Protestors Scale US Embassy in Egypt, Raise Islamist Flag. Consulate in Libya on Fire
This protest coming on the anniversary of 9/11 was no coincidence. It was one more in a series of unambiguous signs that the so-called
Occurring on the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack against the United States by violent Jihadists, the news out of Egypt was a frightening reminder that hatred against America in some of the Muslim Nations of the Middle East still simmers - in spite of assurances to the contrary. Interspersed between footage of those Jihadists flying airplanes into the World Trade Center Buildings eleven years ago, we watched mobs of angry protestors in Cairo, Egypt scaling the US Embassy in real time.
Protestors at the US Embassy in Egypt
CAIRO, Egypt (Catholic Online) - Occurring on the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack against the United States by violent Jihadists, the news out of Egypt was a frightening reminder that hatred against America in some of the Muslim Nations of the Middle East still simmers - in spite of assurances to the contrary.
Interspersed between photos and footage depicting those Jihadists flying airplanes into the World Trade Center Buildings on that fateful day eleven years ago, we watched mobs of angry protestors in Cairo, Egypt scaling the walls of the US Embassy in real time. They were shouting those ever too familiar slogans identified with Islamic militancy.
Once they succeeded in scaling the wall of the US Embassy, they tore down the American flag. They raised a different flag in its place - a Black Flag with Islamic symbols bearing the Muslim religious profession, "There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger."
This protest coming on the anniversary of 9/11 was no coincidence. It was one more in a series of unambiguous signs that the so-called "Arab Spring" never really occurred.
The claim was made by some of the protestors that the hostile actions against the U.S. embassy were taken in response to an amateur video allegedly produced in the United States. They claimed that the video depicted Muhammad, the one whom Muslims claim as their Prophet, in a disrespectful and sacrilegious manner.
The AP report indicated that clips of the video have been shown online. Reports from the news agency Ahram claimed that two Coptic Christians who are Egyptian expatriates helped in the production of this controversial video. Most of the protestors interviewed never even saw this film. Nor was there any connection between the film and the United States Government.The rumor was enough to provoke this attack.
Reliable reports from Middle Eastern sources placed the number of protestors in Egypt at over 3,000. In addition, on the same day, protestors in the Libyan city of Benghazi, in an apparent show of solidarity, fired shots in the air as they attacked the US Consulate and set it on fire. Reports now confirm that the U.S. ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens was suffocated to death and three other embassy staff were killed.
Rumors such as the ones involving this film are like throwing gasoline on a fire in the current charged atmosphere in Egypt - and the broader Middle East. There is no telling what will result as the rumor is spread. The situation is not only a threat to Americans in Egypt, it calls attention to the dangers faced by Coptic Christians in Egypt. These Egyptian Christians are under increased scrutiny and face escalating persecution since the Muslim Brotherhood acceded to power in Egypt.
The majority of Christians in Egypt are Coptic Orthodox. There are also Coptic Catholics and Evangelicals in Egypt. The word "Copt" comes from an early Greek name for Egypt. After all, Christianity and Egypt have a long and holy history. Perhaps that is part of the reason why the persistent persecution of Christians in Egypt is so appalling. It strikes at the very foundations of the Christian Church.
We regularly cover the plight of our Coptic Orthodox Christian brethren in Egypt. They are heroic witnesses to the Christian faith in the ancient land into which the Holy family journeyed. This land is vitally important to all Christians. Their suffering to the point of shedding their blood for the ancient faith should draw every Christian to our knees, beseeching God's help and mercy for them. It also demands our support and solidarity.
We urge our global readership to pray for Coptic Christians in Egypt. Their presence in this ancient and holy land is vital. Their presence precedes any Muslim claims. Their heroic Christian witness is an inspiration to those of us in the West as we face another kind of soft persecution. They are our brethren, joined to us in the bonds of Baptismal communion.
We join the growing number of voices urging the Obama administration to place pressure on the Muslim Brotherhood led government in Egypt to respect the fundamental human rights of all Egyptians, including Coptic Christians.
The escalating mistreatment of Christians in Egypt, coupled with these incidents on the Anniversary of September 11, are a foreboding sign that the so called "Arab Spring" was no Spring at all. Authentic freedom recognizes the fundamental human rights of others, including the Right to Religious Freedom.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Islamist, Jihadists, Muslim brotherhood, Cairo, Egypt, Coptic christians, Embassy, Muhammad, Muslim, protests, Arab Spring, Libya, Keith A Fournier
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