Samira Ibrahim, the Egyptian activist who was deferred from receiving the U.S. State Department’s “Women of Courage Award,” has now been refused the honor outright after it was discovered that she had been disseminating a steady stream of anti-U.S. and anti-Semitic content on her Twitter account.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland made the announcement during a press conference Friday afternoon, explaining that the Department “will not present” Ibrahim with the award.
“Upon further review the Department has decided not to present her with the award,” Nuland said. “Our understanding is that she plans to return home…We never presented it. We decided that we will not present it.”
Ibrahim’s past tweets included celebratory comments relating to the death of five Israeli tourists in a 2012 suicide bombing in Bulgaria.
“An explosion on a bus carrying Israelis in Burgas airport in Bulgaria on the Black Sea,” she tweeted directly following the attack. “Today is a very sweet day with a lot of very sweet news.”
Ibrahim’s vitriol is not reserved strictly for Jews, however. The Egyptian activist even holds the very country that was slated to honor her with an award in equal contempt. Following the riots that set siege to the United States embassy in Cairo on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, Ibrahim said that every year should mark America’s destruction.
“Today is the anniversary of 9/11. May every year come with America burning.”
Doubling down on her racist diatribes, in August 2012, Ibrahim referred to Saudi Arabia’s ruling Al Saud family as “dirtier than the Jews” and not long after, admiringly quoted Hitler.
“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,” Ibrahim tweeted.
On March 6, Ibrahim attempted to diffuse potential backlash over her controversial comments by claiming that her Twitter account had been “stolen” (despite the fact that her vitriolic tweets spanned the course of several years), but she sang a different tune Thursday, stating emphatically that she “refused to apologize” for her anti-Semitic remarks.
“I refused to apologize to the Zionist lobby in America on the previous statements hostile to Zionism under pressure from the American government, so the prize was withdrawn,” she posted.
What is perhaps most disturbing is the fact that the award ceremony would likely have gone ahead as scheduled with Ibrahim a recipient of the prestigious honorific if a select few news outlets had not exposed the activist’s true colors. This begs the question: Did the administration know of Ibrahim’s world-view beforehand, or does it simply not bother vetting those it decides to honor?
According to Nuland, “award-recipients are nominated first by embassies around the world and then they are reviewed here in Washington.”
She added that Ibrahim is a prolific user of Twitter with tens of thousands of posts to her credit, and that the Department is “doing forensics internally on how we didn’t catch it [tweets] the first time.”