|The List: Rebel Web Sites to Watch|
|Posted November 2008|
From fundraising to media relations, the Internet has fundamentally transformed the way opposition groups do public outreach. Here are five once shadowy rebel movements that today are just a click away.
The Muslim Brotherhood
Why they’re in the “opposition”: Founded in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood is banned but often tolerated in Egypt. Government harassment has been a consistent problem for the group, and only in recent years has it been able to run candidates for Parliament (though they have done so as “independents”). Today, the Brotherhood advocates Islamic government, but moderates in the group insist they would achieve this through democratic elections.
Why they need a Web site: In 2005, the Brotherhood launched an Arabic site geared toward the local population and an English-language version aimed at Westerners. In addition to supporting a large volume of news and background information, the sites field requests from journalists—usually three to four a week—and arrange interviews.
Although the Arabic site has been relatively free from government intrusion, English site editorial board member Ibrahim El Houdaiby told FP that the server has repeatedly been shut down by the Egyptian government. “[A]t the end of the day, this is a regime that heavily relies on foreign support, which is based on portraying its opponents as terrorists, radicals, anti-human, whatever. So having our voices heard is the one thing that the regime doesn’t want to see.”