Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dirty tricks in Egypt's election campaign

Mohammed El-Baradei is best known outside Egypt as the do-little head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Inside Egypt, however, he is a critic of the Mubarak regime and a putative proponent of democracy.

Apparently the Mubarak regime, which has the next generation Mubarak in the person of Gamal preparing to take over from Papa Hosni, takes El-Baradei seriously as a threat. El-Baradei thinks so, and thinks the regime is behind a dirty trick on Facebook.

The Egyptian government has been blamed for the emergence of photographs of Mr ElBaradei's daughter Laila variously dressed in swimming costumes or sitting in places were alcohol was served, in an attempt to outrage more conservative members of Egyptian society.

The photographs, apparently taken from her Facebook profile without her knowledge, were posted elsewhere on the social networking site under the title "ElBaradei's Family Secrets".

Although the creator of the group by claimed to be a friend of Laila's who was opposed to her father's activities, Mr ElBaradei told a local newspaper that he believed the government was behind the Facebook group because he had called for "democracy and economic reform" in Egypt.

"Such a campaign is the usual and only response of the regime towards whoever demands democracy," he told the independent Dustour newspaper.

Since he returned to Egypt in February, after serving 12 years as the head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, Mr ElBaradei has emerged as the most recognisable dissident in the country which has been ruled by President Hosni Mubarak for nearly three decades. Mr Mubarak, 82, is widely believed to be preparing his son Gamal for succession.

I haven't ever been to the Red Sea coast of Sinai, but I tend to think there are plenty of Egyptian women there wearing something more revealing than a "Burkini." It remains to be seen how scandalous the Egyptian public will see these photographs as being. Moreover, the Islamicist wing of Egyptian society (including the Muslim Brotherhood) are the ones most likely to find the pictures lascivious, and yet they are themselves staunch opponents of the Mubarak regime, and so may be willing to overlook Laila's immodesty in order to use her father to bring down the dynasty.


mesablue said...

I've been there, albeit a long time ago.

Lots of skin.

I hear there still is -- in the resorts.

Will Folks said...

I'd hit it.