Qatar’s Al Jazeera played a prominent role in promoting and manufacturing the Arab Spring. But its role in Egypt may not have outlived Morsi, Qatar’s man in Cairo.
Security forces raided the Cairo offices of Al Jazeera’s Egyptian television channel on Wednesday and detailed at least five staff, hours after the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, a journalist at the station said.
Karim El-Assiuti told Reuters his colleagues at the Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr channel were arrested while working in the studio. The station was prevented from broadcasting from a pro-Mursi rally and its crew there was also detained, he said.
The Egyptian arm of the Qatari-owned media company began broadcasting after the 2011 uprising that topped President Hosni Mubarak and has been accused by critics of being sympathetic to Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood.
There will be some outrage over freedom of speech, but anyone outraged should remember that Al Jazeera is the mouthpiece for a country with even less freedom of the speech and the press than Egypt. And no democracy.
Al Jazeera chose to be a propaganda network that backed one government. Now its ability to broadcast may not survive the fall of that government. That’s not a freedom of the press issue. It’s a freedom to play propagandist for a tyranny issue.