by A. Millar
Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have long been a staple of the Arab and Iranian press and consciousness. Haj Amin al-Husseini, an Arab nationalist and "Grand Mufti," broadcast Nazi propaganda to Egypt during the Second World War. And the Nazi-inspired conspiracy theory of a Jewish-Freemasonic alliance, dominating the world, still appears frequently in the official media today.
For many in the West, the convergence of Egypt's pro-democracy activists on Tahrir Square last year was a welcome sight – as it should have been. Believing it to be a portent of a new era of liberal democracy and pluralism in the region, however, appears to have been too optimistic.
Reporting was partly to blame. The media covered the sexual assault of American reporter Lara Logan during the protests in Tahrir Square, but largely chose to ignore the fact that the crowd was yelling "Jew! Jew!" at her during the assault. Logan was raped with the hands of the assailants while others photographed her with their mobile phones.