New Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Facebook Page Established; Link To Brotherhood UnclearBy
Egyptian media is reporting that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has created a Facebook page “to raise awareness about its thinking and approach to change.” According to a report in Al-Masry Al-Youm:
The Muslim Brotherhood announced the creation of a Facebook page to raise awareness about its thinking and approach to change. Observers believe the Brotherhood is seeking to use the internet as a publicity tool in the run up to Egypt’s parliamentary elections, slated for September. They say the group has opted for Facebook as it is interactive and attracts an increasing numbers of users. The Brotherhood had last week announced its intention to contest 49 percent of parliamentary seats, becoming the first political power to announce the size of its participation in the poll. On its official website, the group said on Saturday that its Facebook page is called ‘Who we are and what we want’. It features several video clips and articles explaining the message of the Brotherhood’s founder, Hassan al-Banna. The Brotherhood said the page also includes profiles of key Brotherhood figures from the past and present. The group has approximately 10 websites that promote its ideas and act as news portals. The number of Egyptian Facebook users rose during the 25 January revolution by one million. The website was used to call for protests from the beginning, and to disseminate information about what was happening.
However, the Egyptian Brotherhood website is somewhat vague about whether or not the new page is officially part of the Brotherhood, stating only that “a number of Internet activists” established the page:
A number of internet activists have launched a page on the social networking site Facebook to define and explain what the Muslim Brotherhood is about. Bearing the name “Who are we?” the page aims at illustrating the group’s views, thoughts, principles, ideologies and platform for peaceful reform and its approach to this change. Posted on the page are archives, articles and videos explaining their cause and the history of the group’s founder Imam Hassan el Banna in addition to other renowned members and leaders since its founding.
A previous post reported on the launch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s version of Facebook to be called IkhwanBook. As that posted noted, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has maintained a suite of affiliated websites described as follows:
IkhwanBook joins a veritable suite of Brotherhood-affiliated (“Ikhwan” is Arabic for “Brotherhood”) websites, such as IkhwanWiki, IkhwanWeb, IkhwanGoogle – a “Cusotmized [sic] search engine specialized in searching muslim botherhood’s [sic] websites” – and IkhwanTube. Many of the sites are published in English and each of their functions is tailored to Brotherhood-related content. Each site demonstrates the Brotherhood’s zeal – if not exactly a perfect technical command – for digital communication and outreach.
IkhwanBook is hosted on a server also hosting 18 other Brotherhood domains. The home page of Ikhwangoogle.com, one of those domains, points to a web page listing nine Brotherhood websites including Ikhwanophobia.com which, as described in a previous post, claimed that “It is run by a group of Academic intellectuals. ” A similar claim of independence was made for Ihkwanscope.com which is also listed on the Ikhwangoogle.com home page. As noted in earlier posts, establishing multiple, redundant organizations and websites and then denying their relationship to the Brotherhood is standard operating procedure for the Global Muslim Brotherhood who appear to understand that by doing so, the illusion of greater breadth and legitimacy is established.