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Death threats for Egyptian tycoon over Twitter icon

Another example of why some famous people (*cough* Anthony Weiner *cough*) should not use Twitter: 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 ...

GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images
GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images

Another example of why some famous people (*cough* Anthony Weiner *cough*) should not use Twitter:

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?

Edmund Downie is a Yale University Gordon Grand Fellow currently interning at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. He works on the regional political economy of Asia. Follow him at @ned_downie. @ned_downie
Tag: Egypt
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