U.S. Tells Cairo: We Read Your Arabic Tweets, Too
While Egyptian protesters fought security forces outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo Thursday morning, another standoff was taking place in cyberspace between the Embassy and the Muslim Brotherhood, wrote Al Ahram Online Thursday.
The Muslim Brotherhood's official English-language Twitter account reposted a message from the group's deputy head, Khairat El-Shater, saying he was "relieved none of @USembassycairo staff was hurt" and expressing hope that U.S.-Egyptian relations would survive intact.
"This reconciliatory tweet, however, was posted while the Brotherhood's Arabic-language Twitter account and its official website were both praising the protests… and calling for a million man march on Friday," wrote the news source.
"One Arabic language article on the Brotherhood's site sported the headline 'Egyptians rise to defend the Prophet'."
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo picked up the contradiction and tweeted: 'Thanks. By the way, have you checked out your own Arabic feeds? I hope you know we read those too.'
The Brotherhood replied some 20 minutes later, saying "we understand you're under a lot of stress, but it will be more helpful if you point out exactly the Arabic feed of concern."
"They were just three tweets, but they provided a snapshot into the strains US-Egypt relations are under this week," said Al Ahram.
Egypt's president, Mohammed Morsi, is the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood's political party.