Censorship of the uninformed

Mr. Nabil explains why he supports Israel. Incomprehensible to Norwegian journalists.

Blogger arrested in Egypt, Norwegian broadsheet Aftenposten reports. Somehow, the journalist failed to find out why.

In a piece in today’s Aftenposten, “The army sets limits on people’s freedom”, Journalist Tor Arne Andreassen mentions blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad, who was recently sentenced to three years of prison. Excerpt below

He was sentenced for using “unsuitable language” and insulting the army.

Well, “unsuitable language”. Maybe he used profanity. He should have known better, living in Egypt and all.

Except that’s not really it. The New York Times writes:

Mr. Nabil has the unusual political position in Egypt of being a pacifist as well as a champion of Israel, often praising its democracy, educational standards and innovations.

Finding the blog in question doesn’t take much time. Andreassen has either been too lazy to check the details here, or he has wilfully omitted the implication of this case. The story is jumping up and down and screaming in his face about how independent thought is alive in Egypt, and of how post-revolustionary Egypt strives to silence it. And somehow, Mr. Andreassen misses the point entirely.

The Norwegian public remains consistently uninformed about the extent of Israel-hatred and sheer anti-Semitism in Muslim societies. If for no other reason, Israeli politics and culture will remain completely bizarre and inexplicable to Norwegian readers.

The Egyptian playwright Ali Salem wrote a book in 1994 ┬ácalled “A Drive to Israel“, for which he was unceremoniously thrown out of the Egyptian Writer’s Union. Naguib Mafouz, to his credit, criticized this decision. The book is a fascinating read, written by an Egyptian benignly curious of a neighboring country that Egypt, after all, has signed a peace treaty with.

Egyptians, having to spell this out really hurts, speak with different voices on the issue of Israel. But Norwegians will never now.

Just for the sake of comparison, member of Knesset Hanin Zoabi supports Hamas’ use of weapons against Israeli civilians. Egypt jails someone for supporting a country Egypt has a peace treaty with. Israel has a representative in parliament openly siding with the enemies of her own country.

Two neighboring countries. Norwegians will rally to boycott one of them for it’s unforgivable levels of oppression.