Academy of Arabic Language acquits MP of insulting Tantawi

The Academy of the Arabic Language acquitted on Tuesday Egyptian Social Democratic Party MP Zyad Elelaimy of insulting Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, saying that Elelaimy used a popular proverb in his speech, which should not be construed as slander.

A statement on Tuesday, bearing the signature of Kamal Bishr, vice president of the academy and secretary general of the Federation of Arabic Language Academies, said the proverb merely pinpoints a person who is responsible for a certain error, but does not insult that person.

Regarding Elelaimy implicating Tantawi while speaking, the statement said it came in context and should not be considered an insult. Elelaimy is appearing before Parliament’s Ethics Committee on Saturday for investigation. He had resorted to the academy to interpret his statement.

At a public rally in Port Said on last month, Elelaimy used a famous Egyptian proverb, “He couldn’t beat the donkey so he beat the saddle,” meaning that if the main source of a problem cannot be confronted, others will be found to take the blame.

Elelaimy said, “Tantawi is the donkey,” implying his responsibility for the deaths of Egyptians in clashes and protests over the last few weeks.

The Egyptian Social Democratic Party says that there is an “unjust and vicious campaign” against its member, warning that the same methods of the former regime in persecuting the opposition are being adopted.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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