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Ex-Ambassador of Egypt’s response to the New York Times’ editorial

The following is a letter to the editor submitted by the Embassy to the New York Times regarding their editorial board’s recent commentary.

To the Editor, 

Abetting Economic and Political Reform in Egypt

The New York Times’ March 19 editorial, “Abetting Egypt’s Dictatorship,” is a factually misleading attempt to disrupt the U.S.-Egypt partnership. Rather than applaud the tremendous success of Egypt’s Economic Development Conference and the robust American participation therein (the Secretary of state, a congressional delegation, a business delegation), your publication took aim at Egypt’s economic development efforts in a misguided attempt to punish ordinary Egyptians for their overwhelming support to their president and government.

While Egypt and the U.S. are cooperating to confront and defeat extremist groups such as ISIS, the Times declared our partnership a “dangerous policy.” The Times expects Egypt to stand silent in face of violent extremism and demands America to abandon its longstanding core regional ally, which has served as the cornerstone of regional peace and stability. Such a policy would again be devastating to the security of ordinary Egyptians and run counter to U.S. strategic interests, ultimately costing American lives.

In accusing Egypt of a “crackdown on Islamist movements…who denounce the use of violence,” the Times chose to ignore the fact that these same Islamists have been openly calling for jihad against Egyptians and foreigners alike. Their blatant calls to violence have been followed by terrorists killing dozens in northern Sinai, and tens of bombs exploding around the country, in a desperate attempt to disrupt Egypt’s economic recovery.

In this piece, as in your overall reporting, the Times goes out of its way to absolve the Moslem Brotherhood of their crimes. Your publication joins a deluded chorus propagating the illusion that the Moslem Brotherhood is “peaceful,” that it has “renounced violence,” and that it represents “moderate Islam,” rather than recognize the historically uncontested fact that it is the mother organization from which modern day violent jihad has sprung and that its main theorist Sayyid Kutb remains to this day a source of inspiration for terrorists around the world. You should make an effort to become better informed of the Moslem Brotherhood’s public messages to their supporters in Arabic, rather than parrot their PR representatives’ deceitful English rhetoric.

The Times called Egypt a “dictatorship,” yet the Egyptian people have chosen their president in free and fair polls. Indeed, this is the most popular government Egypt has had in decades. Egyptians are more politically involved than ever and will soon vote to elect a new parliament, despite the Times’ false claim that elections have been “indefinitely postponed.” Egypt is revising the parliamentary election law in response to an independent court ruling, demonstrating democracy in action. The Egyptian government is neither able nor willing to interfere in the work of the judiciary.

The Times’ biased inaccurate reporting on Egypt has not only shocked Egyptians but also continues to face denunciation by independent media watchdogs inside the US.  I could not help but notice that the timing of this editorial, like its predecessors, was chosen to coincide with major decisions regarding the release of U.S assistance to Egypt. Such a lobbying agenda can only lead to a further decline in the quality of your reporting.

Egypt is on an undeniable path to representative, accountable government and economic growth. We are the bulwark of regional stability. Driving a wedge between our two nations serves no one’s interests.


Mohamed Tawfik, Egyptian Ex- Ambassador to the United States

3521 International Court, NW.

Washington, DC 20008.