(Update: Adds comment from CAIR)
(CNSNews.com) – Coptic Christians and other Egyptian-Americans plan a rally in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to highlight what they say is a pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias by the Obama administration and “certain American media.”
They also have the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) in their sights. CAIR calls itself “the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization,” but as far as the rally organizers are concerned, the group acts as the “embassy” for the Muslim Brotherhood.
Coptic Solidarity, East Coast Coptic churches and others involved in the event said participants would convene near the White House late morning, later move to the DC offices of the Washington Post about half a mile to the north, and then to the offices of CNN in northeast DC.
“The objective is to expose and denounce the terrorist acts by the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies, and to expose the bias of the Obama administration and certain American media towards the Brotherhood,” they said in a statement.
The demonstration will then head for “to the headquarters of the Islamic organization CAIR, which acts as the ‘embassy’ of the Brotherhood’s International organization in Washington,” it said.
Finally the rally intends to move to the Egyptian Defense Office, near George Washington University, “to show support for the Egyptian army in its role, mandated by the Egyptian people, who came out in millions, against the Brotherhood’s terror.”
Buses are being arranged to bring protestors from as far afield as New England and South Carolina.
Amid mass protests against the Muslim Brotherhood administration, the Egyptian military ousted President Mohammed Morsi on July 3 and installed an interim government. Six weeks later, it moved on August 14 against two large pro-Morsi protest camps whose occupants had refused orders to leave, and hundreds of people were killed in clashes.
Islamist attacks against churches and other Christian targets had already been steadily escalating since the military takeover, but on August 14 and the ensuing days they came under sustained attack across Egypt.
Human Rights Watch reported on Wednesday that although some Muslim Brotherhood figures spoke out against the anti-Christian violence, others had incited it.
It noted an Aug. 14 entry on the Facebook site of a branch of the Brotherhood’s “Freedom and Justice Party,” accusing Coptic Pope Tawadros of participating in the ousting of Morsi and of inciting Copts to storm mosques.
The Facebook message ended with the words, “For every action there is a reaction.”
“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,” the organizers of Thursday’s DC rally said in the statement.
“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,” it said.
U.S. Copts Association president Michael Meunier, not one of the organizers but supportive of the event, explained the focus on the media organizations.
“There has been lots of misreporting by western media such as CNN that chose to report on the Muslim Brotherhood but refused to report on the close to 80 churches and 250 properties destroyed by the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said late Wednesday night.
“There is a push in the west to turn the killers into victims by showing the MB as the victims and ignoring their use of violence as soon as they knew Morsi is not coming back,” Meunier said.
During recent weeks, CAIR has urged the administration to forcefully condemn and respond to the killing of Muslim Brotherhood and other pro-Morsi Egyptians during clashes with the armed forces, describing the protestors as “pro-democracy demonstrators.”
CAIR also called on the president to leverage U.S. aid to the Egyptian military “to push for a return to democracy.”
“President Obama should follow existing law by ending the flow of American taxpayer funds to Egypt's military, which is using brute force to impose its will without regard to the results of the first free elections in that nation's history,” it said on Aug. 14.
CAIR in the same statement also condemned “the reported attacks on Christian properties in Egypt.”
“We welcome their participation in political discourse,” CAIR national communications director Ibrahim Hooper said Thursday in response to queries about the march and organizers' insinuation of its close links to the Brotherhood.
“We just wish they had their facts straight,” he added. “The Muslim Brotherhood has as much influence over CAIR as Pluto has over the weather on Earth.”
M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder and president of the non-profit American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), has described CAIR as a “Muslim Brotherhood legacy group.”
In 2007 CAIR appeared on a Justice Department list of “unindicted co-conspirators” in the department’s case against the Holy Land Foundation in Texas, whose leaders were convicted the following year of raising money for the terrorist group Hamas – the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian offshoot.
CAIR describes itself as “America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization,” and says its “mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”