A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Al Jazeera Convictions Outrage World: Congratulations to Egypt for Diverting Attention from Iraq

Egypt's conviction of the Al Jazeera journalists is drawing worldwide denunciation. Though Al Jazeera was clearly tilted towards the (formerly in power, now outlawed) Muslim Brotherhood, the "terrorism" charges against the reporters made little sense and the evidence  was meager.

Those, including me, who hoped that if convicted, the reporters would receive a Presidential pardon, seem to have been disappointed: Sisi says he will not interfere in the court's decision.

And the silencing of diverse voices proceeds: novelist and commentator Alaa Al-Aswany is giving up weekly column in Al-Masry al-Youm. Because, he says, "criticism and difference of opinion  is no longer allowed."

And just as the world's eyes had been focused on Iraq, Egypt propels itself back onto the world's front pages, and not in a good way. And just after John Kerry's visit with Sisi.

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