Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Islamists Tear Down U.S. Flag In Egypt Over Anti-Islam Coptic Short Film

Although no-one knows exactly which anti-Islam film being produced in the U.S. pissed off the hordes in Egypt (and Libya), about 2,000 to 5,000 or so Islamists and soccer-Ultra fans joined forces and made their way to the Embassy in Cairo. Then a few proceeded to scale the Embassy walls and tore down the flag, replacing it with a plain black, al Qaeda-esque flag with:

“There is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger.”

Warning shots were fired into the air by U.S. marine guards, and eventually Egyptian security forces took over, surrounding the compound.

More militant types in Libya actually tried to burn the U.S consulate down in Benghazi by lobbing a Rocket Propelled Grenade into the consulate. There was also fighting between the consulate guards and the militants over there which killed one American, and wounded another.

According to one witness in Cairo, the short film is being produced by some Egyptian Coptic Christian expats now living in the U.S.  This, in turn, has angered Coptics in Egypt, obviously afraid of retaliation.  Amil Ameen, a Copt and political commentator, said that these kinds of films:

“hurt Coptic Egyptians before their Muslim brothers.”
They also took advantage of the situation to stick it to the U.S. over its policies (though no mention of the money we give them), and waving pieces of the torn flag at news cameras.

The protests were organized by a few people:

Several individuals claimed responsibility for organizing the demonstrations, including Salafist leader Wesam Abdel-Wareth, who is president of Egypt's conservative Hekma television channel.
Mohammed al-Zawahiri -- the brother of al Qaeda's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri -- added that "we called for the peaceful protest joined by different Islamic factions including the Islamic Jihad, Hazem Abu Ismael movement."
"We were surprised to see the big numbers show up including the soccer Ultra fans," he said. "I just want to say, how would the Americans feel if films insulting leading Christian figures like the pope or historical figures like Abraham Lincoln were produced?"
He added that "the film portrays the prophet in a very ugly manner, eluding to topics like sex, which is not acceptable."
Some Americans might be offended, but they'd suck it up, and  you definitely would not find us out there tearing down some country's flag. According to one source, the film portrays Mohammed as gay, but then they've done the same thing to Jesus Christ, and there have been no violent protests.

Because of threats U.S. Embassy personnel were forewarned to stay away. The Embassy, in its usual politically correct way said that it:

"condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims -- as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."
"Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy," the statement said. "We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

The only other thing I could find about the film is the following on Al Ahram:

The controversial film is reportedly being produced by US-based Coptic-Christian Egyptians, including Esmat Zaklama and Maurice Sadeq.
Maurice Sadeq, a Coptic lawyer based in the US, announced earlier this week that the US-based 'High Authority of the Coptic State' would broadcast the 13-minute film on Tuesday to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington.
Right or wrong, tacky or not, we have freedom of speech in this country, it's our inalienable right.

Sources: Al Arabiya, CNN, Al Ahram, 

UPDATE 9/12/12:
See the trailer that incited all the violence in Libya and the protests in Egypt.

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