Coptic Christians Rally at White House to Protest Obama's Egypt Policies

By Dennis M. Crowley | August 22, 2013 | 4:52 PM EDT

Coptic Christians protest at White House over what they say is U.S. support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt . (AP photo)

( - Hundreds of demonstrators from Coptic churches around the nation joined with Egyptian-Americans for a vocal, but peaceful rally Thursday afternoon in front of the White House.

The demonstrators carried Egyptian flags and signs that said: "You can burn down our churches, but you can never touch our faith." Other signs proclaimed: "Let the Egyptian people choose their own future."

"The people are here because they feel that our U.S. administration has been taking the side of the Muslim Brotherhood, who has been burning churches in Egypt and attacking public institutions, police stations, and brutally killing people," said Magid Riad, an attorney from New York and legal counselor for the Coptic Church in the United States.

“We feel that our government in the United States should not be supporting this terrorist organization,” Riad, the main organizer of the rally, told

Wagdi Anton, who was born in Egypt and is now living in Cleveland, Ohio, attended the rally carrying an Egyptian flag.

"The Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization killing people, burning churches. The media here are not displaying the real story. Civilians are being killed, churches are being burned, and government buildings, schools and orphanages are being destroyed," he told, adding, "The people who voted for Morsi, don't want him anymore and that is their right."

Violet Heness came to Washington to attend the rally from her hometown of Drexel Hill, Penn. "Christians and Muslims are gathered together to tell the president to stop supporting the organization responsible for burning over 80 churches. American money should not be going to people killing both Muslims and Christians," she said.

The demonstrators marched several blocks to the Washington Post and CNN’s Washington bureau to protest their lack of coverage of the violence directed against Egypt’s Coptic population.

Several marchers carried large bullhorns. "We support the Egyptian Army," they proclaimed. Demonstrators called the Egyptian military "heroic" and said it is protecting innocent people in Egypt against attacks by terrorists.

"Some of the American media give the impression that this is like a military revolution in Egypt. It is not like that at all. It is the people themselves who wanted change in the existing government," said Father Mikhail Mikhail, the senior pastor of St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Seven Hills, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.

"We need people in the United States to understand that the Egyptian people must decide their own will...nobody should interfere in that business," Fr. Mikhail added.

After marching to the offices of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) – which the demonstrators referred to as "The Embassy of the Muslim Brotherhood" – the rally concluded at the office of the Egyptian military attache.

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