Egypt's Opposition Party Turns to Facebook for Support
|Wednesday, December 16,2009 20:40|
|By ABC's Lama Hasan reports from Cairo|
To some, social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are platforms to connect and converse but to others it is a powerful political tool. When you’re banned in a country where freedom of speech is a relatively new concept, where bloggers and protestors are detained on a regular basis, how do you spread your message? The internet.
Egypt’s main opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood has been turning to Facebook to appeal to the younger generation. In the country’s last presidential election in 2005, the Brotherhood used the internet making it a lot easier for journalists and members in the media to monitor and follow. So much so that the ruling party the National Democratic Party (NDP) headed by the current President Hosni Mubarak also jumped on the internet bandwagon and began using the world wide web to garner support.
Speaking to ABC News, one of the brotherhood’s members says, “it is a window for the people because in the third world the doors and windows are closed.” Especially in Egypt, he says, “blogs and other sites are used for expression just like they did in Iran.” Case in point: the April 6th Youth movement, a group which was born after a strike was organized at a textiles factory in the town of Mahala Al Kubra in 2008. The April 6th Youth movement currently has more than 73,000 members and counting.
The Muslim Brotherhood is the country’s largest opposition group and has been banned since 1954, asked if it will continue to use the internet, the answer is yes because ‘’it is the only instrument for the younger generation.’’