- By Edmund DownieEdmund Downie and Sophia Jones are editorial researchers at Foreign Policy.
Egyptian tycoon and politician Naguib Sawiris has come under fire for posting a picture of Mickey and Minnie Mouse in Islamic dress, sparking a torrent of condemnation on social networking sites. …
The magnate, a Christian, had posted a picture on his Twitter account of Disney character Mickey Mouse wearing a traditional Arabic robe and sporting a thick beard, next to a Minnie Mouse donning a niqab, or full face veil.
Sawiris’s Twitter apology hasn’t appeased Egypt’s Salafis, ultraconservative Islamists who have become increasingly important in Egyptian politics since the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11. Egyptian newspaper Al-Dostour reports that Salafi leader Assem Abdel Maged of Jama’a al-Islamiyya, a radical group supporting the installation of an Islamist regime in Egypt, is rallying a boycott against Mobinil, the mobile phone network that Sawiris owns. Facebook groups denouncing Sawiris and supporting the boycott have gained more than 60,000 followers, and Sawiris has himself received death threats.
These scandals on Twitter are getting old. Can we get a new destination for social-networking fiascos? LinkedIn, anyone?
Marc Lynch is associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, where he is the director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and of the Project on Middle East Political Science. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He is the author of The Arab Uprising (March 2012, PublicAffairs).
He publishes frequently on the politics of the Middle East, with a particular focus on the Arab media and information technology, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, and Islamist movements.| The Middle East Channel |