Tags: Tawkol Karman | Facebook

Facebook's Troubling Appointment of Morsi-Backer to Oversight Board

tawakkol karman smiles and raises a fist
Tawakkol Karman at an awards ceremony. (Getty Images)

By Thursday, 18 June 2020 08:22 AM Current | Bio | Archive

President Donald J. Trump has announced he is crafting an executive order on social media outlets that could limit their ability to influence our freedom of expression. Such a decision comes amid his escalating fight with Twitter over the company's decision to "fact-check" his claims — an action they have taken against virtually no other or very few of its millions of users.

In this context, it is important to note that Facebook has recently announced the 20 names of its new oversight board members, and the individual whom Facebook has chosen to review and set policies for controlling content in the Arab World is none other than Tawakkol Karman, a Nobel laureate and well-known political activist with strong political views in support of the Muslim Brotherhood. Here are some of Karman's statements following the death of former President Mohamed Morsi.

As just one example, Karman has said, "President Mohamed Morsi left and [President Abdel Fattah] al-Sisi remained to be one of the curses on Egypt. They killed you [Morsi] with negligence, deprived you from treatment and all kinds of health care. Allah curses them and accepts you with those who are blessed, the prophets, righteous and martyrs." She added "Morsi left and al-Sisi remained to be one of big conspiracies that Saudi Arabia has plotted against our nation since a century and still. These conspiracies will not be forgotten, and our response will be double."

Why would Facebook appoint such a person with such strong and obvious political affiliation to oversee the company's content in the Arab world? How can people who oppose Karman's political views feel confident that Facebook will not discriminate against them and specifically impede the spread of their content?

I would add that Tawakkol Karman's extreme support and praise for Mohamed Morsi can be considered a subtle form of anti-Semitism, when we know the views of Morsi about the Jews, such as in January 2010 when he, a high-ranking figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, enthusiastically urged Egyptians to "nurse children and grandchildren on hatred for Jews and Zionists."

Here is a translation of something else the "moderate" Morsi has said: "Dear brothers, we must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them. They must be nursed on hatred. The hatred must continue."

Given this context, it is difficult to comprehend how Facebook has ignored so many enlightened people in the Arab world and has chosen Tawakkol Karman, despite her extraordinary support for people who have expressed such disgusting anti-Semitism. Facebook must at least balance her biased voice with the voice of other intellectuals who are fighting to promote human rights and freedom in the Arab world.

We must never forget that the ideology responsible for the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on U.S. soil, as well as the 2009 Fort Hood massacre originated in the Arab world. Accordingly, warriors who fight, on their own, against the ideology of Islamic radicalism should be seen as the first line defense against terrorism, in the U.S. and around the globe. Furthermore, Facebook's blocking from its pages reformers who reach millions of people in the Arab world can only increase the risk of religious discrimination against minorities in the area — not to mention weakening the voices who speak out against radicalism.

It is a sad day when Facebook chooses such a politically and religiously biased person, someone who has supported the anti-Semitic radical Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Dr. Tawfik Hamid (aka Tarek Abdelhamid) M.D.; Mlitt (Edu) has testified before Congress and before the European Parliament. Dr. Hamid is the author of "Inside Jihad: How Radical Islam Works, Why It Should Terrify Us, How to Defeat It." Read Dr. Tawfik Hamid's Reports — More Here.

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How can people who oppose Karman's political views feel confident that Facebook will not discriminate against them and specifically impede the spread of their content?
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Thursday, 18 June 2020 08:22 AM
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