Ikhwanweb: Freedom and democracy are more important than Laila ElBaradei’s bikini

Ikhwanweb: Freedom and democracy are more important than Laila ElBaradei’s bikini

Today, rumor and gossip feed a press and public hungry for scandalous tales. Shedding light on this thought  is the emergence of a new campaign  initiated by an anonymous individual on the social networking website Facebook targeting the personal life of Dr. Mohammed El Baradei, former  IAEA chief and ‘could be candidate for the Presidential elections.


Given the realities of modern political campaigning, it should come as no surprise that the candidates most likely to use negative ads are the ones who feel most challenged.


It appears  that political campaigning is more negative and unethical than it has ever been. Whether this is historically true or not, is the subject of some debate. Political oppositions have long thrown mud at each other and the history of negative campaigning can be traced back to the cold-war era.


The campaign is launched under the title: "El Baradei’s Family secrets" by an anonymous user who claims to be a personal friend of Laila, the daughter of El Baradei.

This anonymous friend wrote:


"I’d like to introduce myself: I am a friend of Dr. Mohamed El Baradei’s daughter, Laila, and have known her for a long time. When I first heard that Dr. El Baradei may run in the presidential elections; I was shocked.  What shocked me the most was his unprecedented visits to the mosques, since I know that Dr. Mohammed and his family do not embrace any religion. This empowered me to speak-out and tell the truth".

Apparently, this "anonymous friend" of Laila El Baradei posted over 30 pictures of Laila dressed in bikinis, drinking wine, and allegedly informing the public of her marriage to a Christian (which is prohibited in Islam).

The founder of the campaign attempted to portray El Baradei’s daughter as an "atheist", which equates to many conservative Egyptians she is an infidel in the eyes of Islam.

A group of liberal thinkers, however, stated that voters are increasingly turned off by negative campaign ads, emphasizing there is a difference between the personal and public life of Dr. El Baradei & his family, arguing that intruding on the personal life of a potential candidate is neither ethical nor acceptable. They argue that while such techniques are commonly used in Western societies during campaign seasons, in a conservative Egyptian society they’re unfavorable.

Sadly, this is not true. The conservative Egyptian society will not tolerate having El Baradei in power with such malicious behavior since this may dismiss and tarnish El Baradei’s image to the Muslim population.

However, there has been speculations such allegations may have been initiated by the Egyptian security apparatus, in an effort to influence the public negatively toward El Baradei, playing on both their emotional and spiritual stance. It may have also been seen as a shot to weaken the stance of the popular political opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood, which supports El Baradei in his appeal for political change, but it will not tolerate such allegedly unislamic behavior. If this proves to be the fact, it will reveal that security is bidding on the publics’ religious & sentimental values.

Undoubtedly, for most Egyptians, choosing a ruler  whose criminal security apparatus focuses on beating and killing civilians, and who shows no regards to human rights, freedom and dignity is far more than dangerous than electing the father of a bikini-clad daughter.

 The sinful attempts to tarnish the image of Dr. ElBaradei and his cause with crude insinuations and allegations, and launching defaming public campaigns may in fact strengthen the resolve for the demands for real change.

In the upcoming period, there will be numerous debates within the political forces of Egypt, including the Muslim Brotherhood, which is expected to hold internal discussions to define their overall decision on participating in the El Baradei’s campaign for political reform. Regardless of the decision, it is without qualms that one may positively ascertain that in all reality "Nothing is worse than dictatorship and autocracy, even if it is social liberalism".