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Egypt Accuses Brotherhood of Exploiting COVID-19 to Distort State’s Image

Egypt Accuses Brotherhood of Exploiting COVID-19 to Distort State’s Image

Friday, 17 April, 2020 - 05:45
Egyptian supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood protesting in Cairo, Egypt on 11 November 2016 [Apaimages]

Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members are spreading rumors on social media to question the integrity of measures taken by the Egyptian government to contain the COVID-19, security experts and researchers in fundamentalist movements told Asharq Al-Awsat on Thursday.

“The Brotherhood is trying to exploit the government’s preoccupation with fighting the virus to achieve political targets by stirring confusion and discord among Egyptians,” said former Assistant to the Minister of Interior Farouk al-Makrahy.

Meanwhile, a security source accused a pro-MB television channel of airing a video from last year, showing Christian celebrations and accusing the State of not taken legal measures against them similar to the procedures taken against the violations of some mosque preachers.

Few days before this video, Egypt’s Interior Ministry accused the MB of “instigating the prevention of burial of a female doctor who died of coronavirus” in Egypt’s north-eastern governorate, Dakahlia.

The ministry described people who had participated in the incident as “outlaws,” and it accused them of “responding to rumors and incitement made by the Brotherhood group under the pretext of preventing the spread of the virus.”

Khaled Zaakarani, a researcher in fundamentalist movements, told Asharq Al-Awsat: “The Brotherhood is working to provoke panic among residents by questioning the government’s efforts to contain the virus.”

He said MB members were spreading false news on social media concerning the number of COVID-19 infected people in the country.

Lately, Bahgat Saber, a New York-based Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood activist, said in a video he uploaded to his Facebook page that any Egyptian who has flu-like symptoms or coronavirus should deliberately go to Egyptian police stations, public prosecution offices, courthouses, embassies, and consulates and shake hands with government officials as a revenge against President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's government.

“Rumors and videos spread by the Muslim Brotherhood would never find an echo among Egyptians,” stressed Makrahy.

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