The following hard-hitting letter was written by Mohamed Tawfik, Egyptian Ambassador to the United States, and submitted to the editor of the Washington Post. It reiterates many points of contention between Egypt and Washington — from the MSM’s pro-Brotherhood bias to its denial of Boko Haram’s anti-Christian jihad in Nigeria and even rationalizations for the Islamic State’s atrocities.
To the Editor,
Raymond Ibrahim The Post’s January 30 editorial entitled “A bleak anniversary in Egypt” is biased and insensitive, to say the least. Published barely hours after the terrorist attack that needlessly took the lives of over 30 of my countrymen, the editorial board fails to show even the slightest compassion for the plight of the victims’ families.
The only mention of the attack was by way of laying the blame for the terrorists’ acts squarely on the Egyptian government. By this skewed logic, who should we say bears the blame for the Oklahoma or Boston bombings?
The Post’s coverage of the much wider carnage that Boko Haram committed in Nigeria received minimal coverage. Isn’t it legitimate for Egyptians and other Third World peoples to ask if The Post puts the same value on the lives of all human beings? Indeed, they have every right to wonder whether The Post and other like-minded Institutions consider us to be legitimate testing grounds for their geopolitical theories and social experiments.
Indeed, The Post has been consistent in toeing the Muslim Brotherhood line. Going beyond editorials and opinion pieces, bias has tainted every aspect of coverage. In August 2013, when Brotherhood supporters launched a coordinated campaign of attacks against police stations and Christian churches, The Post’s coverage brazenly suggested that the police were behind these attacks.
The outlet also consistently promotes the polished English of Muslim Brotherhood propagandists, while muting attention to that organization’s Arabic messages, which drive extreme Islamist rhetoric and call for bloodshed, martyrdom and terror. Most recently, the official website of Egypt’s Moslem Brotherhood called in Arabic for its supporters to prepare for “relentless jihad where we ask for martyrdom” in Egypt.
The Post has gone out of its way to absolve the Muslim Brotherhood of their crimes. This is evidenced by its claim in the aforementioned editorial that “more than 20 protesters were killed by police.” The editorial conveniently neglected to mention that at least three of the dead were Muslim Brotherhood supporters who were killed when the bombs they were planting prematurely exploded, and that two were policemen killed by their ‘peaceful protestors.’
The investigation will show the number of Muslim Brotherhood supporters who lost their lives in these incidents and how many of the dead were their victims, or unfortunate bystanders who got caught in the crossfire.
This latest editorial’s greatest service to Muslim Brotherhood propaganda, however, came when it equated peaceful protestor Shaimaa al-Sabbagh with those terrorist bomb makers. Together with millions of Egyptians, I have mourned Shaimaa’s death. President Al Sisi has clearly stated that he thinks of her as his own daughter.
A thorough independent investigation is underway to bring the perpetrators to justice. But to use this innocent woman’s death to whitewash the Muslim Brotherhood’s violence is inexcusable.
The Post has not been alone in propagating the illusion that the Muslim Brotherhood is “peaceful,” has “renounced violence,” and represents “moderate Islam,” rather than recognize the historically uncontested fact that it is the mother organization from which modern day violent jihad has sprung and that its main theorist, Sayyid Kutb, remains to this day a source of inspiration for terrorists around the world.
History shows how a small number of Western academics and lobbyists succeeded in repackaging the Muslim Brotherhood and selling it to their elites as the panacea for curing radicalism, rather than the Trojan horse it really is.
President Al Sisi is leading the way—calling for a revolution in Islamic thought to deny extremists the opportunity to exploit it to their sinister ends. Leading by example, he became the first Egyptian leader to visit the Orthodox Cathedral in Abasseya to wish his Christian compatriots a merry Christmas. A conference organized by Al-Azhar late last year emphasized that confronting violent extremist ideology can only succeed if we draw on the rich heritage of tolerance that our peoples have practiced for centuries, rather than invent excuses for the Moslem Brotherhood.
The persistently flawed lens with which The Post misrepresents the words and actions of President Al Sisi is misguided and threatens the very goal of stamping out radicalism in the region.
I neither expect nor wish for The Post’s coverage of Egypt to be biased to our perspective. But I sincerely hope you will find the courage to revise your positions, not as a favor to Egypt, which will remain a great and confident nation no matter what you say, but to provide a more honest service to your readers and save whatever is left of your credibility in the Arab world.