Citizens: the non-publication of Tuesday’s papers spared us the misery
We hope that the papers stay closed and the screens black
God spared us their lies and the media must be cleaned up
This must be the fate of the low media
Enough of your lies and mockery of the heedful Egyptian people
Investigation: Mohamed Gaber and Abdallah Metawa’a
A number of newspapers that work in the service of figures from the dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP) went on strike on Tuesday in protest at the revolutionary decisions taken recently by President Mohamed Morsy in order to protect the January revolution’s achievements.
Readers expressed their opinion on this protest. Some of them were beset with a state of joy and happiness, describing the day as the Tuesday of light or the luminous Tuesday after these newspapers and channels protested and gave the Egyptian people the chance to consider and grasp matters without their influence or blackening of matters. Everyone sings his own tune, and all the media and media personalities care about is protecting their gains rather than the revolution’s gains, which they used to plunder more of the people’s money. [The readers] hoped that these channels’ screens would remain black.
The Egyptian street expresses its anger against the fabrications of newspapers belonging to the dissolved former regime figures [sic] and welcomes their non-publication today. Via Ikhwan Online:
Ibrahim Abdel-Sharif, an executive supervisor in the Arab Contractors Company says that by stopping work and protesting these newspapers have given us a day off from their lies. Their aim is to hinder political work through their low and base content, adding that they didn’t print today because of fear for their personal interests and to fight the revolution that President Mohamed Morsy wanted to protect by issuing the last Constitutional Declaration and by making elected institutions immune to dissolution.
He made clear that newspaper owners object to the Constitutional Declaration issued by the President of the Republic out of fear for their personal interests because there is no doubt that it is they that benefit from the former regime and are completely aligned with this fallen regime.
He added, “Anyone claiming that freedom of expression in the new constitution is restricted is making a false claim because under the new constitution they enjoy complete freedom. However, they are using all their power and raising their voices against this constitution. We say to them, enough lying. Why this attack on the Constitutional Declaration issued by the President? Why didn’t you do this with the Constitutional Declaration issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that didn’t have any legislative legitimacy?”
Hassan Bereek, a former member of the People’s Assembly urged some newspapers to fold, considering this a positive step towards society’s progress. He said, “this is the best thing they ever did and I hope that this strike won’t only last a day but rather a week or a month or that deceptive newspapers such as this disappear because citizens are bored with their content. Their strike gives us mental rest”.
Bereek added that the objection of former regime newspapers to the Constitutional Declaration and their fierce attacks on the Constitutional Assembly are aimed at protecting their personal interests and not the country’s higher interests. He affirmed that the aim of the last Constitutional Declaration is to fortify the Constitutional Assembly putting in place the Constitution so that it can produce a constitution suitable for Egypt and so that the Constitutional can start to bear its fruits through stability.
He affirmed that the attack on the new Constitution is aimed at obstructing the march of progress and ascent and using it to pressurise the presidency who is represented by the first legitimately elected president. He emphasised that these games are headed for complete failure.
Hassan Kamel Othman, a physics inspector with the Ministry of Education believes that these newspapers are operating without any knowledge of media ethics or the industry’s code of ethics, rely on alarmism and sensationalism and defend their personal interests without consideration of the country’s interests. He pointed out that they rely on provocation and that what they write mostly has nothing to do with the subject being discussed.
He hopes that the newspapers protesting today stop work altogether because one day is not enough. He affirmed that these newspapers cause a sort of information pollution and that citizens are aware of their failing attempts.
He adds that newspapers owned by former regime figures are constantly orientated towards lying to the people. They are currently repeatedly saying that the new constitution snatches away freedom of expression. He said that this is the polemics of the former regime press, because they enjoy a complete freedom not witnessed in any other country. Rather, they are crossing all the red lines, red lines that it is inappropriate to cross. This is all a result of the policy dominated by secularists and Nasserists – who don’t respect freedom of opinion or other opinions at all – that the deposed president’s regime used to pursue.
He went on to say that the newspapers rely on spreading opinions in accord with their own schools of thoughts and on spreading lies. He demanded that they use the media to clarify perspectives, unify the ranks and explain the constitution to citizens and public opinion rather than misrepresenting and misleading.
Mohamed Abaza, a agricultural consultant in a sugar company points out that the newspaper strike is a positive step for the entire Egyptian people because the problem is not in their refusal to go to print but that they think this step will negatively influence public opinion. They ignore that the people know the truth about these newspapers and channels that rely on changing facts.
