Honor off for 'virginity tests' heroine
WASHINGTON — The State Department on Thursday backed off its decision to honor a young woman for her bravery in the Egyptian uprising when it emerged that she'd quoted Adolf Hitler on Jews and posted anti-American commentary on her Twitter account.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters that officials would defer the presentation of a Secretary of State's International Women of Courage Award to Samira Ibrahim, 26, who faced death threats for taking on Egypt's powerful generals in court over the forced “virginity tests” of 17 women protesters who were detained in March 2011.
Ibrahim was to have joined nine other honorees on Friday for a ceremony presided over by Secretary of State John Kerry and first lady Michelle Obama.
Nuland said the department became aware of Ibrahim's comments “very late in the process” and defended the reasons Ibrahim was originally included as a recipient.
“As you may recall, she was detained, she was subject to real police violence. Not only did she speak out about that, but she also became a real leader in her country in trying to address gender-based violence and other human rights abuses,” Nuland said.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum alerted the State Department to Ibrahim's tweets on Tuesday, according to a report on the website of The Atlantic by Jeffrey Goldberg.
Among the tweets was one this past Sept. 11 that was soon deleted: “Today is the anniversary of 9/11. May every year come with America burning.”
On Aug. 4, she wrote that the Saudi royal family was “dirtier than the Jews,” and then a couple of weeks later quoted 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.”
Nuland said that Ibrahim had denied making the comments and claimed her account had been hacked but that the State Department was still looking into the allegations.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- VA report sugarcoats actions, doctor says
- Holder urges bigger reward for whistle-blowers
- Snowden: U.S. shared info about Americans
- House panel OKs move to split Amtrak, focus on profitable Northeast Corridor
- Artificial sweeteners possible contributors to diabetes, obesity
- Study ties middle-age migraines, Parkinson’s
- Transgender girl crowned homecoming princess in Colorado
- Indictment in Georgia tot’s death in hot car gives jury latitude to convict dad of malice or neglect
- Rare respiratory illness reported in at least 10 states
- Tank disagreement leads to lawsuit
- Baltimore marks bicentennial of battle that inspired Francis Scott Key’s stirring anthem