Posted on | October 28, 2013 | 30 Comments
As impossible as it may seem, apparently it is true:
The New York Times earlier this month announced “an important expansion” of its opinion offerings, adding more than two dozen new contributors from around the world slated to write monthly columns.
Among them is Egyptian best-selling author Alaa Al-Aswany, quoted frequently in the English-language media and described as a “liberal” Egyptian voice . . .
According to Eric Trager of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Aswany is “among Egypt’s most prolific conspiracy theorists, and he often uses his very public platform to reinforce some of Egypt’s most popular bigotries,” The New Republic notes.
Because Aswany voices his more controversial opinions in Arabic, the Western press doesn’t notice.
For example, Aswany told Egyptian television that a “massive Zionist organization rules America,” thus “Obama is not able to go against Israel’s desires.”
More from Eric Trager in the New Republic:
In August, when Senator John McCain visited Egypt to encourage negotiations between the military and the Brotherhood, Aswany tweeted, “The Zionist John McCain, one of the biggest defenders of Israel, threatens Egypt if it does not release [Brotherhood leader] Shater immediately. The only explanation is that Brotherhood rule is in the interest of Israel.”
So yes, Aswany is worse than David Brooks and Paul Krugman.
But not worse than Tom Friedman. Nobody is worse than Friedman.