The State Department, in the person of freshly minted Secretary of State John Kerry, is scheduled to present ten women with “International Women of Courage Awards.” He’ll receive assistance from First Lady Michelle Obama at the ceremony. One of the honorees is an Egyptian named Samira Ibrahim, who was “among seven women subjected by the Egyptian military for forced ‘virginity tests’ in March 2011 after they were detained during a protest in Cairo’s Tahrir Square,” as the State Department’s profile of her explains. “Resisting enormous cultural pressure to remain silent about her ordeal, she brought charges against the government. A military tribunal in March 2012 exonerated the Army doctor involved, but Ms. Ibrahim succeeded in garnering worldwide attention, prompting the military to issue an order in December 2012 forbidding such procedures.”
TIME Magazine named Ibrahim one of the “World’s 100 Most Influential People” in 2012, with an encomium from actress Charlize Theron, who testified: “When I first heard Samira’s story, it moved me. Not simply because of the abhorrent injustice she experienced but also because of her bravery to speak the truth and to face those who would tell her to stay quiet. It takes a strong person to stand up for what is right in the face of ostracism and public scrutiny. Samira represents the model of how to stand up to fear, and the impact she has made reaches far beyond Egypt. It takes just one woman to speak out, and thousands of others around the world will listen and feel inspired to act.”
Her State biographers also decorously refer to her arrest in high school for “writing a paper that criticized Arab leaders’ insincere support for the Palestinian cause.” Rut roh. That’s the sort of criticism that usually doesn’t come from level-headed admirers of Israel’s achievements in democracy.
And sure enough, the Weekly Standard did what the Obama Administration apparently forgot or refused to do, and took a look at Samira Ibrahim’s Twitter feed:
On July 18 of last year, after five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver were killed a suicide bombing attack, Ibrahim jubilantly tweeted: ???An explosion on a bus carrying Israelis in Burgas airport in Bulgaria on the Black Sea. Today is a very sweet day with a lot of very sweet news.???
Ibrahim frequently uses Twitter to air her anti-Semitic views. Last August 4, commenting on demonstrations in Saudi Arabia, she described the ruling Al Saud family as ???dirtier than the Jews.??? Seventeen days later she tweeted in reference to Adolf Hitler: ???I have discovered with the passage of days, that no act contrary to morality, no crime against society, takes place, except with the Jews having a hand in it. Hitler.???
Ibrahim holds other repellent views as well. As a mob was attacking the United States embassy in Cairo on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, pulling down the American flag and raising the flag of Al Qaeda, Ibrahim wrote on twitter: ???Today is the anniversary of 9/11. May every year come with America burning.??? Possibly fearing the consequences of her tweet, she deleted it a couple of hours later, but not before a screen shot was saved by an Egyptian activist.
When she became aware of this scrutiny, Ibrahim suddenly announced – for the first time ever – that her Twitter account had been hacked. That’s not usually the sort of thing that media-savvy global activists fail to notice, or comment upon, for years on end. She didn’t even think to check her Twitter feed when Cairo was convulsed by anti-American demonstrations? Not even at the height of hysteria over the Video of Doom? And why would mischievous hackers out to make her look bad decide to delete one of their most incendiary messages, just hours after it was posted?
I beg of the Obama Administration – please, kind sirs and madams, for the love of Heaven – do not ask Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to offer any theories on who these nefarious “hackers” might be.
The Weekly Standard concludes, “The decision to honor Ibrahim reflects poorly on the State Department, which is either incapable of doing the minimum amount of research required to find out who she is, or does not care that the secretary of state and First Lady are about to honor an anti-Semite who longs for violence against Americans. It???s understandable that now, with Islamists having come to the fore after all the hope that the Egyptian uprising inspired, American policymakers are looking for the good guys, real liberal activists that deserve U.S. support. Samira Ibrahim is not one of them.”
It’s a sad reflection of Islamist psychosis that Ibrahim was – as far as I can tell, undoubtedly – the victim of brutal treatment by the previous Egyptian dictatorship, and might well deserve recognition for effective advocacy against such brutality, but seems also to be an anti-Semitic loon who openly celebrates far worse atrocities from people she supports. Such contradictions are not at all uncommon among cosmopolitan Middle Easterners these days. And things won’t get any better if the Obama Administration insists on serving as useful idiots for the radicals. Going through with this award would send one message; canceling it would send a far more powerful, far better one. The West often celebrates “tolerance” as a supreme virtue, but civilization is also defined by what it refuses to tolerate.
Update: I’m hearing word late Thursday afternoon that the State Department is going to defer the award while it “reviews” Ibrahim’s remarks. The Atlantic quotes a State official who says they are still entertaining the theory that her Twitter account was hacked. It all seems like the sort of thing that should have been cleared up before the awards were announced, doesn’t it?
Update: Aaaaaand… that’s a wrap, folks. The utter incompetence and dishonesty of the Obama State Department is once again laid bare, as the woman they never thought to examine with even the most cursory diligence – and whose dubious claims of “Twitter hacking” they claimed to accept for most of the day – abandons the charade and lets her freak flag fly. From the Weekly Standard again:
Ibrahim claimed yesterday that her Twitter page had been ???stolen??? and she was not responsible for the hateful comments. Today the State Department announced it was deferring her award pending further review.
Finally, Ibrahim herself has spoken, writing in Arabic on her Twitter page. Egyptian democracy activist Mina Rezkalla provides the translation: “I refuse to apologize to the Zionist lobby in America regarding my previous anti-Zionist statements under pressure from American government therefore they withdrew the award.???
This would seem to settle the question as to whether or not her page had been ???stolen.??? Now all that???s left is for the State Department to demand that Ibrahim reimburse American taxpayers for her trip to the United States.
This entire farce should come as no great surprise to anyone who followed the Benghazi hearings closely. Good thing bloggers were around to handle the vetting that the Obama Administration wouldn’t do.