Remember Samira Ibrahim the 26-year-old Egyptian activist who won a case against the military army for carrying out ‘virginity checks‘? Samira was supposed to be presented the Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage award in the U.S. on Friday, March 8 along with nine other women.
The award was given by Michelle Obama and John Kerry to “women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment, often at great personal risk”, as seen in this press release.
Ms Ibrahim however, was not honoured with an award after tweets against the U.S. and Israel were discovered on her Twitter account which caused an uproar and led to her being called a bigot .
The conservative publication The Weekly Standard was the first to report these tweets.
The article reads:
“On Twitter, Ibrahim is quite blunt regarding her views. On July 18 of last year, after five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver were killed in a suicide bombing attack, Ibrahim jubilantly tweeted: “An explosion on a bus carrying Israelis in Burgas airport in Bulgaria on the Black Sea. Today is a very sweet day with a lot of very sweet news.”
Ms. Ibrahim also allegedly tweeted: “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 – Hitler.”
She also reportedly tweeted, on Sept. 11, 2012, “May every year come with America burning.”
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said: “We, as a department, became aware very late in the process about Samira Ibrahim’s alleged public comments.
“In conversations with us in the last 24 hours, Ms Ibrahim has categorically denied authorship. She asserts that she was hacked. But we need some time, and in order to be prudent, to conduct our own review.
She updated her Twitter feed saying: “my account has been hacked more than once and any note of racism and hatred is not me.”
On Thursday, March 7, Ms Ibrahim appeared to back away from the claim that she had been hacked in a tweet that said: “I refused to apologize to the Zionist lobby in America for previous comments hostile towards Zionism under pressure from the American government so the prize was withdrawn.”
The State Department announced that Ibrahim’s award will be postponed until it could investigate her tweets.
Ms. Ibrahim was also featured in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012. Cherlize Theron, Oscar-winning actress and U.N. Messenger of Peace focusing on eliminating violence against women wrote that:
‘Samira represents the model of how to stand up to fear, and the impact she has made reaches far beyond Egypt.’