August 19, 2013

Egyptian Professor Abdullah Schleifer Says The Media Has Misunderstood Developments In Egypt

Below is an excerpt from the article, "Media at odds with military in Egypt coverage" by Abdullah Schleifer, published by Al Arabiya on Tuesday, August 13:
I have been shocked by the shallow way the Western media has covered the political situation in Cairo since the coup against former President Mursi.

One would never know from reading The New York Times editorials and a good deal of its coverage – along with that of other leading news organizations – that the Egyptian armed forces had moved against a political movement attempting to impose an authoritarian regime on the country.

One would never know that, aside from coached demonstrators, the exultation stirring the crowd at Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya protest camp was for martyrdom and not really for democracy.

One would never know, until pollsters finally released data on the subject, that the overwhelming majority of Egyptians were opposed to Muslim Brotherhood (MB) sit-ins and marches. These disrupted both the traffic and a more general recovery in tourism, investment, job creation, law and order – leading to calls for the sit-ins to end, one way or another.

One would never know, given the absence of any real political parties with grassroots support aside from the Muslim Brotherhood, that the Egyptian army – with its massive number of conscripts and status as a symbol of Egyptian independence – is the most significant popular institution in this country, along with al-Azhar, Egypt’s top Islamic institution.