Saturday,25 March, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1125, 6 - 12 December 2012
Saturday,25 March, 2017
Issue 1125, 6 - 12 December 2012

Ahram Weekly

Rumours, the final frontier

The public must be protected against the deceptions of the Muslim Brotherhood, writes Michael Adel

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Al-Ahram Weekly

Divisions within the army, wage cuts, insubordination within the Republican Guards, Morsi coming back to power, the interim president is a Christian, or no, he is Jewish — the rumour mill promoted by the Muslim Brotherhood keeps on churning out lies non-stop.
Another sample of such rumours is that the Sinai tribes have gone into an alliance with the jihadists and declared an Islamic state in Sinai. Following the removal of ousted former president Mohamed Morsi from office, hardly a day has passed without the Muslim Brotherhood trying to lie its way back into power.
Egypt seems to be going through its own version of the Cold War, where truth is being twisted daily by people who have to create an alternative reality to make their fantastic version of events more believable.
The current misinformation campaign bears the hallmarks of a fully-fledged psychological warfare campaign aimed at deceiving the population. Some of the rumours that the Brotherhood has posted on the Internet have seeped into the mainstream media, forcing officials to come forward and refute them one by one.
The Brotherhood is good with rumours, handy with character assassination, and fertile when it comes to imagination. These days, the Brotherhood’s deception teams are working double-time to keep the nation misinformed.
Many of the current rumours aim to portray the government as being unable to address the problems facing the country. Other rumours aim to cast doubt on the integrity of the Egyptian army.
The Brotherhood has claimed that an apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared in Rabaa Al-Adaweya Square, something meant as a trap for Christians, encouraging them to go there and be held hostage by Morsi supporters.
Other rumours have been designed to trick the gullible into staying longer in the sit-ins. Claims that angels had spoken to the protesters and that the Prophet Mohamed was on their side have been meant to raise the morale of the rank and file.
Another rumour was that General Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi was injured in an attack on his motorcade. “This is why he didn’t take part in the Armed Forces celebration of the 10 Ramadan War [another name for the 1973 War],” went the rumour.
Then came the allegation that Al-Sisi wanted to run for president. This allegation, immediately denied by the army, was meant to give the impression that what had happened in Egypt was nothing but a military coup.
The rumour-mongers then claimed that Al-Sisi had gone to Saudi Arabia for secret talks, wanting to give the impression that the Brotherhood was the victim of a regional conspiracy.
Another rumour claimed that Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, has resigned to protest against the ouster of Morsi. Al-Azhar denied the rumour and confirmed that Al-Tayeb had no intention of resigning at this critical moment in the country’s history.
According to pollsters, 71 per cent of Egyptians have no sympathy for the pro-Morsi demonstrations. However, the Brotherhood has been holding on, and its deception teams have claimed that the European Union (EU) will cut off aid to Egypt, or that the Jordanian king had interceded for Morsi’s release.
The EU denied the rumours, saying that its package of aid to Egypt, totalling 5 billion euros, was intact.
At one point, the mufti of the republic, Shawki Allam, was forced to deny a rumour that he had been placed under house arrest. The rumour was traced to Ahmed Al-Moghir, a close associate of Brotherhood leader Khairat Al-Shater.
In short, the Brotherhood has been trying to turn falsehoods into facts and vice versa. But nothing, rumours included, can save the Brotherhood from the dire straits into which it has strayed.
If anything, the Brotherhood’s lies will end up destroying even the remnants of the credibility it may still have.
Egyptians are too smart to be duped. The nation is united against the lies of Morsi’s supporters, and the army is far from being divided. Al-Azhar officials continue to work as normal, and the EU is not changing its position on Egypt.
It was recently announced that Essam Ramadan, secretary-general of the Civil Defence Volunteer Force, would be forming psychological defence committees from volunteers, the Red Crescent and the Scouts to expose the Brotherhood lies.
This is good news, for even though the lies of the Brotherhood are not hard to see through, the public must be protected from this barrage of deception.

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