Sun News slanders progressive Egyptian journalist, defends racist posters

30 Sep

By Evan Zenobia

OTTAWA – In the latest installment of attempted character-assassination and slander of people they disagree with, Sun News has labelled Egyptian-American progressive feminist journalist Mona Eltahawy an “Islamic supremacist”.

In the Arena feature “Anti-Israeli Islamic supremacist journalism?” the phrase “Islamic supremacist” appears not only in the title, but in the feature’s description, and is used throughout it.

Mona Eltahawy could hardly be characterized as hateful of Israelis; she writes for the Israeli journal The Jerusalem Report journal and has criticized Arab politicians for their tendency to focus on Israel and ignore socioeconomic issues.

What’s more, she is hardly an “Islamic supremacist.” She does not wear a veil or even a head-covering. In fact, she defended the ban in France on the veil. She is an unforgiving critic of the Muslim Brotherhood and the widespread suffering of women under Islamic fundamentalist regimes and current. Egyptian riot police detained her and broke both her arms during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Take a look at her debate with an actual Islamist and figure out for yourself whether she’s an “Islamic Supremacist.

To qualify their odious claims, they point to Eltahawy’s arrest in New York for spray-painting a poster that read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man” and “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

Let’s be clear. Protesting against the racist characterization of Arabs as “savages” with pink spray-paint is neither anti-Israeli or Islamic supremacist.

Free speech means you get to express yourself. That means racists can post bullshit posters on the New York subway. But that also means that people have the right to express their distaste for racism. Spray paint does not repress free speech. But who thinks that anything on the New York subway is immune from a response like that?

Eclipse News knows that Eltahawy is a champion of freedom, justice, pluralism and equality. Sun News is at the opposite end of that spectrum, and it’s just like the network to try to characterize anti-racists as racist.

Slandering Eltahawy is just another instance in a long line of Sun News’s lies and slanders against people who represent all the progressive values that Sun News abhors.

We hope Eltahawy’s fantastic journalism and activism continues to terrify Sun News

* photo credit to Carlos Latuff

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