The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Posts tagged conspiracy

With the media frenzy and the MOI’s warnings on the radio and news tickers asking citizen to beware anything that looks strange and report it (bad time to be Somaya El Khashab in Cairo), more and more people are subscribing to the belief that the lack of evidence for a theory, only proves the conspiracy.

And it’s not just Egyptians. Recently, I have met a number of Syrians who were convinced that some Alawites joined the Raba’a sit-in to make it look as if the Sunni Syrian refugees in Egypt support Morsi to turn the media and the public against them.

“(Alawite Syrians) probably thought (Sunni Syrians) got too comfortable here and thought: Let’s stir strife,” bemoaned Ahmed Khalil, who has noticed an increase in stares and snide comments ever since Morsi’s removal. Needless to say, this theory would be extremely difficult to document, yet alone proven to be true, which to Khalil only goes to show that it is true. "No one will admit and no traces will be found...exactly what you would expect from a well-executed plan." Or from an imaginary one.

In order for any theory to flourish, it needs only be mentioned once, preferably in a question format [ex: Why does group X drink a lot of milk? Could they be paid by Juhayna?], in an article or on late night TV. The viewers/readers and their friends will spread the word faster than fellow channels and newspapers on Facebook and Twitter. By the time it reaches a third and fourth parties, it’s fact and questions implying that one is not readily accepting it as such, or is not sufficiently frightened by it, mostly results in sighs and sidelong glances.

The following are the fresh and reheated conspiracy theories in Egypt in no particular order:

Theory I:Chemical weapons in Raba’a.

The coordinator of an alleged offshoot group of about 2500 MB youth called “Brothers Without Violence,” Ahmed Yahya, called Lamis al-Hadidi a few days to confirm the presence of Free Syrian Army soldiers in Raba’a al-Adaweya for combat training and for a delivery of a patch of deadly chemical weapons (generally believed to be used against them in Syria) to their Egyptian counterparts.

Theory II:MB borrows liberal conspiracy theory about the Suez Development project.

The original theory was weaved by “patriots who fear for Egypt” who believed the unpatriotic MB government sold/planned to sell land to Qatar, their biggest financier, and their Zionist partners, who would, in turn, drain Egypt of its resources and its people of life via criminally low wages, mistreatment and overwork. MB recycled the exact same narrative just replacing Qatar with UAE, “the coup’s financier." Now it is “the people who know God” against the unpatriotic liberal government.

The UAE, the MB says, recently bought franchise rights to land only finished 33 days of mandatory 40 days during which they were supposed to hold an international bidding over the land with the help of the media, according to some “law.” It’s worth noting that the Suez Development Project’s laws were mere drafts (at least until mid-June, unless they managed to pass the draft in complete media silence in the run-up to Morsi's ouster), so it is safe to assume that no law was there to be broken or implemented.

Regardless, the article goes on to say that UAE invested in the project to sabotage it since, if successful, the project would compete with Dubai and Abu Dubai. The Emiratis, it seems, don't fully grasp the concept of ownership and so can't recognize their profits when generated outside their borders. They are also trying to stall the project altogether for a year and a half to give “their masters in the Zionist entity” a chance to finish a similar project in Eilat. No one has commented on or denied any of this yet.

Theory III:MB has a list of public figures to kill.

A blacklist appropriately titled “The Blacklist” was found by a citizen named Ahmed Maselhy in mosque in 6th of October.The list, which was signed by the “Supporters of Legitimacy,” contains 83 names of targeted public figures. With it, an envelope containing a map was found of Egypt divided into 5 countries, a Jewish one for all the Jews, a Christian one, a Nubian one, an Islamic one, and a greater Israel. The envelope also contained a picture of al-Sisi presumably needed to remind forgetful terrorists of the enemy, and pictures of bombs so they won’t forget theirs.One can’t help but wonder if there is a picture of the list and the envelope to remind the terrorists not to forget the list and the envelope out there somewhere.

Maselhy also found, with the list, a series maps showing the locations of Tahrir, Raba’a, security directorates, Cairo’s International Airport, Suez Canal, Cairo Tower, the MOI and the MOD, Central Security in Rafah, the Etihadia Palace and a number of guard towers for camps belonging to the ministries of interior and defense. All places that even seasoned taxi and microbus drivers have difficulty locating.  

The targets on the The Blacklist are Gen. Abdulfatah al-Sisi, Mohamed ElBaradei, Magdy el-Galad (al-Watan’s editor-in-cheif who still facing a lawsuit for publishing the list of 100 assassination targets), Lamis el-Hadidi, Amr Adeeb, Tawfik Okasha, Adel Imam (his Ramadan series Al’araf was pretty bad) and Hazem al-Beblawi, to name a few.

Theory IV:al-Sisi killed Rafah’s 16 soldiers.

Strategic expert, Major General Tahir Izz al-Din, argues that al-Sisi killed Rafah's 16 soldiers by deliberately failing to detect the attack, when he was in charge of security as the director of Military Intelligence at the time. Al-Sisi then sold out his superiors and said that he did foresee the attack and that he alerted Tantawi and Lieutenant General Sami Hafez Anan, but they failed to act. They were too plotting for Morsi's removal, Sisi told Morsi, who later uses that information to quietly dismiss Tantawi and Anan. This plan was “announced in secret” by the then-head of General Intelligence. Izz also tells us that the head of the Republican Guard, Military Police, Central Security, were going to beat Morsi up and then arrest him at the soldiers’ funeral, which is why he sent Hisham Kandil to fill in for him.

