This afternoon Michelle Obama and John Kerry were scheduled to present the International Women of Courage Award to Samira Ibrahim and nine other women who have shown leadership in advocating for women’s rights around the world. Ibrahim was included in recognition of her battle against the Egyptian army’s infamous “virginity tests.” Ibrahim was in Washington for the award ceremony today.
Writing at the Weekly Standard on Wednesday, Samuel Tadros performed the due diligence that should have been performed by the State Department. Tadros demonstrated through a review of her statements on Twitter that Ibrahim is a rather vile anti-Semite and 9/11 fan. Among her Twitter droppings, Ibrahim had left a record of statements quoting Hitler with approval, celebrating the murder of Israelis in Bulgaria last summer, and the September 11, 2012 siege of the U.S. embassy in Cairo.
Ibrahim alleged the Weiner defense. She claimed that her Twitter page had been “stolen” and that she was not responsible for the comments. Jeffrey Goldberg wrote about the case yesterday while the outcome was perhaps subject to reasonable doubt. Today the State Department announced it was deferring her award pending further review, like NFL officials going to the tape to make a touchdown call.
Now comes Lee Smith to report:
Ibrahim herself has spoken, writing in Arabic on her Twitter page. Egyptian democracy activist Mina Rezkalla provides the translation: “I refuse to apologize to the Zionist lobby in America regarding my previous anti-Zionist statements under pressure from American government therefore they withdrew the award.”
This would seem to settle the question as to whether or not her page had been “stolen.” Now all that’s left is for the State Department to demand that Ibrahim reimburse American taxpayers for her trip to the United States.
One door closes and another opens. Given that bit about “the Zionist lobby in America,” Ibrahim may be in line for a plum position working for Chuck Hagel over at the Department of Defense.