers could be allowed to think for themselves and deduct why majority of Egyptian people came out on the streets rejecting Muslim Brothers and not only to stop Egypt sliding into another Iran before it was too late.
Of course the BBC team will argue and hide behind technicalities of guidelines saying they chose this date (1954) as first “ post colonial ban “ ( which is a load of nonsense since Egypt has never been a colony and was always dealt with by Foreign and Commonwealth office with British High Commissioner in Cairo and never by the Colonial Office- it was mainly British military bases presence – and great deal of influence and was ended with 1936 treaty) and would say different voices from opposite sides were interviewed ( why not Khalid Abdallah’s quote for example? ) etc etc. But leaving out facts, might be argued not exactly breaking BBC editorial guidelines – but say for example ” a motorcar clouded with a cyclist leaving him badly injured,” can we just report it like that leaving out important facts that cyclist jumped red-light or that traffic lights weren’t working on a blind-spot corner ?
It was bizarre as why BBC reporters wouldn’t simply correct the historic inaccuracies in the next reports on Sunday instead of enraging with me over twitter in lengthy argument as why they were right and me ( possibly rest of the world) is wrong.
Then I realised why when reporters in two way on Radio 4 used the phrase “ with Nasser looking over his shoulder “ in reference to Egypt defence secretary and deputy prime minster for security Gen al-Sissi who has become Egypt pin-up hero in over 80% of homes . By subtly excluding any historic quarrel between Muslim Brothers and the Egyptian people, while reviving Colonel Nasser’s ghost the BBC then would keep narrative on track. Egyptian people excluded from minds of listeners and viewers keeping the crisis as a fight between a military general and “democratically” elected Muslim Brothers. And then Hamas ( although by itself a terrorist organisation who sends school children as suicide bombers, and currently engaged in terrorism, on behalf of mother organisation the Muslim Brothers against Egyptian civilians and state run services in Sinai – but BBC listeners and viewers never been told so ) is brought in for no reason except to enforce one of the BCC and British left themes that US, UK support Israel and suppress democratic choice when people elect what America and Israel don’t like. With this false narrative accepted by the rest of the British Media, and the political class, it is very hard to correct the picture in the chattering classes’ mind. With every news bulletin public debate, daily press review ( and adding scores of young freelance journalists with little experience exaggerating, getting over exited and competing to make their break into mainstream journalism are already not letting facts get in the way of impressing London editors to use their copy).
What made matters worse is our foreign secretary William Hague buying into this nonsense and risking British 130 years friendship with Egypt ( including two world-wars alliance, joint wars in Africa from 1890 s and recently in the war on terror) by using silly American style mega-phone diplomacy and non-diplomatic language with Egypt.
His unwise public statements, equating Muslim Brotherhood ( whose leaders never issued a public call to their followers to hold peaceful vigils and not to use violence ) which is seen by majority of Egyptians as promoting terrorism and work against national interest; with the army seen by vast majority of Egyptians as their saviours, further alienate Egyptians and creates an anti-British public mood in Egypt. The interim Egyptian government ( which wasn’t elected but a compromise response to massive public demand after ousting Mors and will rule until next election slated for February 2014) see its only source of legitimacy is public support by majority on the streets, will have no choice but to shun Britain and Hague’s roof-tops shouting. Our government is unwisely following a drive by EU and the French ( and since when did the French care for British or anybody’s interests but theirs ?) to impose economic sanctions on Egypt. Not only this would harm our interests in the long term (there is hardly no export we sell to the Egyptians which they can’t replace from elsewhere, while arms exports they can get from the Russians cheaper and give Putin more influence at our expense , while British jobs are lost) and make us lose influence in Egypt.
Mr Hague’s next move in EU meeting can have very serious impact on British trade with the massive markets of the Gulf. On Friday, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, home to world Muslims holiest of shrines, sent a clear and strong serious message to the world. He Said his nation stood shoulder to shoulder with the Egyptians in their war on terror ( note his use of phrase) and warned that anybody interfering in Egypt internal affairs risks igniting fire of strife and supports terrorism . As King Abdullah continue to back Egypt, and see its defeat of radical political Islam as vital to his kingdom’s long term security, his speech came as a clear warning to UK, EU and US that not siding with Egyptian people ( or just keeping their noses out of Egypt) would risk harm trade and cooperation. Specifically mentioning Egypt war on terror ( and his call was backed and supported within minutes by the rest of the Gulf nations except Qatar, who lost estimated eight billion pounds it gave to Muslim Brothers) King Abdulalh was hinting that such unwise western policy towards Egypt would also risk security cooperation ( a point highlighted by several influential Saudi columnists who briefed regularly by the king’s court, was “ how western capitals who fight terrorism are now backing the mother-ship of all Islamists terror groups ie Muslim Brotherhood?) . Not only trade with Gulf could be affected, but there is a large military base being constructed west of Dubai for a big British unit returning from Afghanistan, to be stationed there and with equipment as part of joint Arab regional rapid deployment force thus restoring British presence which was foolishly ended by Labour government of Harold Wilson over 40 years ago.
It would have been much better and in Britai’s interests if Mr Hague had shut-up in public while making better use of his Foreign Office resources in traditional British subtle diplomacy behind closed doors early persuading EU officials like Lady Ashton and others not to encourage Muslim Brothers to dig their heels in by giving them false hope of Libya style military intervention the Islamists wanting ( which explains their attack on Christians and their churches). Had Hague tried hard to get Ashton and Foreign Office Minister for Middle East Alistair Burt ( when visited Egypt and held talks with Muslim Brothers leader) and a delegation of Parliamentarians including Lady Falkner and lord Ahmed to give Muslim Brothers a clear message to forget about western intervention and the best course to take was to join the roadmap agreed by almost all political forces on July 3d, most probably current confrontations could have been avoided.
Given that Egypt has already condemned EU threats and today Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-FaisaI warned EU against such folly. Foreign Secretary Hague must take note. If Britain went along with EU ridiculous and unwise threats, ( which looks more of a university student union meeting passing motions on nuclear disarmament or green issues than dealing with foreign policy in the real world) then he could our long term interests including trade and security a great deal of harm and it would take years to reverse the damage.