Coptic Christians in Washington DC protest US stand on Egypt conflict

Timothy Fowler

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Monday, August 26 2013

Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi throw stones at riot police and army personnel during clashes near Rabaa Adawiya square in Cairo August 14, 2013. Egypt is in turmoil after security forces moved in to clear the protest camps of thousands of supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Mursi on Wednesday, and violence spread around the country. Protesters clashed with police and troops who used bulldozers, teargas and live ammunition to clear two Cairo sit-ins. Egypt's health ministry says 623 people were killed and thousands wounded in the worst day of civil violence in the modern history of the most populous Arab state. Muslim Brotherhood supporters say the death toll is far higher, with hundreds of bodies as yet uncounted by the authorities. Picture taken August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Asmaa WaguihPhoto: REUTERS / Asmaa Waguih

The march to commemorate the "I Have a Dream" of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Washington D.C. dominated the headlines at the weekend.

However, another smaller and less publicized demonstration involving hundreds of Egyptian Coptic Christians took place on Thursday.

As the seat of the U.S. government, Washington, D.C. is a regularly a focal point of marches and protests.

The Copts protested what they say is support of the administration of President Barack Obama for Egypt's ousted Muslim Brotherhood a claim that has also been leveled at Republican Senator John McCain.

They had gathered from around the United States, many of them taking buses to the nation's capital.

The Washington Post reported that the protestors marched in front of the White House, the offices of the CNN broadcast network, and the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim advocacy group that they call the Muslim Brotherhood's "embassy."

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They finished their march at the Egyptian military attaché's office in Washington. There they chanted their support for the Egyptian army's stand against the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Post also blogged that on the same day a large group of Egyptian protesters rallied in front of the Washington Post offices on, registering their support for military leader Gen. Abdel Fatah el-Sissi and their opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some of the protestors complained that the Post had not sufficiently covered the rash of mob violence against churches and Christian-owned businesses in Egypt since the July 3 military coup that removed President Mohamed Morsi.

"You have very skewed coverage of the news in Egypt. You have not been covering all that is happening," the Post quoted Iris Soliman of Bethesda as saying. She chided the paper for not covering what she said were Muslim Brotherhood supporters stockpiling mosques with guns.

Protestor Ramez Mossed told the Washington Free that Obama "has a big hand in Egypt and the mess in Egypt."

We're trying to tell him 'Don't support the terrorists. Please be fair'," he said.

The march was sponsored by Coptic Solidarity, Coptic churches and other groups, including Egyptian-Americans who are not Coptics, CNS News reported.

The Coptic Solidarity website has carried reports and commentary criticizing the image Muslim Brotherhood propagates as being a peaceful organization.

"Since August 14, 2013, the militias of the Muslim Brotherhood and their Jihadist allies waged unsolicited attacks killing over 90 police officers and security personnel and hundreds of innocent Egyptians," it posted on its website.

"In unprecedented violence in Egypt's modern history, Islamists set ablaze 68 churches, monasteries, schools, orphanages and other Christian institutions and scores of Copt-owned houses and businesses.

"They burned museums, courts, police centers and other public institutions. The clear objective of the Brotherhood, dubbed by some Western media as having renounced violence for a long time, is to drive Egypt into chaos and civil war."

A similar protest by about 200 Coptics took place in Nashville, Tennessee on August 20.

The White House denied ignoring the plight of Coptic Christians in Egypt on Wednesday.

"We have condemned in unambiguous terms all of the violence that has been perpetrated there in Egypt," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.

"We have been concerned and condemned the violence that was perpetrated by the government against peaceful protestors and we're just as outraged and just as concerned about reports that Christian churches have been targeted."

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