Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

Exposure to Political News Accompanying Violent Demonstrations as Reflected in Adopting Conspiracy View against Egypt

Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

Exposure to Political News Accompanying Violent Demonstrations as Reflected in Adopting Conspiracy View against Egypt

Article excerpt

Abstract

A field study was conducted at time of violent events that accompanied demonstrations against the Military Council who assumed the power to govern Egypt after 25th January Revolution to determine the effects of exposure to political news on three dependent variables; public opinion belief in conspiracy theory against Egypt, tolerance and affect towards the two parties of the violence (rebels and the Military Council) through the interim transition of military rule. The study found that Egyptian journalism, other political factors and demographic variables predicted the public's adoption of foreign and domestic conspiracy view whether positively or inversely. Unlike newspapers and online journalism, TV satellite channels were the only source predicting public's tolerance and affect. The study also found correlations between respondents' adoption of conspiracy theory and their tolerance judgments and feelings toward the parties of the conflict.

Key words: Conspiracy theory; Affect; Tolerance; Political efficacy; Political involvement; Political participation

INTRODUCTION

With the V assuming of c power - in V Egypt by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces after President Hosm Mubarak was ousted on 11 February 2011 as a result of massive demonstrations that lasted 18 days, known as 25 January Revolution, Egypt has witnessed domestic violence and clashes accompanied by either anti-army protests or some internal events. Predominantly major parties in these violent events were protesters and armed forces in time which coincided the idea of conspiracy against Egypt and its revolution, whether this plot from internal or external hands.

Here I mention the most important events of demonstrations led by the revolutionary powers against the Military Council ruling Egypt and its governments through the transitional period till conducting the questionnaire1.

On March 5,h and 6,h, protestors raided the several State Security Intelligence (SSI) buildings across Egypt claiming that they wanted to secure documents they believed to show various crimes committed by the SSI against the people during Mubarak's rule. On April 8th, 2011, "The Friday of Cleaning", hundreds of thousands of demonstrators filled Al-Tahrir Square in Egypt's capital Cairo and other squares in some Egyptian govemorates, criticizing the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces for slowdown in the trial of Mubarak and former regime leaders and demanded the resignation of remaining regime figures and removal of Egypt's public prosecutor. The military forces stormed the field to break up the protest and arrested a number of demonstrators who decided to stay overnight in Al-Tahnr Square.

On May 7'h, 2011, Salafl Muslims undertook a Series 0f attacks against Coptic Christian churches in the Poor working-class neighborhood of Imbaba in Cairo. This event led Christians and Christian revolutionary movements to organize a sit-open on the front of Union of Egyptian Radio and Television at Maspero area. Christians joined the parties and revolutionary powers on 27 May in the largest demonstrations since ousting Mubarak's Regime in Al-Tahrir Square and other govemorates. Protesters called for the "civil state" and demanded no military trials for civilians, and the Egyptian Constitution to be made before the parliamentary elections.

July witnessed four demonstrations on 1, 8, 15, and 23 days organized by hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Suez and Alexandria govemorates and Al-Tahrir Square demanding immediate reforms and swifter prosecution of former officials from the ousted government. On August 1st 2011, Egyptian soldiers clashed with protesters, tearing down tents and arrested tens of them.

On 9 October 2011, thousands of Christians demonstrated in rallies in six Egyptian govemorates, most of them went to Maspero building and were joined by thousands of Muslims to condemn the ongoing attacks and demolition of churches. …

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