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Friday, July 12, 2013

Egypt's Coptic Christian Minority Under Attack: Where is the Outrage in the US?

Yesterday, in a Financial Times article entitled "Attacks increase against Egypt’s Coptic Christians" (, Borzou Daragahi observed:

"In recent weeks, at least nine Christians have been killed nationwide, including at least one priest. More than a dozen churches have been attacked and damaged. Coptic-owned businesses have been tagged with graffiti and threatening fliers have been distributed. Rights advocates and community leaders say the wave of persecution has been inflamed by the rhetoric of Islamists angry over the toppling of their leader."

In fact, Muslim Brotherhood violence against Egypt's Christian minority, comprising some 10 percent of the country's population of 85 million, is nothing new. As reported in April by Fox News (, long before the army coup which dislodged Mohamed Morsi's government, Egypt's Copts were under siege by the Brotherhood:

"Newly-emerged video appears to show Egyptian police standing idly by - and even helping attackers during a deadly assault earlier this month on a Coptic cathedral where Christians were mourning five men killed in an earlier clash with Muslims.

The video shot April 7 and first obtained by MidEast Christian News, shows a men shooting guns, wielding machetes and hurling stones and possibly Molotov cocktails as mourners carry caskets out of St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the Abbassia District of Cairo as uniformed police watch, unmoving. At one point, a police officer appears to help a gunman take aim at a courtyard full of mourners who had spilled out of the church. The attack left two Copts dead and another 84 people injured, including 11 police officers.

When it was over, the only arrests made were of four Copts. Christians, who were already outraged over a three-day attack that began April 4 attack in Khosous which saw the four men killed and homes, a nursery and a church burned."

Remarkably, on exactly the same day that St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral came under attack in Cairo, Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News, was spreading lies about Israel's security barrier at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in New Canaan, Connecticut.

As reported by Dexter Van Zile (

"Invited to speak at the church by his pastor Rev. Peter Walsh, Fager showed an audience of more than 200 of his fellow parishioners a segment about Palestinian Christians that aired on the CBS '60 Minutes' program in April 2012.

During the segment, correspondent Bob Simon stated that the security fence 'completely surrounds Bethlehem, turning the ‘little town' where Christ was born into what its residents call ‘an open air prison.’'

The fence does not completely surround Bethlehem, as Simon reported. The security fence is located to the north and west of Bethlehem and leaves the rest of the city’s perimeter open to the West Bank.

. . . .

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), pointed out the '60 Minutes' error in an article on its website soon after the segment aired and in a half-page ad that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Aug. 14, 2012.

Nevertheless, the CBS show has not issued a correction to this day.

After showing his fellow parishioners the '60 Minutes' segment, Fager complained about the angry response the show elicited. In particular, he condemned the Wall Street Journal’s decision to run CAMERA’s ad, which he said was intended to create havoc on the CBS show’s reporting.

Fager then told his audience that CAMERA got it wrong about the security fence in its ad and that 'Bethlehem is surrounded by a wall.'

. . . .

During the question and answer period, I raised my hand, stated I worked for CAMERA, the organization responsible for the ad in question, and then issued a simple and direct challenge: If Jeff Fager could prove that the security fence completely surrounds Bethlehem like he said a few moments before, I would donate $5,000 to a charity of his choosing.

His response was a simple 'Okay.'

After the event concluded and the people in attendance started to leave for the church’s Sunday services, I gave him my business card. So far, no response."

As can be seen on any map, the Israeli security barrier does not surround Bethlehem (see, for example:, but this did not prevent Fager from disseminating lies at his church, even at a time when Christians were under attack in Egypt.

I sent an e-mail to Reverend Peter Walsh of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in New Canaan, who had told his congregation that Fager is “a man of extraordinary integrity and character," asking that Fager's "falsehood, intended to foster enmity, be addressed and rectified in your House of God" (see:

Reverend Walsh never responded to me.



  1. Outrage? Most Americans don't even know why we celebrate the 4th of July. So, why should we expect them to be outraged about Egypt's treatment of Coptic Christians?

    Let's see, which specific news items are currently trending on CNN (US version)?
    The Zimmerman Trial, Kim Kardashian's summer outfits, LiLo's post rehab interview with Oprah, Lady gaga's new album, Kate vs. Diana's Maternity Style...
    OK, OK, time to change intellectual gear.
    Over to WaPo, (click).
    Here's something interesting, albeit predictable..."U.S. looks for signs of thaw as new Iranian president Rouhani prepares to take office".

    Now, read through some of the comments. Guess who decides which three comments are displayed before clicking on the "View all comments" link? Now I'm feeling outraged!

    Bottom, line: Regarding Middle East politics, ignorance is just as bliss whether you live in a trailer park in Kalamazoo or a brownstone in Georgetown.

    1. You have every right to keep away and remain ignorant of the ME turbulent affairs and focus more on your internal affairs. And I would have totally agreed with you had your government NOT meddled in our internal affairs and back up a terrorist group on group on grounds that its representative (former president Morsi) was so called 'democratically' elected! and portraying the Egyptian second wave of its revolution on 30th June 2013 as a military coup. Well, Hitler as well was 'democratically' elected, but that did not stop the USA and its allies from going to war against his atrocities.
      CNN has forged a video to favor Morsi supporters, the rest of the US media is backing up the US Administration in its support of the Terrorist gang known as the Moslem Brotherhood and turning a blind eye towards the massacre against our fellow Christians. So double measures is indeed the issue. IF the USA remained neutral all the above would have made sense Madame/Sir but regretfully it did not. The usual dirty game of politics and mutual interest.

  2. At 1:00pm EDT, CNN usually repeats Zakaria's "GPS". Not today - pre-empted by special coverage of the Zimmerman verdict.

    Amazingly, Fox News is discussing the splitting of the Farm Bill.
    Oops! 1:10 EDT: Fox is now on ...Zimmerman verdict.