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EgyptWhite House cancels award to Egyptian activist after her anti-Semitic tweets come to light

Published 8 March 2013

The Obama administration planned on giving Samira Ibrahim, an Egyptian democracy and women-rights activist, an award – she and eight other women were selected to receive the International Women of Courage award from Michelle Obama in a White House ceremony today — but decided to put the whole thing on hold after it has emerged that Ibrahim sent crudely anti-Semitic and anti-American messages to her Twitter followers.

The Obama administration planned on giving Samira Ibrahim, an Egyptian democracy and women-rights activist, an award, but decided not to go ahead with it after it has emerged that Ibrahim sent anti-Semitic and anti-American messages to her Twitter followers.

Ibrahim made her name as a vociferous critic of forced “virginity tests” which the Egyptian police conducted on female protesters.

The International Women of Courage award was supposed to be given to Ibrahim, and nine other activists, by Michelle Obama in a White House ceremony today. Secretary of State John Kerry will attend the ceremony a well.

We, as a department, became aware very late in the process about Samira Ibrahim’s alleged public comments,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

Fox News reports that Ibrahim, who is currently in the United States, said her account was hacked, though the comments under question have been sent to her followers over several months. Nuland said the activist has “categorically denied authorship.”

The Weekly Standard offers a sample of Ibrahim crude anti-Semitism:

  • On 18 July 2012, after five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver were killed a Hezbollah suicide bombing attack, Ibrahim jubilantly tweeted: “An explosion on a bus carrying Israelis in Burgas airport in Bulgaria on the Black Sea. Today is a very sweet day with a lot of very sweet news.”
  • On 4 August 2012, commenting on demonstrations in Saudi Arabia, she described the ruling Al Saud family as “dirtier than the Jews.”
  • On 21 August 2012 she tweeted in reference to Adolf Hitler: “I have discovered with the passage of days, that no act contrary to morality, no crime against society, takes place, except with the Jews having a hand in it. Hitler.”

Ibrahim was did not spare the United States in her messages:

  • On 11 September 2012, as a mob was attacking the United States embassy in Cairo on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, pulling down the American flag and raising the flag of al Qaeda, Ibrahim sent this message on twitter to her followers: “Today is the anniversary of 9/11. May every year come with America burning.”

Senator Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) asked the State Department to look more systematically into Ibrahim’s ideology, and said other women were more deserving of the honor.

Kirk sent a letter to Kerry saying that Ibrahim used her Twitter account to “express anti-Semitic views and support for international terrorism” and called her hacking claim “dubious” given the timing and duration of the tweets.

 

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