Everyone knows that only greasy Islamophobes oppose Islamization — at least, everyone in the Western mainstream media. Egypt’s journalists, on the other hand, know what their Leftist counterparts in the U.S. and Western Europe do not: that the imposition of Islamic law in Egypt will mean restrictions on press freedom. Islamic law forbids critical speech about Islam; the Muslim Brotherhood may well understand criticism of their regime to fall into that category. “Egypt’s journalists fear the “˜Islamization” of press,” by Abeer Tayel for Al Arabiya, July 1 (thanks to Voice of the Copts):
Egypt’s long list of unending crises since the Jan. 25 revolution appears to be unending as evidenced by the latest crisis between the upper house of parliament, known as the Shura Council, and the country”s journalists.
It began when the Islamist-dominated parliament decided to set certain regulations for choosing the editors-in-chief of state-run newspapers. These new regulations would affect more than 50 current editors-in-chief.
President Mohammed Mursi received the board directors and editors-in-chief of all Egyptian press publications on Thursday, during which he reassured them that there wouldn’t be any kind of restrictions on the freedom of press.
Most privately-owned media have been publishing anti-Muslim Brotherhood sentiments since Mursi was declared the winner of the presidential election. Mursi was the head of the Brotherhood’s political wing Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) which had majority of seats in both houses of parliament, before the People’s Assembly was dissolved by a court order earlier this month. However, FJP still controls the majority of seats in the Shura Council.
“Our meeting with Mursi proved shocking,” said Mohammed Salah, editor-in-chief of state-owned The Egyptian Gazette.
“He is a very good man, but he never gave us straight answers. He made promises and guarantees but we are not in need of any promises; we are in need of a law to be applied on all of us,” Salah told Al Arabiya….
Some of the conditions required by the Shura Council while choosing an editor-in-chief include implementing an age limit and a minimum requirement of 15 years of experience as well as stressing that no chief editor will be appointed if he was proven to be involved in a corruption case or had promoted the normalization of relations with Israel. The conditions also state that the candidate should not be involved in bringing advertisements to his news publication….
“They are definitely trying to play the same role played by the NDP. There is no doubt about that,” said Ameena Mohammed, a journalist at a privately-owned press publication. “Journalists will be forced to write what the Islamists want. If we don’t, we will surely be punished. There is no doubt, it is an Islamization attempt.”
Members of the Journalists Association said they fear the Shura Council’s standards will facilitate the appointment of chief editors loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood.
When asked on whether he thinks the rise of Islamists to power in Egypt would affect the freedom of expression, especially the press, Salah said that “it would definitely have a huge negative effect.”…