The Huffington Post launches a new website, its Arabic-language edition, which will be managed by two prominent Islamists. Anas Fouda, the editor-in-chief of the new HuffPost Arabi, had been executive producer at Al Jazeera Arabic before and his former boss, Wadah Khanfar, had been the previous director general of Al Jazeera Arabic. Both are known as Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers.
Fouda, an Egyptian national living in Turkey, was arrested in the United Arab Emirates on suspicion of links to the Muslim Brotherhood. He has admitted his affiliation to the Brotherhood since 1988.
Khanfar publicly announced this support for the Muslim Brotherhood following the Egyptian elections in 2012 that brought to power the Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi. Khanfar is the heavyweight of the two Islamists because he is considered as the man who brought Al Jazeera in its prominent position and also made it the media voice of the Muslim Brotherhood that it is nowadays. During his time in office he allegedly supported hard-line Islamists and portrayed this attitude as his reaction to the new “political reality” in the Arab world.
Some of Khanfar’s articles that were published in English might give an insight into his approach which will probably also find expression on HuffPost Arabi: In 2011 his Guardian column titled “Those who support democracy must welcome the rise of political Islam” and in 2012 he welcomed Mohamed Morsi’s election as message that the Arab spring was still alive. When Khanfar resigned from Al Jazeera he stated that he will continue his future work in the same spirit as Al Jazeera. The media coverage of the new website will soon reveal the vision behind HuffPost Arabi.