Al Jazeera publishes article glorifying Egyptian terrorist, then takes it down

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Egyptian militant leader Hisham Al-Ashmawy was arrested on Oct. 8, 2018, in eastern Libya during a military operation in the city of Derna. (File/Libyan Armed Forces / AFP)
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Al Jazeera removed the content. (File/AFP)
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Updated 21 May 2020

Al Jazeera publishes article glorifying Egyptian terrorist, then takes it down

  • It comes the same month the Qatari-owned network published a podcast glorifying killed Iranian General Qasim Soleimani
  • Al Jazeera say the article was later removed

LONDON: Al Jazeera published an article last week titled “Hisham Ashmawy...the other side of Al-Ikhtiyar (The Choice)” where the author praised the Egyptian terrorist and sought to clear his name, but later took down the piece due to “contradictions with Al Jazeera publishing policies,” according to the news site.

This comes within the same month that the Qatari-owned network published a podcast glorifying killed Iranian General Qasim Soleimani, as well as a full interview with terrorist-designated Hamas’s leader Ismael Haniya.

“Not only did Al-Jazeera glorify Hisham Ashmawy, but it also always glorified different terrorist leaders and organizations as long as they fought the people and systems (or governments) that disagree with the Qatari regime’s policy,” Terrorism and extremism expert Hani Nesira told Arab News.

“Qatari Al-Jazeera network and its websites on the Internet have consistently glorified the symbols of extremism and terrorism and portrayed them as symbols of resistance and national liberation.”

The full article, which cannot be accessed anymore, began by suggesting that political systems resort to television programs and drama series in order to influence peoples’ minds, notably highlighting current Egyptian Ramadan show Al-Ikhtiyar (The Choice).

“It deliberately used lies and slander in their portrayal of a number of prominent Islamic figures, such as Sheikh Rifai Sorour, as well as other personalities who chose the path of armed resistance against the Egyptian coup regime, such as officer Emad Abdel Hamid and his colleague Hesham Ashmawy,” the author, Islamic scholar and Member of the Political Bureau of the Salafi Front, Mustafa Al-Badry wrote.

“The character inspired by Hesham Ashmawy was one of the elements on which the drama series greatly relied. The series portrayed him in a way that is different from how he is known by the people who were close to him. I, therefore, hope to shed light on the real story of Maj. Hesham Ashmawy,” Badry continued.Ashmawy was an Egyptian security officer who was suspected of having been involved in and having orchestrated several terrorist attacks on security officials and state institutions, including the 2014 Farafra ambush that left at least 22 killed, and the 2015 assassination of Prosecutor general Hisham Barakat.

The news site has since removed the article, which was shown in its opinions section, replacing the text with an explainer noting its deletion.

“This article has been deleted, as it contradicts Al Jazeera’s publishing policies and the requirements of professional behavior. Al Jazeera’s blogs confirm that what happened was an individual professional mistake and that appropriate measures will be taken to hold the person responsible accountable and ensure that it is not repeated again in the future,” it read.


Snapchat curbs Trump posts for inciting ‘racial violence’

Updated 03 June 2020

Snapchat curbs Trump posts for inciting ‘racial violence’

  • “We are not currently promoting the president’s content on Snapchat’s Discover platform,” Snapchat said
  • The move came after Twitter took an unprecedented stand by hiding a Trump post it said promoted violence

SAN FRANCISCO: Snapchat on Wednesday stopped promoting posts by US President Donald Trump, saying they incite “racial violence.”
“We are not currently promoting the president’s content on Snapchat’s Discover platform,” Snapchat said in response to an AFP inquiry, referencing the youth-focused social network’s section for recommended content.
“We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover.”
The move came after Twitter took an unprecedented stand by hiding a Trump post it said promoted violence, thrusting rival Facebook into turmoil for refusing to sanction false or inflammatory posts by the US president.
The decision was made over the weekend, during which Snapchat parent Snap chief executive Evan Spiegel sent a lengthy memo to employees condemning what he saw as a legacy of racial injustice and violence in the US.
“Every minute we are silent in the face of evil and wrongdoing we are acting in support of evildoers,” Spiegel wrote as companies responded to the outrage over the police killing of a black man in Minnesota.
“I am heartbroken and enraged by the treatment of black people and people of color in America.”
Snapchat will not promote accounts in the US that are linked to people who incite racial violence on or off the messaging platform, according Spiegel.
The Discover feature at Snapchat is a curated platform on which the California-based company get to decide what it recommends to users.
Trump’s account remains on the platform, it will just no longer be recommended viewing, according to Snapchat.
“We may continue to allow divisive people to maintain an account on Snapchat, as long as the content that is published on Snapchat is consistent with our community guidelines, but we will not promote that account or content in any way,” Spiegel said in the memo.
“We will make it clear with our actions that there is no grey area when it comes to racism, violence, and injustice — and we will not promote it, nor those who support it, on our platform.”
Snapchat is particularly popular with young Internet users, claiming that about half of the US “generation Z” population tapping into news through its Discover feature.