MARCH 08, 2013
The Obama administration’s plan to honor an “Egyptian activist” at a State Department ceremony to celebrate International Women’s Day has been postponed since foreign media outlets exposed the honoree as an anti-American, anti-Semite who actually celebrated the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.
How embarrassing for the administration that, up until a few hours ago, it was set to bestow a special award upon Egyptian “democracy activist” Samira Ibrahim for all her work on behalf of women’s rights. First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were going to present Ibrahim with the International Women of Courage award at a State Department ceremony this afternoon.
The event will go on and “9 extraordinary women” will still be commended, according to a State Department announcement, but Ibrahim was abruptly removed from the original list of 10. The annual International Women of Courage Award is supposed to recognize “women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment, often at great personal risk.” Since its inception the U.S. has honored 66 women from 44 different countries.
It’s baffling that Ibrahim made the list in the first place, considering her history. Even her country’s English-language news website questioned the nomination earlier this week, pointing out that it was expected to fuel controversy after some foreign media outlets dug up some of Ibrahim’s anti-Semitic and anti-US statements. Also published in Arabic, the Egyptian news site offers some of the outrageous comments Ibrahim has posted on her social media sites.
On the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as a mob attacked the American embassy in Cairo and murdered the U.S. ambassador, Ibrahim posted this on her Twitter account: “Today is the anniversary of 9/11. May [we] every year see the US burning.” On July 18, 2012, after five Israeli tourists were murdered by a Hezbollah suicide bomber, Ibrahim tweeted: “An explosion on a bus carrying Israelis in Burgas airport in Bulgaria on the Black Sea. Today is such a lovely day with a lot of lovely news.”
In separate August 2012 posts, Ibrahim described Saudi Arabia’s ruling family as “dirtier than the Jews” and she seemed to compliment 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.”
With that said, why on earth would the United States even consider honoring this woman? Why didn’t someone in the Obama Administration—an intern or part-time aide, even—vet Ibrahim? Here is what a State Department spokeswoman told reporters this week as the agency scrambled to minimize the damage: “We, as a department, became aware very late in the process about Samira Ibrahim’s alleged public comments.”
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