The Egyptian Embassy in the United States criticised a Washington Post editorial article calling it biased and insensitive with misguided views on President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
The letter submitted by the Embassy to the Washington Post on Tuesday accused the Wahington Post of toeing the Muslim Brotherhood line. It added that the article promoted the “polished English of Muslim Brotherhood propagandists, while muting attention to that organisation’s Arabic messages, which drive extreme Islamist rhetoric and call for bloodshed, martyrdom and terror.” The newspaper was also accused of allegedly absolving the Muslim Brotherhood of their crimes.
“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 to use this innocent woman’s death to whitewash the Muslim Brotherhood’s violence is inexcusable,” the letter said.
The Washington Post article was originally entitled “A bleak anniversary in Egypt”, but was changed to “The US is complacent as Egypt repeats its history of repression”. It was published in the aftermath of the fourth anniversary of the 25 January Revolution. It also criticised Egyptian security forces’ killing of protestors, including Al-Sabbagh, a member of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, who died after being hit by birdshot in the back.
The article compared the Washington Post’s coverage of attacks on Charlie Hebdo to attacks on security personnel in Sinai and Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria. The letter asked: “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?”
The Egyptian Embassy’s letter criticised the Washington Post for only mentioning the 29 January Al-Arish attack that killed over 30 security personnel. It added the newspaper had done so “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?”
However, the Washington Post’s article mentioned that Al-Sisi’s view is shared by US President Barak Obama, “who has repeatedly stated a policy of subordinating human rights concerns in Egypt to the U.S. security relationship with the regime”.
The Egyptian embassy’s letter asked the Washington Post to have the courage to revise their positions “not as a favour to Egypt…but to provide a more honest service to your readers and save whatever is left of your credibility in the Arab world”.
The Washington Post stated that violence by militants who have sworn allegiance to the Islamic State has increased under Al-Sisi’s rule
The article also criticised Al-Sisi’s keeping journalists and young activists in prison, as well as ousted former President Mohamed Morsi and the parliament members under his reign, while toppled president Hosni Mubarak and his sons were released.