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Monday, May 30, 2005

[posted by jaed at 6:23 PM]
Lessons in using terminology for propaganda, part 8,274,162
The AFP gives us this caption on a photo of an Egyptian pro-democracy poster:
An Egyptian woman screams as she and other members of the left-wing umbrella organization Kefaya (Enough) are roughed-up by supporters of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak while participating in a protest in Cairo against the referendum on changing the electoral system.(AFP/Cris Bouroncle)[my emphasis]
Interesting qualifier there. Now, I am not an expert on the "Enough" movement, but I'd never heard anyone imply they were left-wing. (And it would seem strange to find a left-wing movement protesting for democracy in the Middle East.) So it caught my eye. Accordingly, I had recourse to Google and found this interview with the founder of Enough. He says, among much else:
We held another meeting which included seven members of different elements of community. It included Islamists, liberals, communists and others. Before each one joins the meeting, he has to leave his ideology out side, so there are objective points of view in a democratic way.
In other words, he describes the movement as non-ideological. Its common purpose is to bring about democratic change in Egypt.

So why is it "left-wing"? I'm not altogether sure, but - having seen how Russian Communists were described as "right-wing" in the press as soon as they'd decided that it was no longer cool to be a Communist - I can guess that this means the press is beginning to support pro-democracy Arab movements.

Which I suppose is good news. The press is powerful, and if they decided to target the Enough movement they could do it a lot of damage. Still, isn't it interesting that - now that democracy appears to be winning - it suddenly becomes "left-wing"?

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