The MB’s 3000 word essay goes on to say that everything that happened since Feb 11, 2011, is all a conspiracy weaved by Zionists acting through Mubarak who is acting through Zakaria Azmi and ex-field Marshal Tantawi acting through al-Sisi, overlooking his betrayal of trust. Lemon squeezer.

The liberal narrative of the attack maintains Hamas did in response to the army’s crackdown on their tunnels. Meanwhile, the older MB narrative only blames Tantawi for it.

Theory V: This entireinterview with Maj. Gen. Shafik al-Bana’s  in al-Ahram’s magazine drops the following bombshells:

  1. Morsi wanted to arrest every member of the SCAF on the 26th of June. Al-Bana says Hamas agents were going to strike at the precise moment the generals nudged each other awake after Morsi’s speech, but luckily, SCAF had Morsi knew better and surrounded the hall with soldiers, forcing Morsi to abandon his plans.
  2. If Morsi stayed in power, Egypt would have been divided into four countries (because that 5 countries plan was just absurd. Surely the seven citizens of Jewish Egypt can be integrated into Greater Israel). According to the US’s plan to give Israel Jordan and everything standing between Israel and Yemen via destruction of armies of Syria, Egypt and Iraq. Classic America.
  3. So far a variety of 10 million weapons has been smuggled into Egypt through Libya by the “Free Egyptian Army,” which mostly consists of Iranians. Needless to say, Morsi personally objected to all of al-Sisi’s proposals to arrest or curb the enthusiasm of his friends in the desert. He even intended for them to be his Revolutionary Guard. Hence, welcoming Iranian "tourists" into Egypt. These Iranian thugs now live in Rehab and 6th of October, Cairo’s crime centers. Their leadership lives in Mohandeseen.
  4. Egyptian army has successfully disarmed all 10000 men of the much-feared MB militias a while back.They have been bravely emptying their storages areas in Sinai since last January. There is no need to fear them now. Or arrest them, after all they are no longer breaking the law by possessing illegal weapons and just what are the chances that they come across some of those 10 million smuggled weapons in Egypt?
  5. MB has been in contact with CIA and Israeli intelligence since 2006. They used to meet them every month in a different country. Omar Suleiman kept record of all that in a black box.
  6. CIA killed Omar Suleiman for MB because they can’t grasp what the word “Homeland” even means. Thus, making it easy for them to divide the country under their rule.
  7. Brothers were never tortured in prison.

Theories VI & VII: The scheming Anne Patterson gave al-Sisi and the islamists the green light to launch, respectively, the US-backed coup and the US-designed armed resistance to it. Since the two theories are dominant in both camps, they are frequently updated. For instance, al-Watan recently reported an exciting detail iabout how Patterson took a separate elevator when meeting MB leaders in an unnamed hotel. That’s cunning.

Theory VIII: The not-so-credible media stories accusing the MB of taking 42 kids from orphanages outside of Cairo, "to buy them new clothes for Eid," when they are actually take them to Rabaa to carry signs saying their fathers are martyrs or that they will be martyrs themselves. Unfazed by media accusations of child abuse, MB proudly shared this video of three kids in Paris who mime prayers and then fall flat on their belly to reenact the RG massacre. Talentless children aside, this among other things raised concerns about "brainwashing" children,which ONtv's anchor selectively condemns. Indoctrination of children, necessary. But to be pro-MB and anti-SCAF, bad.

The video shows footage of kids in marching in shrouds, carrying signs some off camera man gave to them, and then cuts to the anchor who goes on to beg the MB to teach those children about love and dress them in clean galabeyas, or maybe a nice training suit, instead of the shrouds. The children should love Egypt, as opposed to the islamist offsprings, who will regrettably grow up thinking they live in an infidel society where the MB is right.The children should also love the military and the police. He added that islamists really ought to take their kids to a (moderate) mosque, or a club or the market, to teach them to say hello to people and take pictures with officers and on top of tanks. Christians should take their children to the church, he paused to clarify, before finishing his list of the normal family activities a child needs to grow up patriotic.

Conspiracy galore in Egypt

The Lede's Robert Mackey has a great round-up of how the conspiratorial thinking that led to the protest against Hillary Clinton's visit in Egypt started:

The news that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s motorcade was pelted with shoes and tomatoes by Egyptian protesters, who also taunted her by chanting “Monica! Monica!” as she left the U.S. consulate in Alexandria on Sunday, delighted conservative bloggers in the United States.

What has attracted less attention, however, is the extent to which the Egyptians who vented their rage during Mrs. Clinton’s visit appear to have been inspired by fears that the Obama administration harbors a secret, pro-Islamist agenda which originated with American conservatives.

You really have to read the whole thing, especially the bit where some idiotic tweep thinks the regular aid given the Egyptian military was given to the Brotherhood.

I am frequently astounded by the level of stupidity in Egyptian political discourse but the current felool/secularist/Coptic alliance (although I think a minority of these respective groups are taking part, they are quite vocal) against Morsi in the current deadlock is both moronic and incredibly unpatriotic and undemocratic. That protest against Clinton was led by Tawfik Okasha — these people deserve to be held in just as much contempt as he is. The silver lining is that they are making themselves irrelevant, doing everyone else a favor in the process.

(Edited because an error had left pasted text from above-linked article)