Islamist writers demand equal space in Egypt's national newspapers

MENA, Wednesday 10 Oct 2012

Writers issue statement, Sunday, claiming newspapers give preferential treatment to non-Islamist journalists; threaten protests and sit-ins if not given equal pay and editorial space

Egypt
Egypt's newspapers

Thirty-seven writers idenifying themselves as 'Islamists' issued a press statement, Sunday, outlining key grievances, including being discriminated against by public-owned national newspapers.

The journalists demanded that they be treated as equals, both editorially and financially, to the other non-Islamist writers, complaining that "opportunists" are still determined to exclude them despite the increased press freedom enjoyed after the January 25 Revolution.

The signatories to the statement include Wagdy Ghoneim, a controversial Islamist preacher known for attacking non-Muslims, in particular Christians, in his stories.  

The writers demanded that they be given "balanced space", adding that the proportion of editorial room given to Islamists is significantly less than other currents which they dubbed "Mubarak's instruments, state security agents and writers of former culture ministers Farouk Hosni's farm."

The statement also stressed that since Egyptians have voted in both the parliamentary and presidential elections for Islamists and not for the "opportunists, hypocrites, westernized servers of despotism" silencing their voice, will lead to mass anger, protests and sit-ins.

Egyptian author and critic Safinaz Kazem, founder of the Salafist reform wing Gamal Sultan and Islamist writer Helmy El-Kaoud were also among the signatories. 

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