I’m glad that Aaron Goldstein has drawn attention to the unconscionable savagery and sexual violence that pro-Mubarak thugs masquerading as protesters inflicted upon 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan.
It’s important to note, as Aaron does, that the angry and sadistic mob which perpetrated this crime was in no way reflective of the thousands of Egyptian protesters who descended upon Tahrir or Liberation Square.
Yet some on the Right are trying to discredit the protesters with unfair and unwarranted charges of misogyny and anti-Semitism.
But in fact, we can say with near certainty that the thugs who violently abused and violated Logan were anti-protesters sent into the streets by Mubarak precisely in order to disrupt and discredit the Egyptian uprising.
How do we know this? Simple: by following the sequence of events and listening to independent and fair-minded journalists who were on the scene at the time, and who thus can speak authoritatively about what happened.
Here is the sequence of events:
1. The initial protests are peaceful. Independent journalists move about Tahrir Square without fear, incident or problem. They report, live and in real-time, what they see. The protesters, reporters note, do not conform to the stereotype of the angry Islamic radical. In fact, quite the opposite, writes New York Times’ columnist Nicholas D. Kristof on Feb. 5, 2011:
After spending last week here on Tahrir Square talking to protesters — even as President Mubarak’s thugs attacked our perimeter with bricks, Molotov cocktails, machetes and occasional gunfire — I emerge struck by the moderation and tolerance of most protesters.
Kristof’s New York Times colleague, Thomas L. Friedman, also goes to Tahrir Square and, on Feb. 8, reports the same thing:
Egyptians are not asking for Palestine or for Allah. They are asking for the keys to their own future, which this regime took away from them. They are not inspired by “down with” America or Israel. They are inspired by “Up with Egypt” and “Up with me.”
2. Recognizing that international media coverage is sustaining the Egyptian uprising, the Mubarak regime acts to incite violence against independent journalists.
Thus, as I reported here at AmSpec, and as Kristof referenced, the regime unleashes into the streets of Cairo “pro-Mubarak thugs, with Molotov cocktails and a thirst for autocratic revenge.”
Nonetheless, in spite of — or perhaps because of — the violence perpetrated against them, Egypt’s pro-democracy protesters gain renewed strength and moral clarity. They are subjected to violent attacks, and some are even killed; however, the violence appears to be sporadic and minimal.
3. The regime grows increasingly desperate. And so again, as I reported here at AmSpec, Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman goes on Egyptian state television to denounce the free media and to incite greater violence against journalists, especially foreign journalists such as Logan.
“I actually blame certain friendly nations who have television channels,” said Egyptian Vice President, Omar Suleiman, on Egyptian state television. “They are not friendly at all. [They] have intensified the youth against the nation and the state…
“There are countless poisonous thoughts that are entering the thoughts of these youths,” Suleiman warned…
“Well, that’s the government’s line,” says CNN’s Anderson] Cooper… “Their list of culprits also seems to include Hezbollah, Shiites, agents of Israel [emphasis added], and other sinister foreign elements.”
4. On Friday, Feb. 11, the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak relinquishes power, Logan is attacked, savagely beaten and sexually violated by a vicious, anti-Semitic mob. She is later saved by a group of Egyptian women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers.
In short, this attack was not the offspring of the “new Egypt”; it was the rabid reaction of the “old Egypt.”
And these were not “Muslims” who did this (chapter 5, verse 2 of the Qur’an says: “do not let your hatred of a people incite you to aggression”). These were barbarians.
And it is important for us to make this distinction, because despite what you hear in some conservative circles, our struggle is not against Muslims and the Islamic religion; it is against Islamists and Jihadists who pervert Islam for their own depraved and illicit purposes.
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