The GCC, Egypt, and the Brotherhood Media Machine
27 February 2015
By Mshari Al-Zaydi
During this critical stage there are many who are angered by any closeness or
cooperation between Egypt and the Gulf states. There are also those who stand
by the Muslim Brotherhood and its ''accessories after the fact,'' the
''revolutionary set'' among Egypt's youth. They would all do well to follow
closely the Brotherhood's media campaign against Egypt that seeks to mislead
people around the world regarding the real events happening in the country.
Those behind this campaign are currently doing all they can to destabilize
the relationship between Egypt and the Gulf states, and to fan the flames of
sectarianism in the region, whether via alleged leaked recordings or through
outright, brazen lies. The most recent example of this came last week when it
was said that Saudi Arabia, along with the ''bulk'' of the Gulf states, had
abandoned Egypt on its mission to implement the political road map drafted
following the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Mursi in 2013.
However, Saudi Arabia has through the latest comments offered by Custodian of
the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz and the Kingdom's own
ambassador to Egypt, reiterated its support for Cairo in the most unequivocal
way. Despite this, however, the Brotherhood's seductive media machine
continues to wage its smear campaign against Egypt.
During this time when Egypt is fighting a war against terror—on two fronts,
no less: in Libya to its east, and in Sinai in the west (along with
everything in between)—it is incumbent upon us who care about Egypt to tread
carefully, for one misstep here or there could inadvertently aid the
Brotherhood's agenda, giving this or that story or rumor or piece of
disinformation more weight than it actually deserves, and leading those with
less than discerning minds to fall prey to this pro-Brotherhood propaganda.
As I have said before in this newspaper, from the Gulf point of view the
relationship with Cairo is based on mutual interests that benefit, first,
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the other Gulf states—before benefiting the rest of
the Arab states. The current region-wide war against terror as well as
efforts to protect stability and promote peace in the region, and develop the
region's economies, are all goals shared by Egypt and most countries in the
Gulf. But such goals will never be fulfilled if this international Qutbist
organization, with its dream of reestablishing the Caliphate, held power
anywhere in the region. When it did, in Egypt, it was unceremoniously booted
out by the Egyptian people after only a year in power, in front of the whole
world to see.
This is the truth. What, then, can change it?
At this point it is worth pausing briefly to consider what was published
yesterday in this very newspaper regarding the statements made by the Gulf
Cooperation Council's (GCC) Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani. A source
with knowledge of the situation told Asharq Al-Awsat that the first
statement—which castigated Egypt for accusations made by its Arab League
delegate that Qatar supported extremist groups in the region—had been issued
''unilaterally'' and did ''not represent the full view'' of the GCC's
members. The source, who requested anonymity, added that the statement was
likely issued ''in haste,'' and reiterated the GCC's full support for Egypt
and its people.
Of course upon the release of the first statement the Brotherhood's media
machine went into full overdrive. But the statement was quickly retracted by
the GCC, which issued an additional one that was more in line with its
well-known supportive stance toward Cairo.
Regardless of the truth of what actually happened here, in the end the furor
surrounding this incident simply turned out to be yet another opportunity for
the Gulf countries to deepen and strengthen their relationship with Egypt,
with the efforts of those seeking to destabilize the relationship falling by
the wayside yet again.
What these would-be saboteurs can't seem to understand is that the alliance
between the Gulf and Egypt is not a matter of choice; it is an unshakable
A Saudi journalist
and expert on Islamic movements and Islamic fundamentalism as well as Saudi
affairs. Mshari is Asharq Al-Awsat's opinion page Editor, where he also
contributes a weekly column. Has worked for the local Saudi press occupying
several posts at Al -Madina newspaper amongst others. He has been a guest on
numerous news and current affairs programs as an expert on Islamic.