The Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, launched a sharp attack on media outlets on Monday, accusing them of tarnishing the image of the group.
“The devil inspires the media to create an image of the Brotherhood as a substitute of the National Democratic Party (NDP) that will destroy the country,” said Badie in a symposium in Beni Suef city, south of Cairo, marking the inauguration of the group’s headquarters in the governorate.
Badie stressed that the group is doing its role in serving Egypt as a majority that came to power through fair elections.
“The group that came to power through the fairest election in Egypt’s history doesn’t own Egypt and has worked as majority to return the ship to its natural course,” he said.
Badie urged the attending youth to battle for the rights of people in the countryside through the 52,000 seats in the municipalities’ elections after the presidential election. The attendees chanted slogans supporting the group at the end of the conference.
Badie’s statements caused an uproar among media experts.
The statements are not new and everybody knows the group does not support freedom of expression or public freedom, said Journalists Syndicate deputy head Gamal Fahmy.
“The statements came in time to reveal the true face of the totalitarian group that seeks to muzzle mouths, confiscate freedoms and impose self-censorship on everything,” Fahmy added.
This kind of criticism is not the first from the group, said media expert Yasser Abdel Aziz.
Head of the Cairo Center for Human Rights Studies Bahey el-din Hassan said Badie's statements could incite citizens to violence against independent media because it provides a platform for opponents of the Brotherhood.
A professor with the faculty of media in Cairo University, Safwat al-Alem, labeled the statements as inaccurate comments that may increase fear among media professionals.