German media is reporting on the role of what is called “Mubarak-era propaganda” used by the Muslim Brotherhood friendly media in support of President Morsi during the recent turmoil. According to a Deutsche Welle report, Al-Jazeera is one of the media organizations involved:
Anti-Morsi protesters are stepping up their demonstrations against the president and his moves to concentrate power. In reply, the Muslim Brotherhood is resorting to Mubarak-era propaganda. The pressure on Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is growing by the day. Over 100,000 protesters gathered in Cairo overnight, not only on Tahrir Square, but also in front of the presidential palace. The demonstrations remained largely peaceful with the police showing restraint in dealing with the scattered incidences of violence. Morsi is well aware that a bloody crackdown at this point would trigger a potential uprising against him and his government. The protesters’ demands remain the same: they want Morsi to rescind his decree granting him widespread powers and to shelve plans for a constitution drawn-up by an Islamist-dominated panel. One of those demonstrating was Abel Salah El-Din: ‘The constitution is a constitution of the Muslim Brotherhood. Tahrir Square was largely peaceful before Morsi’s power grab. Now the people are taking action, that’s the reaction to his plans.’ ‘Revolution is not weak’ More and more protesters are calling on Morsi to step down, however they have no answer to what would happen next. Even opposition figures who had previously supported Morsi are turning their backs on him. Prominent author Alaa Aswani was one of those who backed Morsi in the second round of the presidential elections, simply because he and other liberal opposition figures wanted to prevent ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s last premier, Ahmed Shafiq, from becoming president. On Tuesday Aswani addressed Morsi in a written statement: ‘This is a clear message to the dictator: the revolution is not weak and it can topple you. Next time you break your promise you will be unable to flee and you will join Mubarak.’ As the protests grow, the Muslim Brotherhood is resorting more and more to propaganda in an attempt to distort the reality on the ground. In its coverage, the pro-Brotherhood leaning Arab TV channel Al Jazzera focused on close-up shots of the demonstrations, leaving the impression that the numbers were small. The same applies to state-run TV channels, reminiscent of practices used in the Mubarak era.
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Past posts have detailed the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas background of Wadah Khanfar who until September 2001had served as the Director-General of Al-Jazeera. In Mid-September, Egyptian media reported that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was planning to establish its own media organization with Mr. Khanfar heading the proposed TV channel:
The Muslim Brotherhood is planning to establish a major media organization and research center with Qatari partnership, sources from the group said on Thursday. According to the sources, the MB’s Guidance Bureau decided at its last meeting to mandate supreme guide Khairat al-Shater to travel to Doha in the coming days to sign a contract for the project with investors there, along with a delegation including Guidance Bureau members Mahmoud Ghozlan and Hossam Abou Bakr. The foundation would include a global satellite news channel and an independent daily newspaper, sources claimed. Sources at Shater’s office told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Brotherhood asked him to finalize the work on the channel and the newspaper because the MB’s media organization has not been able to compete with other media institutions. MB youth recently sent a memorandum outlining this problem to Shater. During a recent visit to Doha, Shater allegedly negotiated an agreement with unnamed Qatari investors to buy shares in the channel, on condition that management remains in the hands of Shater and that he directly supervise the new institution, sources said. According to the sources, the initial capital agreed upon for establishing the media foundation would be US$100 million. Palestinian media personality Wadah Khanfar was reported to have been chosen by Shater as the channel’s chariman, and Ahmed Mansour as its executive director. Qotb al-Araby, a member of the media committee of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party, said that the group is in urgent need of strong media institutions in the upcoming period in order to work against media attacks on President Mohamed Morsy’s success and the Brotherhood at large. Araby said that the real crisis currently facing the MB is the lack of Islamist investors who would be willing to put their money into media, a sector that is costly and prone to significant monetary losses.