Twitter gives Muslim Brotherhood a blue tick
Mohammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood on trial in Egypt in 2015 (Khaled Desouki/AFP)
In a controversial move, Twitter has verified an account claiming to be the “Official Twitter of the Muslim Brotherhood”. It is a somewhat surprising move, given the sometimes contentious activities of the Sunni Islamist social and political organization.
The page belongs to “Ikhwanweb”, which is the Muslim Brotherhood’s Official English Website, and draws its name from the Arabic title of the group “al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun”. The account has 145,000 followers and generally posts links to official Muslim Brotherhood statements in English and articles opposing the current Egyptian leadership. Mohammad Morsi, from the “Freedom and Justice” political wing of the Brotherhood, was elected Egyptian President in 2012 only to be forcibly removed from power by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi the following year. Morsi remains in prison in Egypt, along with other leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood is designated as a terrorist group in a number of countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Russia. But the status of the Ikhwan is not straightforward: with political representation in several other Muslim nations, it is well-known for its civil society and charitable activities. It also claims to have a global support base of one million.
The Twitter verification has met with strong criticism from Trump supporters in America, after it was reported by far-right American news website Breitbart. They contrasted the move to the blocking of alt-right accounts, and the removal of racist comments by the website.
While banning Trump supporters, Twitter just verified the violent terror-endorsing Muslim Brotherhood.
Let that sink in. pic.twitter.com/Q01IrY1Ins— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) November 19, 2016
According to Twitter’s Help Center, “an account may be verified if it is determined to be an account of public interest.” However, this does not mean endorsement by the microblogging service.
The Arabic language page for the group, which has much fewer followers, remains unverified, as does its Facebook page.
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