Muslim Brotherhood Between Official Ban, Media Success
|Monday, February 5,2007 00:00|
|By Amr Magdi, Aljazeera.net|
Experts agreed that Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s not having a newspaper or a media outlet to express it, despite being the main opposition movement, as a paradoxical situation. They saw that the official media attack on the Muslim Brotherhood as one of the most important reasons for their success; also, some of them said that Islamists managed to use the Internet as an alternative platform.
While "Afaq Arabiay", Al-Ahrar party newspaper which has been hired by the Muslim Brotherhood, is still banned, the group’s English website, Ikhwanweb.com, has been recently facing attacks to block it.
In the same context, the political expert and analyst on Islamic groups, Diaa Rashwan, pointed out that denying the Muslim Brotherhood a newspaper is a part of the general ban on it.
The Internet as a substitute
On the other hand, Rashwan confirmed the authenticity of some reports that Islamists websites take the lead on the World Wide Web, adding that this lead is not only because they face frequent blocking," as the Islamists realized from an early period the importance of this point, and the importance of its surfers, the youth, and they were the first among political movements to use the Internet".
He mentioned that while one website was banned, 10 other websites emerged to spread the group’s ideology.
As for the editor-in-chief of the Muslim Brotherhood’s official Arabic website, Ikhwanonline, Abdul Galil Al Sharnoubi, he states another reason behind the success of the Muslim Brotherhood’s media; he says that its success lies not depending on its own media, but it depends on making communications and contacts with various mass media, confirming that" Thee most important element in the media equation is the human element, which the Muslim Brotherhood possess".
He denied to Aljazeera.net that there is no deal according to which the group hires several pages in some independent and opposition newspapers. He added that the only MB deals were frank and public with Afaq Arabiya and, before it, with Al Shaab newspaper through sealed contracts between the Muslim Brotherhood and their editors-in-chief, but these newspapers weren’t completely owned by the Muslim Brotherhood.
He pointed out that there are some newspapers that their main distribution is mainly attributed to the diversity of their readers; consequently, they adopt this diversity to meet the needs of their readers with their various trends.
Rashwan ruled out that the Muslim Brotherhood will issue a newspaper in the coming months " while there is an ongoing political crisis in the country"; Al Sharnoubi agreed with him saying:" It is impossible for the Muslim Brotherhood to issue a newspaper under such a little margin of freedom in which the regime can cancel it at any time".
However, Al-Alem didn’t excludes that:" MB channels may emerge here or there under the cover of businessmen or other to be the express the views of the Muslim Brotherhood".
Ikhwanweb in press