Ihkwan Online Editor Resigns Over Demonstration Coverage


Egyptian media is reporting on the resignation of the head of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s Arabic online website known as Ikhwan Online. According to an Ahram Online report, the resignation comes in the wake of controversy over Ihkwan Online’s coverage of Fridays “Second Day of Rage” demonstrations in Cairo:

The editor-in-chief of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Arabic-language online portal, Ikhwan Online, announced today that he submitted his resignation to the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood. Abdel Galil Alsharnouby, who has been the editor of the group’s homepage for years, objected in his resignation on his Facebook page to what he considers the MB’s use of him as a scapegoat. The MB site came under fire for their coverage of the “Second Day of Rage” demonstrations that took place last Friday. Criticism came because the group, which strongly opposed the demonstrations, provided what critics described as extremely biased, similar to the coverage of the state-owned media of the Egyptian revolution before the overthrow of Mubarak. The resignation, as Alsharnouby spells out, comes in reaction to the statements made by Esam El Erian, a prominent leader of both the group and its political party, to  Shorouk daily newspaper. He held the journalists of the web page responsible for publishing a photo that showed Tahrir Square, where the protest was to take place, almost empty before the Friday prayers. Conservative actual estimates of the number of demonstrators that participated that day are at 100,000. The photo was soon taken off the site. In his resignation Alsharnouby counters El Erian attack with: “the way the site dealt with the second ‘Friday of Rage’ was in line with the group’s and leading figures’ official statement regarding the event. The picture that was published that morning was genuine and showed the weak mobilisation for the event before the Friday prayers – and this is a fact that no one can deny.” Protests organised for Fridays do not start before 1pm because the traditional Friday prayers don’t start until midday. The resignation comes at a time when the MB is facing an intense internal crisis.

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