A common criticism of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has always been that it delivers one message in English to an international audience, and another message entirely in Arabic to its domestic audience. If anyone is ever looking for an example of this, they need to look no further than the Islamist organization’s reaction to the bombing of the Boston Marathon.
In English, the Brotherhood’s political party released a statement "categorically reject[ing] as intolerable the bombings committed in the U.S. city of Boston," and "offer[ing] heartfelt sympathies and solemn condolences to the American people and the families of the victims."
In Arabic, senior Brotherhood leader and the vice chairman of the group’s political party Essam el-Erian took a different tack. In a post on his Facebook page, he condemned the Boston attack — but also linked it to the French war in Mali, the destruction in Syria and Iraq, and faltering rapprochement between the Turkish government and Kurdish rebels.
El-Erian is making the case that all of these setbacks — from Boston to Baghdad — are somehow connected. "Who disturbed democratic transformations, despite the difficult transition from despotism, corruption, poverty, hatred, and intolerance to freedom, justice tolerance, development, human dignity, and social justice?" he asked. "Who planted Islamophobia through research, the press, and the media? Who funded the violence?"
El-Erian just poses those questions — he doesn’t accuse any specific group of masterminding the Boston Marathon attack or the unrest across the Middle East. But while Brotherhood leaders feel free to indulge in such conspiracy-mongering in Arabic, these claims are notably absent from the group’s English-language media.
Marines Ready for Chaos in Egypt; Snowden to Bolivia? Shelley Stoneman leaves the Pentago; An Army Four-Star in the Pacific; Drone Strikes in Pakistan and a bit more.John Reed
John Reed is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy. He comes to FP after editing Military.com’s publication Defense Tech and working as the associate editor of DoDBuzz. Between 2007 and 2010, he covered major trends in military aviation and the defense industry around the world for Defense News and Inside the Air Force. Before moving to Washington in August 2007, Reed worked in corporate sales and business development for a Swedish IT firm, The Meltwater Group in Mountain View CA, and Philadelphia, PA. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter at the Tracy Press and the Scotts Valley Press-Banner newspapers in California. His first story as a professional reporter involved chasing escaped emus around California’s central valley with Mexican cowboys armed with lassos and local police armed with shotguns. Luckily for the giant birds, the cowboys caught them first and the emus were ok. A New England native, Reed graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a dual degree in international affairs and history.| Situation Report |