Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Down the Memory Hole at the Grauniad

Longtime GoV reader and commenter Green Infidel has reported in the past on the careful, selective censorship of comments on the website of The Guardian. This latest egregious incident stands out, however, because it occurred on a guest op-ed by the Muslim Brotherhood leader and new president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi.

Here’s the report from Green Infidel’s blog:

Morsi at the Guardian — a sign of things to come?

The new Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, last week became the latest commentator at the Guardian. With this, came another example of censorship at the Guardian website. (for an earlier case, see here) But was it the Guardian moderators, or Morsi himself (or one of his staff) responsible this time?

Morsi’s post consisted of the address to the Egyptian people at Tahrir Square, after his election. It was flowing in superlatives. Below, just a few snippets:

“Social justice, freedom and human dignity are our basic slogans…”

“We Egyptians, Muslims and Christians, are harbingers of development and civilisation and we will remain so.”

“we will work to have a system of Egyptian values, especially in the area of freedom and human rights, and women’s and children’s rights, and to remove all forms of discrimination.

“Therefore, say with me together my beloved people, by our will and our unity and our love for each other, we will be able to make a great future.”

Soon enough, in the comments section, PeterNW1 linked to a post by the (US-based) Egyptian Coptic blogger Raymond Ibrahim, who’d found a snippet by President Morsi from six months back:

According to the popular Egyptian website, El Bashayer, Muhammad Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate, just declared that he will “achieve the Islamic conquest (fath) of Egypt for the second time, and make all Christians convert to Islam, or else pay the jizya,” the traditional Islamic tax, or financial tribute, required of non-Muslim “dhimmis.”

In a brief report written by Samuel al-Ashay and published by El Bashayer on May 27, Morsi allegedly made these comments while speaking with a journalist at the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, adding “We will not allow Ahmed Shafiq or anyone else to impede our second Islamic conquest of Egypt.”

The original article on elbashayer.com can be seen here. The Google translation contains this fragment:

Mohamed Morsi Alastbn candidate for the Brotherhood, Egypt Amusliman it would open for the second time and enter all the Christians in Islam or to pay tribute.


Mursi said the second is the conqueror Mohammed Morsi and me Cisgelh history.

The journalist said: What do you think voting in the cluster given by the Copts for the team Shafiq.

Mercy replied, saying: They have to know that the opening is coming and Egypt will be Muslim and they have to pay tribute or migrate as one who left.

Although, as all Google translations, it’s not 100% perfect, the context seems clear enough. According to Morsi, Christians in Egypt will have 3 choices: convert to Islam, pay a tribute or leave Egypt.

Another user, “Hereslookingatyou”, responded to PeterNW1’s post, accusing Raymond Ibrahim of being an “Islamophobe”, and saying that the accusation at Morsi was a “lie”. As a response, I wrote the following comment, under my long-time Guardian username:


25 June 2012 11:01PM

Response to Hereslookingatyou, 25 June 2012 8:17PM

This paying of the jizya issue has already been discredited.

Where exactly?! Can you provide details or is this another ad hominem fallacy? e.g. “Raymond Ibrahim is a horrible Islamophobe and therefore everything he says must be wrong”.

Raymond Ibrahim is a well known Islamaphobic writer whose article are often published on vehemently anti Muslim websites such as the David Horrowitz center website. It’s a lie and you’ve been bandying this about quite a bit.

Err, the original source (of Ibrahim’s article) is elbashayer.com, not Raymond Ibrahim — and the Google translation does indeed suggest that Mohammed Morsi, the new president of Egypt, said that Christians in Egypt should “pay a tribute”.

And there’s nothing to suggest that elbashayer.com in Arabic is an “Islamophobic” website.

So, looks like Mohammed Morsi, who a year ago in a BBC interview said that the Muslim Brotherhood “wouldn’t put up a candidate for president”, is making false promises again — either to the English or Arabic-speaking public. Deal with it.

The following day, the comment had 50 recommends — then disappeared…

Visit Green Infidel’s original post for more information, including before-and-after screenshots.

Green Infidel concludes:

PeterNW1’s comment (about Morsi suggesting Christians should pay the Jizya) is still visible on other threads. Which begs the question — was my comment deleted by a Guardian moderator (surely extreme, even for them?) or did Morsi himself, or one of his staff, take it upon themselves to re-edit the comments in such a way that “inconvenient” comments ceased to exist?

And if so, what might that imply for the future of Egypt?


Anonymous said...

The labels Quislings/Kapos aptly describes the people at The Guardian.

These are the same sort of people that would have happily colluded with totalitarians like Hitler and Stalin should it be to their advantage.

In layman's terms they are gutter trash.