Pro-regime Egyptians have united under the Arabic hashtag "Nabila Makram represents me," in response to international criticism of the immigration minister's threat to cut off the heads of Egyptian dissidents abroad.
In a speech to Egyptian expats in Toronto captured on video earlier this week Makram asked: "Anyone who says anything about our country, what happens to them?"
"We cut," she continued, running her hand across her throat.
Amid a climate of severe political repression amongst the Egyptian community Makram's words drew sharp criticism on social media.
"This minister's sinister words are a testament to the Egyptian government's alarming record of disappearing, imprisoning, and executing dissidents," said Amr Magdi, Egypt researcher for Human Rights Watch, on Twitter.
Egyptian minister threatened critics abroad with "cutting." At @HRW we believe this is no joke. The minister's sinister words are a testament to the Egyptian government's alarming record of disappearing, imprisoning, and executing dissidents.https://t.co/3AwTxFpb6T
— Amr Magdi (@ganobi) July 24, 2019
The Arab Organisation for Human Rights has said that as many as 3,185 civilians have been extrajudicially killed by Egyptian security forces since 3 July 2013.
WATCH: Egypt immigration minister: Criticise Egypt, lose your head
Makram's comments come less than one year after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for speaking out against the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
Observers are calling for her dismissal and an independent investigation.
As the story, and criticism, swelled, Makram defended herself: "The Egyptian state does not threaten its children, but it communicates with them, supports them and meet their needs."
"Cutting the neck is a word in the Egyptian vernacular and means the intensity of anger of those who do it."
Her supporters have gone one step further on Twitter, saying that she is protecting the "sons of martyrs" against "terrorists".
A.Abbass said: "Yes we will cut off the heads of anyone who offends Egypt, from terrorists to collaborators to traitors … we will not go easy on them, Egypt first and foremost."
ايو هنقطع رقبه كل من يسيء لمصر من ارهابي او عميل او خاين …مفيش طبطبه خلاص مــصر اولا واخيرا
ابناء الشهداء الابرار
الذين قتلهم الخونه الارهابين من يشاركهم مشوار حياتهم ولحظات النجاح بعد ان فقدوا ابائهم علي ايدي هؤلاء القتله ؟ pic.twitter.com/JlMLVEeJ7l
— A.abbass (@abbass222) July 26, 2019
Responding to calls for Makram to be forced out of her post and investigated, Twitter user Neveen wrote: "This minister is Egyptian and represents Egyptian women and men when we see dogs like you."
بس ياخروف بقرون زي جماعتك الارهابيه اللي روعت وقتلت المصريين
الوزيره دي مصريه وبتمثل سيدات ورجال مصر في حال شوفنا كلب منكم #نبيلة_مكرم_تمثلني
— مصريه (@Neveen31612444) July 26, 2019
Others said that those who attack the minister are not patriotic. A.Abbass wrote: "She represents me and she represents all Egyptians who are honourable patriots. Yes everyone who is going to offend Egypt and wage terrorist and destructive attacks against us, we will cut of their heads."
ايوه بتمثلني وبتمثل كل✌️👏💐 المصريين الوطنين الشرفاء
ايوه كل اللي هيسيء لمصر ويمارس ضدنا الارهاب والخراب هنقطع رقيته
المشبوهيين اياهم اللي بيهاجم وا سعاده الوزيره الوطنيه خايفين علي نفسهم لانهم لا وطنيه ولاشرف تنطلق من افواهم السموم ضد مصر بأوامر اسيادهم pic.twitter.com/BdsgPmvPJW
— A.abbass (@abbass222) July 26, 2019
While Fahd Al-Fahd wrote: "Nabila is a patriot and the people gave her a mandate to destroy traitors."
ياحجي ياخنزير انت ماتعرف معني الوطنية لانك عميل انما النبيلة المصرية معجونة وطنية واعطاها الشعب تفويض لنحر الخونة مثلك فهمت ولا نقول تاني #نبيلة_مكرم_تمثلني https://t.co/gJrNDH7jUR
— فهد الفهد أهلاوي الصفحة 9 (@GYXsZpKzQ8Cl5tK) July 26, 2019
Another declared support for President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi:
أجدد تفويضي للسيدالمشيرالرئيس عبدالفتاح السيسي حفظه الله #نبيلة_مكرم_تمثلني #٢٦_يوليو
— Riham (@Rihamtork) July 26, 2019