He asks: why are they opposing the Constitutional Declaration? Were these not the demands made by revolutionaries to realise the revolution’s goals and fortify elected institutions? He affirmed that they want to take the country back to the starting point and are deliberately confusing matters.
Mostafa Megahed, a medical equipment engineer says, “I hope that these newspapers stay shut, the media have mocked the people enough”. He emphasised that newspaper and satellite channels are not opposing the Constitutional Declaration itself. Rather, their aim is to destroy the project of progress through the poison and false news they spread amongst simple, ordinary citizens and their analysis of news in a way that is completely removed from reality.
Ahmed Salah, a teaching assistant at Menoufiyya University demands that these newspapers stop being published as a mercy to citizens so that the poison they spread, swallowed by citizens every day, stops. He affirmed that the media is engaged in a conspiracy plot against the President that has no clear reason and that they falsify facts. He pointed out that they claim that the constitution restricts press freedom while the head of the Journalists’ Syndicate has denied this and confirmed that the press community has presented more than eight proposals on freedom of expression and seven were adopted. This demonstrates that the media has complete freedom. He demanded that the presidency place curbs on newspapers that cross professional lines through insolence towards the president and officials.
He made clear that the ultimate objective of these newspapers is to bring down the Islamic project in order to realise personal interests and so that stability does not prevail. He asked, “why didn’t they protest when the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces issued its Constitutional Declaration annex? Why did the cheer for it despite the fact that it had absolutely no legitimacy”.
Ahmed Omar El-Neshouqy says, “we have been relieved of these newspapers-for-hire by businessmen connected to the deposed president”. He asked, “who are they to grant time to the President to change his mind about the Constitutional Declaration when they know very well that the people have exposed the truth about their misleading lies after they falsely reported a million man march at Cairo University.
Ali Mohamed Ali, a restaurant worker, agreed and made clear that, “what these former regime papers are doing is a positive step. They rely on misleading public opinion and we as citizens don’t trust their content because of the way they thrust their opinion on citizens and because of their deliberate lies. If they stopped publishing this would be better so that the misleading lies stop and all their plans to hinder the country’s interests would end in failure because they are deceptive and have special interests and every day that passes exposes the truth about them”.
Ahmed Othman, a mathematics teacher continued, “there is a state of joy surrounding these newspapers not publishing that we haven’t seen for a long time. Nonsense spouted by people who call themselves presenters about limits on freedom of the press and expression in the constitution is completely untrue because the new constitution protects the press and its right to open newspapers through mere notification. The only restriction in the constitution is that it bans false news and libel – which is journalists’ bread and butter”.
He added, “newspaper owners have got used to publishing false news and libeling and insulting anyone whose opinion differs to their own. The media doesn’t have real influence on public opinion because the Egyptian people naturally lean towards stability and are concerned with day to day issues rather than political matters and the majority of the Egyptian people know that the media is biased and does not have a clear message with an objective and only expresses what is consistent with its ideology and interests even if this differs with the country’s interests.
Salah El-Hadad believes that the Egyptian people possess a natural intelligence and that public opinion will not be influenced. He hopes that broadcasting by these channels that have got used to falsifying truths at their will when chaos breaks out will stop broadcasting for good. They don’t want stability for the country out of concern for their own interests and personal greed which comes before the country’s interests.
He demanded purification of the whole media including state media which latter’s corruption was shown when presenter Hala Fahmy appeared on screen carrying a burial shroud in objection to the Constitutional Declaration issued by the President of the Republic and called for a referendum on it. This is unprofessional – indeed it is media thuggery. Some presenters have corruption cases against them that were shelved by the Prosecutor General and fall over themselves to create crises and obstruct the country’s march towards stability.
Sayyed El-Gammal, an accountant, added, “the media is politicised and works for its personal interests and seeks to create chaos in the country because corruption cases haven’t been opened against them, but they won’t succeed in this because it has become clear that this media is awful and doesn’t portray the reality objectively. The clearest evidence of its lack of credibility is the million-man march last Saturday that revealed the extent to which the Egyptian people trust President Mohamed Morsy and support the new constitution – unlike what the corrupt media were alleging.
Saeed Serageddin affirmed the importance of cleansing the media, furiously saying, “Please God let them close down for good. The people have had it up to here with their lies. The war now doesn’t revolve around the constitution or freedoms as they allege, the war is against Islamists and any decree issued by them will be opposed regardless of its content because we don’t have a professional, objective media. It doesn’t follow a policy of difference of opinion, rather one of love and hate. They hate Islamists and so oppose anything by Islamists and support anything Islamists oppose”.
This was originally published in Arabic on Ikhwan Online.