Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Corbyn and Rabaa Salute misinformation : The sign's true story

On Tuesday, London-Telegraph published a news article under the title “Jeremy Corbyn condemned after image emerges of him making Muslim Brotherhood Salute” which claims that the leader of Labor in the UK was photographed with a man in an old photo making the famous four-finger Rabaa sign.
Jeremy Corbyn doing the famous Rabaa sign in 2017 "Telegraph"
Jeremy Corbyn doing the famous Rabaa sign in 2017 "Telegraph" 
The Telegraph says in the report that Corbyn is under fire because he was doing the Salute of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group linked to terrorism in Egypt and the Middle East.
The news article is currently viral on main news websites and newspapers that can’t stomach the Labour leader like The Sun and The Metro.
That photo is making rounds on alt-rights and Islamophobia fanatics on social media.

Now there is a little misinformation here that needs to be corrected.

Jeremy Corbyn was doing Rabaa the sign which is not an MB salute.
The four-finger sign of Rabaa was made in 2014 by a Turkish graphic designer to commemorate the victims of Pro-Islamist president Mohamed Morsi’s sit-in's forcible dispersal in Rabaa and Nahda squares in Egypt on 13 August 2013.

According to the different human rights organizations, whether Egyptian or international, at least 600 human beings were killed on that day.
The numbers of the victims are still disputed but at least 600 victims have been officially confirmed by the semi-official National Council For Human Rights.
The Rabaa sign is associated with the Muslim Brotherhood because its members began to do it in their trials, rallies and protests in Egypt and around the world to commemorate the victims. The group indeed adopted it but it is not *their salute*

That sign is banned in Egypt and some have paid a heavy price because of doing it publicly even accidentally.
I would have ignored this matter but unfortunately, it came at the same time as the anniversary of that sad event that we have been suffering from its consequences up until now. I do not need to post a disclaimar that I am not a Muslim Brotherhood supporter or member.

How this sign or this image is being used in a manipulative way to hit Jeremy Corbyn and to spread Islamophobia and xenophobia is making me sick. This is not a Nazi salute and can't be compared to the Nazi salute the Alt-right in Europe and the States are trying to normalize again.

It is quite so sad to see Telegraph publishes such short news without any decent background to the true Rabaa events which the Telegraph covered extensively in 2013 with a team of excellent and brave reporters “Ruth Sherlock , Louisa Loveluck and Magdy Samaan.
You can read a sample of their work in those nightmarish days here and there.
I am sure that a little research using the word Rabaa in Telegraph archives would have yielded many links.
Any decent unbiased journalist could have mentioned the Rabaa sign as well the fact that how the MB was designated as a terrorist organization by the Egyptian government and the 2014 UK government of the MB.
The political reporter of Telegrapher should have mentioned how Corbyn had been vocal since day one concerning the Rabaa massacre criticizing the Egyptian regime's policies and left the conclusion to the reader whether Corbyn committed another sin or not.

I was not planning to write anything about the Rabaa massacre anniversary this year because as a dear friend has just told yesterday “There is nothing more to say” but this is too much for real.

The Rabaa massacre and the events followed it are the worst in the history of Egypt. We are still living with their curse, the curse of blood and polarization that a divine miracle can only break.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this piece, Zeinobia. I agree one would expect better research into the origins of this sign. We do not have to be Brotherhood supporters to condemn the events of those dark days.


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