Is the Muslim Brotherhood crucifying opponents of Morsi? (Updated)
This story is hard to believe but comes to us from multiple sources, including the usually reliable Ray Ibrahim. The problem is that the original report is from the Arab media. And while Ray, no doubt, faithfully translated the stories, there is no reliable source that could confirm the substance of the report.
However, it certainly is not beyond imagining that Salafists allied with the Muslim Brotherhood could have carried out such a barbaric act.
Last week in Egypt, when Muslim Brotherhood supporters terrorized the secular media, several Arabic websites-including Arab News, Al Khabar News, Dostor Watany, and Egypt Now-reported that people were being "crucified." The relevant excerpt follows in translation:
A Sky News Arabic correspondent in Cairo confirmed that protestors belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood crucified those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others. Likewise, Muslim Brotherhood supporters locked the doors of the media production facilities of 6-October [a major media region in Cairo], where they proceeded to attack several popular journalists.
That there were attacks and violence-both in front of Egypt's presidential palace and at major media facilities, is well-documented. An August 9 report by El Balad, a widely read Egyptian website, gives the details:
Last Wednesday, August 8, "thousands of the Muslim Brotherhood's supporters" attacked 6-October's media facilities, beat Khaled Salah-chief editor of the privately-owned and secular Youm 7 newspaper-prevented Yusif al-Hassani, an On TV broadcaster, from entering the building, and generally "terrorized the employees."
El Balad adds that the supporters of Tawfik Okasha, another vocal critic of President Morsi-the one who widely disseminated the graphic video of a Muslim apostate being slaughtered to cries of "Allahu Akbar"-gathered around the presidential palace, only to be surrounded by Brotherhood supporters, who "attacked them with sticks, knives, and Molotov cocktails, crucifying some of them on trees, leading to the deaths of two and the wounding of dozens."
"Crucified in front of the presidential palace? One would imagine that something so barbaric done so openly would catch the attention of at least some western news outlets. Or even al-Jazeera, who would almost certainly report such an atrocity. They can't all want to cover up for the Brotherhood. A story like this is just too juicy to pass up in the name of political correctness or ideology.
A check of the Sky News website shows no story about crucifixions.. In fact, there is no time or date of the crucifixions reported by Ray at all.
These are all red flags that makes me think that this widely disseminated story is, at best, an exaggeration, and at worst, a hoax.
Morsi promised never to shut down a media network, but has already shut down the TV station of his most vocal critic. Barry Rubin reports he has had journalists arrested, while planning to name the entire committee who will write the new constitution.
Thus, the "moderate" Islamist takeover of Egypt.
Middle East expert Patrick Poole emailed me to correct an error in the story. The reason I couldn't find the crucifixion story on the Sky News English language website is because Ray Ibrahim translated the report from the Sky News Arabic site. Patrick also supplied a link to the Arab language article Ray quoted from.
My mistake was in thinking that Sky News was something like the BBC with bureaus all over the world but a central location for news dissemination. Glad that Patrick cleared that up for me.