Minister of Information Salah Abdel Maqsood expressed regret over not having enough Muslim Brotherhood candidates to hire within the ministry and the media.
In a meeting held by the Shura Council’s Culture and Media Committee on Thursday, Abdel Maqsood made a number of controversial statements about the nature of Brotherhood members. Abdel Maqsood stated that a court ruling assures that Brotherhood members are the most worthy of taking responsibilities in all state sectors, reported state-owned Al-Ahram. The minister described Brotherhood members as temperate, chaste, and having a clear intention to work for the greater good.
“If I had Brotherhood candidates, I would have hired them in the media device,” Abdel Maqsood was quoted by Al-Ahram as saying. He added that since he “unfortunately” doesn’t have Brotherhood candidates, national and independent political currents take the biggest share of the “media cake”.
Abdel Maqsood also expressed pride over belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. In response, the independent journalist Hamdy Qandil mocked Abdel Maqsood’s statement in a personal tweet, saying that if the minister weren’t a Brotherhood member, “his experience would’ve earned him a job no better than that of a news editor”. Qandil was one of the public figures who openly supported President Mohamed Morsy during the run-off round of presidential elections. He later regretted that decision.
The minister stated during the meeting that state-owned media is much better than independent owned ones. He added that state-owned media is currently being reorganised as a neutral institution to serve as the “peoples’ conscience” instead of being the authorities’ mouthpiece.
Abdel Maqsood was involved in a dispute over the legality of independent channels Dream’s transmission. Transmission of Dream channels from studios outside the Media Production City (MPC) was temporarily cut-off with Abdel Maqsood’s consent. The law bans any independent channels from transmitting live broadcast from outside the MPC. Dream channels’ management claimed the channels have a written permission to transmit from their own studios. The case is currently being reviewed by the administrative judiciary.