Egypt's Foreign Ministry issues foreign press corps a style guide for how we should describe terrorist groups. pic.twitter.com/AAn9MNcLxC— Alex Ortiz (@azortiz) July 4, 2015
Ironically, Ortiz himself uses the word "terrorist groups" instead of the usual "militants" to describe ISIS, indicating that he is acquiescing to Egypt's demands to some extent.
Last week's attacks on the Egyptian army in the Sinai was generally described as being done by "militants" in the world media, only Egyptian and some Israeli media referred to the groups as "terrorist."
These are not only recommendations. Restrictions on press freedom are becoming Egyptian law.
Egypt Independent reports:
The draft anti-terrorism law approved by Egypt's cabinet last week includes "dangerous articles" which threaten media and press freedoms, the press syndicate said on Monday.This means, for example, that if Egyptian forces kill civilians and blame terrorists, reporters could go to jail for reporting it.
The syndicate's board discussed the draft law during a meeting on Monday, when it stressed that it stands by the armed forces in its fight against "terrorist attacks".
The cabinet passed the draft on Wednesday and referred it to the State Council, after militants in Sinai escalated their attacks on security forces in the peninsula.
The syndicate's board said in a statement issued after the meeting it would contact with other syndicates, political parties and civil society organisations to agree on a unified stance to "face the articles which restrict press freedoms" in the draft. The syndicate listed five articles in the draft as such.
Among the most controversial articles is Article 33, which punishes by a minimum of two years in prison the publishing of "false news or data" which contradict official data on "terrorist operations".
Heneidi said the article would come into effect only if four conditions are met: if the case is related to "terrorism", if it is deliberate, if it involves publishing false news, and if such news contradicts official data.
Amazingly, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and other UK pols seem to agree with Egypt's anti-media mindset:
I have no problem with the media choosing to call Islamic terrorists "militants" but when governments start to tell the media what to do, then that is a major problem. Not only because of the intimidation that accompanies such demands, but also because readers will not know that the coverage is being slanted by the government. This happened countless times in Gaza, in Lebanon and elsewhere, and the media refusing to push back and publicize these efforts to muzzle them makes it complicit to some extent.Prime Minister David Cameron recently joined the growing chorus of British politicians who argue that the name "Islamic State" is offensive to Muslims and should be banned from the English vocabulary.During an interview with BBC Radio 4's "Today" program on June 29 — just days after a jihadist with links to the Islamic State killed 38 people (including 30 Britons) at a beach resort in Tunisia — Cameron rebuked veteran presenter John Humphrys for referring to the Islamic State by its name.When Humphrys asked Cameron whether he regarded the Islamic State to be an existential threat, Cameron said:"I wish the BBC would stop calling it 'Islamic State' because it is not an Islamic state. What it is is an appalling, barbarous regime. It is a perversion of the religion of Islam, and, you know, many Muslims listening to this program will recoil every time they hear the words 'Islamic State.'"Humphrys responded by pointing out that the group calls itself the Islamic State (al-Dawlah al-Islamiyah, Arabic for Islamic State), but he added that perhaps the BBC could use a modifier such as "so-called" in front of that name.Cameron replied: "'So-called' or ISIL [the acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] is better." He continued:"But it is an existential threat, because what is happening here is the perversion of a great religion, and the creation of this poisonous death cult, that is seducing too many young minds, in Europe, in America, in the Middle East and elsewhere.
"And this is, I think, going to be the struggle of our generation. We have to fight it with everything that we can."