Why Is Egypt Being Unfairly Blamed for the Russian Plane Crash in Sinai?

In this photo from the Prime Minister’s office, Egyptian authorities visit the site of the deadly Russian plane crash that killed all passengers on board on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2015


It has now been over a week since Metrojet Flight KGL9268 crashed in Sinai killing all 224 people on board. Speculation has been swirling since the news broke even though everyone knows it takes time for evidence to be collected and analyzed and for definitive conclusions based on facts to be made.

Recently, however, coverage of the tragedy has begun to take on a different tone.

The media is coming out with outlandish claims about Egypt. Look at the headline of this opinion piece published by the Editorial Board of the Washington Post: “Russian and Egyptian officials are not to be trusted over airline crash.”

This serves no purpose other than to fan the flames of mistrust and misinformation and to vilify the Egyptian government. The article makes the ludicrous claim that Egypt’s fight against ISIS is merely “a pretext to accomplish other ends, such as repressing peaceful domestic opponents and distracting attention from declining living standards.”

Assuming this tragedy did occur because of a terrorist bomb, the downing of an aircraft that took the lives of 224 people is a clear sign that Islamic terrorism in Egypt is a real fight that needs to be fought and hardly just a distraction for internal woes of the country.

The article also goes as far as to say, “The Egyptian and Russian regimes are far less adept at fighting terrorism than they are at lying” and claims that Egypt and Russia will find some way to blame the CIA for the crash. They also say that the transport minister was purposefully obstructing Britain’s evacuation efforts by reducing the number of flights available from 29 to eight.




How did Egypt go from the setting of a tragic, lethal plane crash to an irrational, lying, incompetent state that is trying to get in the way of finding answers?

Why aren’t travel advisories being issued for Las Vegas after a British Airways flight caught fire on the runway and wounded 14 people?

When the pilot of a Germanwings flight from Spain to Germany purposefully flew himself and 149 others into a French mountainside, why wasn’t anyone blaming the inadequacy and incompetence of the Spanish, German and French governments to prevent something like this from happening?

Even after 9/11, the most notorious case of airline terrorism, blame was shifted away from the U.S. government who directed it towards a campaign of hate against Arabs and Muslims worldwide.

Egypt is receiving not only a disproportionate amount of negative attention for this tragedy, but an unfair amount of blame.

2014 saw 111 plane crashes resulting in 1,320 deaths. Most notable among those crashes were two Malaysian Airlines flights: Flight 370 which was carrying 239 people and disappeared completely somewhere over the Indian Ocean, and Flight 17 which was shot down over Ukraine killing all 298 people on board.

There weren’t any travel restrictions imposed for Malaysia or outright condemnations of their government, and nothing more than a notice to avoid flying over that part of Ukraine went out. So what is with all of this media attention focused on keeping people away from Egypt?

It is no secret that Egypt depends on its tourism sector, which accounted for 13% of the economy in 2013. Russian tourism especially is huge in Egypt.

According to the AP, “three million Russian tourists visited Egypt last year, making up one-third of all visitors to the country in 2014. Rosstat, Russia’s statistics bureau, adds that nearly 20 percent of all Russians traveling abroad went to Egypt in the first half of this year.”

No one is trying to minimize the importance of this event in an attempt to preserve the tourism industry, but it is extremely damaging and false to portray Egypt in general as unsafe. Daily life goes on uninterrupted in cities and tourists enjoy relaxing vacations in resorts all around Egypt without incident.


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Russia did not initially cancel flights to and from Egypt, as did other countries in the wake of the tragedy, and it was recently announced that the 80,000 Russians currently in Egypt will continue their vacations and not be evacuated. This is the kind of cautious but practical outlook on tourism that needs to take place so as not to generate unnecessary fear of Egypt.

The point is this: We still don’t know for certain that it was a bomb that brought down the plane full of Russian tourists. The overall security of Egypt should not be misrepresented.

If it does turn out to be an instance of terrorism, then the lesson that should be taken away is that the fight against terrorism is a global one. Terrorist acts are perpetrated all over the world by people of various religions, nationalities and backgrounds.

Should travel be restricted to all of the United States based solely on the violence and bloodshed that goes on every day in Chicago?

Someone is to blame for this tragedy, but it’s not the people of Egypt, who will undoubtedly be the ones to suffer from this unfair and unfounded representation.


WE SAID THIS: What do you think of the Western media backlash against Egypt? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.