The experiences of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt .. Will the media destabilize the leaders of the Middle East?

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Since the crisis began, last Saturday, the most popular hashtags on Twitter in Jordan have been divided between “With the King” and “The Prince of Hearts”. Despite King Abdullah II saying that “strife is brought to an end” and the kingdom is stable, the hashtag “Where is Prince Hamzah” tops the list of the most popular hashtags, Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Jordanian monarch said that strife had died down after a disagreement with his half-brother and former crown prince, Prince Hamzah, and that the country was now stable and secure. While audio recordings of the prince continued to be leaked.

In his article in the newspaper Washington PostWriter David Ignatius says that the persistence of posts in support of Prince Hamzah on social media, along with the leakage of an audio recording of him, last Saturday, as he “expels” the Chief of Staff, Major General Yusef Al-Huneiti, from the palace, “makes the king, clearly, concerned “.

As an indication of this, Ignatius indicated that Jordan banned, on Tuesday, all media and social media users from publishing any content related to the investigations in Hamza’s case.

Ignatius says, “The most disturbing aspect of the recent crisis in Jordan is that the Jordanian monarch, King Abdullah II, may have been obsessed with imagined enemies on social media, which he went through by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Egyptian President Abd. Al-Fattah Al-Sisi. ”

Commenting on this, Jordanian writer Nidal Mansour told Al-Hurra website: “I cannot assume issues that I do not know, such as the feeling of the king. These matters are assumptions without support.”

He explained, “The king is the head of the state and whoever represents it, and events have proven this.”

Mansour says, “Social media has become a real censorship authority on the ground; it creates public opinion and influences government and power policies. But I cannot say that I am making imagined enemies.”

He asked sarcastically, “Where is the evidence for this analysis and conclusion reached by the great writer?”

Mansour believes that part of the American press that dealt with the Jordan crisis “went away from information to fantasies.” He said, “Sometimes I don’t read information but rather fantasies.”

He added, “Social media is not a threat; rather, it is a medium that expresses people’s attitudes and a tool to convey what is happening in society in terms of concerns, opinions, manifestations and trends. They do not cause crises, but rather reflect the repercussions of crises.”

Mohammed bin Salman

As for Turki Al-Qablan, head of the Domumah Center for Studies and Research in Saudi Arabia, he said: “Personally, I am on all social media, and I have not noticed anything that rises to what Ignatius is talking about.”

He added, “There are people outside the country who are numbered on the fingers and define themselves as Saudi dissidents, and these approach all issues freely without harassment.”

He continued, “What they claim (of harassment) is a lie, and the evidence is that they are on satellite channels and express their opinions.”

In 2019, Saudi Arabia imprisoned eight people, between seven and 20 years, in connection with the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

Since this episode, Saudi Arabia has faced a series of Western criticism of its human rights record.

And she was Reuters She said that Saud Al-Qahtani, who is considered the right-hand arm of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, used Twitter to attack criticism of the kingdom in general and Prince Muhammad in particular. He also used Twitter to attack critics and ran a WhatsApp group with editors of local newspapers to dictate to them the approach of the royal court.

It quoted sources close to Khashoggi and the government, that Al-Qahtani tried to get the journalist to return to the kingdom after he moved to Washington a year ago, fearing reprisals because of his views.

Saudi officials said that Al-Qahtani authorized one of his subordinates, Maher Mutreb, to carry out what he said was supposed to be a negotiation for Khashoggi’s return to the kingdom.

In February, a declassified US intelligence report said that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved an operation to capture or kill Khashoggi. The prince denies any role in the crime.

“The Khashoggi operation was a mistake and a heinous crime that the Kingdom committed, and the independent Saudi judiciary issued its verdicts against the perpetrators, and the case was closed in September 2020,” Al-Qablan said, referring to popular support for the crown prince after the intelligence report.

Sisi

Contrary to what Mansour and Al-Qabban said, Moataz Abdel-Fattah, a professor of political science in Cairo, told Al-Hurra, commenting on what Ignatius wrote: “The enemies on social media are not fictions but a reality that we live in given the amount of rumors, accusations and ambushes coming from Turkey, Qatar, Britain and others. One of the countries in which (the Brotherhood) and their supporters reside. ”

He explained, “We are sure that there are members of the Brotherhood who want harm to Egypt, and do not accept a political administration after their administration represented by President Mohamed Morsi,” who was removed from power by the army after mass protests against his rule in 2013.

Turkey, Qatar and Britain represent the headquarters of a number of channels affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which members of them have resorted to, for fear of security prosecution inside Egypt, after the violence that took place after the overthrow of Morsi.

Abdel Fattah says, “There are organized, systematic and funded campaigns that often rely on rumors and catch mistakes, and all of this confirms the existence of danger.”

In September 2019, Mohamed Ali, a businessman and actor turned political activist, accused President Sisi and some army commanders of squandering billions of pounds, which prompted a response from Sisi at a youth conference in Cairo, saying: “By God, this is a lie and a fabrication .. This is a lie and a fabrication.” .

The contracting company he owned used to implement civilian projects for the Egyptian army, and he broadcast on a series of video clips from Spain.

Ali’s videos were closely followed on the Internet. His first video clip on September 2 garnered 1.7 million views on his Facebook page alone.

However, Abdel Fattah points out that this danger does not threaten the stability of “the Egyptian regime, because it has proven in recent years that it enjoys the legitimacy of the achievement to a large extent, which is the basis of any stability in government, and therefore he does not need to enter into verbal skirmishes with his opponents or dissidents from it.” .





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