The Tall Tales of Cairo

(New York Times) Ursula Lindsey - On Tuesday, a front-page story of the state-owned newspaper Al Ahram purported to reveal the details of an agreement to "divide Egypt" allegedly struck between Khairat el-Shater, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson, which involved helping 300 armed fighters enter the country from Gaza. It also claimed that the police foiled a plan to take over government buildings and declare an independent state in southern Egypt ("with the previous promise of recognition from the United States and some European countries"). This isn't journalism; it's disinformation. Conspiracy theories have a particular hold in Egypt. The idea of a foreign plot to keep Egypt down is both enraging and comforting in its simplicity. And it allows the authorities to intimidate dissenters and rally the public. Private TV channels and newspapers, owned by businessmen eager to ingratiate themselves with the military, have reported dozens of unverified plots, cheerleading the country's so-called war on terrorism - really, a campaign to destroy the Muslim Brotherhood.

2013-08-30 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive