Columns left blank in Egyptian dailies to protest Muslim Brotherhood intervention in the media, MEMRISince the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has worked to promote its ideology within the Egyptian press. Like under Mubarak, the Shura Council continues to exercise the exclusive right to appoint the heads of news organizations. However, under Muslim Brotherhood rule, the Shura Council now requires that candidates to be newspaper editors “have no record of corruption or of advocating normalization with Israel.” MEMRI reported that eighty percent of Egypt’s newspaper editors and board directors have been replaced mostly by people who support Muslim Brotherhood ideology.

The Muslim Brotherhood, however, did not stop with the sacking of opposition newspaper editors and board directors. MEMRI reported that with the approval of an Egyptian court, “copies of the independent Egyptian daily Al-Dustour were confiscated after the paper allegedly insulted the president and incited anarchy and fitna. The daily had published an article dealing with the MB takeover of state institutions and its attack on free speech.”

Furthermore, MEMRI noted that “during a MB protest outside the premises of Al-Faraeen TV at which demonstrators demanded that the channel be shut down, after its owner, Tawfiq ‘Okasha,” had the audacity to criticize President Morsi, “bearded men attempted to storm the studio and attack ‘Okasha and the editor of the independent Egyptian daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’, Khaled Salah,” who is also critical of the Muslim Brotherhood. “The two were unharmed, but Salah’s car was damaged.”

The Islamization of the Media, MEMRI

As a result of such violence, censorship and intimidation, voices heard in the Egyptian press during the month of October 2012 were extremely more radical than they were during the Mubarak period, when the Egyptian press mixed articles supporting Palestinian suicide bombings with voices that were critical of Palestinian suicide bombings.

For example, Makram Muhammed Ahmed, who formerly was editor of Al Musawwar during the Mubarak era, wrote following the suicide bombing of Hanadi Jaradat that Haifa is the only city where Jews and Arabs continue to coexist peacefully, that several Israeli Arabs were among the dead, and that this suicide bombing operation brought to an end four weeks of calm. He went on to declare that this operation represented a “misjudgment, foolishness,” or worse yet, an “absence of an overall rational view of the situation.” If a suicide bombing were to happen in Israel today, the likelihood that the new Egyptian media under the domination of the Muslim Brotherhood would publish an article like Ahmed’s is very slim given that Egyptian newspaper editors are now required to be against advocating normalization with Israel.

Indeed, MEMRI has reported that the Egyptian press has broadcast segments in October 2012 that encourage hostility towards Israel. For example, MEMRI reported that Egypt’s Channel 1 quoted Egyptian cleric Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour stating in the presence of Egypt’s President Morsi, “Grant us victory over the infidels. Oh Allah, deal with the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder.” President Morsi reportedly responded by saying “Amen” to this statement. This video clip can be viewed below.

MEMRI also reported that Egypt’s Al Rahma TV broadcasted a child preacher named Ibrahim Adham declaring, “Oh Allah, destroy Israel.” CBS TV in Egypt interviewed Egyptian Salafist Muhammed Al Zawahiri, who asserted live on Egyptian television, “Fighting Israel, fighting the Jews is a religious duty incumbent upon all Muslims.” These Egyptian media segments represent what we can expect out of the Muslim Brotherhood dominated Egyptian press in the future.

Reported by: Rachel Avraham for United With Israel

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