In state-owned outlet Al-Akhbar, Galal Aref commented on the recent UN Security Council session held on Syria, drawing a comparison between the current US position and its stance when upholding the invasion of Iraq, adding that the world is on the edge of a dangerous turn because Western countries are supporting the US despite lack of proof of its claims on the use of chemical weapons. Likewise, Britain failed to prove Russia was behind a nerve agent attack against an ex-spy, Sergei Skripal. “It seems that the goal is bigger than Syria; it is rather about hindering Russia’s power,” he wrote.
In the same newspaper, Mohamed Barakat tackled the issue of political reconciliation and dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood, which was recently discussed by seasoned journalist Emad El-Din Adeeb. Barakat argued that controversy and rejection of such an initiative are no surprise and were previously voiced when the topic was raised by Saad El-Din Ibraheem, even if Adeeb was only concerned with talking with sympathisers of the brotherhood.
Meanwhile, Al-Youm Al-Sabea’s Editor-in-chief Khaled Salah wrote an op-ed in which he argued that Egypt does not need to establish a professional English-language media outlet to face “rumours” of Western media as much as it needs to come up with new ideas and figures who could speak to the already powerful international media to promote a different image of the country.
Also in Al-Youm Al-Sabea, two writers addressed the Syrian chemical weapons issue. Karim Abdul Salam argued that the US-led Western alliance is overlooking the fact that extremist militias possess chemical and ignoring the argument that Bashar Al-Assad did not need to use them as he is in a position of victory in Ghouta.
For his part, Akram Al-Qasas wrote that Israel used the Western claim to hit Iran in Syria, covering up its crimes in Gaza and aligning with a US approach seeking to rescind the Iran nuclear deal. He also compared the events to the British handling of Skripal’s poisoning, arguing that it only aimed at undermining Russian power.
On a different note, Al-Watan’s Sahar Al-Goara wrote a letter to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi saying that Al-Azhar institution and religious figures are still restricting the freedom of expression of intellectuals through accusing them of contempt of religion, fuelling sectarianism at a time when the state is trying to renew its religious discourse.
Lastly, Khaled Montasser, who advocates freedom of speech against religious restriction, wrote a full-page opinion fiercely criticising the latest book by renowned writer Alaa Al-Aswany, claiming that the novelist tried to clear the brotherhood of the crimes it committed, including the burning of churches and prison breaks, while accusing the Egyptian armed forces of plotting all of the violence.