Bloomberg News

U.S. Embassy Calls Out Muslim Brotherhood Over Twitter

September 13, 2012

The U.S. embassy in Cairo called out the Muslim Brotherhood on Twitter over differences between English and Arabic tweets about violent protests against an anti-Islamic video.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s official English-language Twitter account @Ikwanweb reposted a message from the group’s deputy head, Khairat El-Shater, saying he was “relieved none of @USembassycairo staff was hurt” and expressing his desire that relations withstand the “turbulence” of events.

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo wrote back: “Thanks. By the way, have you checked out your own Arabic feeds? I hope you know we read those too,” referring to the contradiction between the Brotherhood’s Arabic and English postings.

The Brotherhood’s Arabic feed included messages that praised the protests, such as “Egyptians revolt for the Prophet’s victory in front of U.S. embassy.”

Muslim Brotherhood leaders have called for a nationwide protest in Cairo tomorrow against an anti-Islamic video posted on YouTube. The video, which ridicules the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, also sparked demonstrations in Libya, Tunisia and Yemen.

The Brotherhood replied: ‘’We understand you’re under a lot of stress, but it will be more helpful if you point out exactly the Arabic feed of concern.’’

The protests cast a new spotlight on U.S. relations with Egypt, a recipient of $1.3 billion annually in military aid, after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak last year and the election of President Mohamed Mursi, who came from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood.

President Barack Obama, in an interview with Telemundo yesterday, said the U.S. doesn’t consider Egypt an ally, “but we don’t consider them an enemy.”

President Obama called the leaders of Egypt and Libya to request help in securing American diplomatic offices after a U.S. ambassador and three embassy personnel were killed in an attack on a diplomatic mission in Libya.

To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Cairo at selwardany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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