Western media coverage of the recent massacre of Coptic Christians in Cairo, Egypt—in which the military killed dozens of Christians and injured some 300—was, as discussed earlier, deplorable. It merely repeated the false propaganda of the complicit state-run media, without checking facts. Since then, further proofs of the lies and brutality surrounding the massacre have emerged; they are compiled in the following report which consists of documented facts and videos from Arabic sources—many of which have not appeared in the Western media.
This report documents: 1) the activities of the Supreme Military Council of Egypt and its de facto ruler; 2) the lies and duplicitous tactics of both the Military Council and its media mouthpiece, Egyptian TV; and 3) the anti-Christian sentiment pervading all aspects of this incident.
The Egyptian Military
Armored vehicles intentionally chased after and ran over protesters, killing and mutilating many:
- Here is perhaps the clearest video; it shows a high-speed armored vehicle willfully plowing over unsuspecting Christian demonstrators.
- This video shows another armored vehicle chasing protesters, and a soldier opening fire into the fleeing crowds.
- This video shows high-speed armored cars running amok in the middle of the crowds, including chasing protesters on the curb, as well as soldiers beating protesters.
- A new report by Magdi Khalil asserts that the day before the planned march, a "death squad" of snipers hid atop buildings and shot at protesters.
- As for eyewitness testimonies attesting to the brutality of the massacre, they are many, and include Muslims.
The Tactics of the Military Council ( or "War is Deceit")
Notwithstanding crushing evidence, after the incident Egypt's Military Council held a news conference wherein senior official, Mahmoud Hegazy, spun lie after lie: he stated that the military would "never, never" run over civilians; that the very idea was "impossible, impossible!" and "Shame on those who accuse the Egyptian military of such things!... Never has our military run over a single person, not even when combating the Enemy [Israel]."
Hegazy portrayed the Christian protesters as the aggressors, attacking and killing "honorable" soldiers. To prove his point, he showed an image of a protester on top of a stalled armored vehicle, throwing a rock at the soldier inside, and a video of a military vehicle—that he claimed had been hijacked by a protester—driving wildly into the crowd.
What Hegazy failed to disclose, however, is that the "hijacked" vehicle running amok, and the one stalled and attacked by a protester, were one and the same vehicle: Al Dalil revealed that both vehicles had the same identification number. In other words, when the vehicle in which a soldier was chasing and running over protesters finally stalled, the protesters then attacked it. Egypt's leaders willfully manipulated the footage to exonerate themselves and portray the Copts as violent aggressors.
Several eye-witnesses, including Muslims, further stated that, to hide the "evidence," they saw soldiers hurling the mutilated bodies of those run over into the nearby Nile River. Likewise, among the slain, a dead Muslim soldier, whom the military said was killed by protesters, was actually killed by friendly-fire—although there are indications that he may have died elsewhere, and his corpse thrown among the dead for show.
As Copts have long suspected, the "thugs" (al-baltagiyya) who always appear in protests attacking Christians seem to be men whom the military uses to create an excuse to open fire and exercise brutality: Muslim eyewitnesses say they saw the thugs coming with State Security: Al Dalil showed a video clip of a soldier exposed dressed as a civilian, interspersed among Coptic protesters, and another video showing the thugs cooperating with the military.
This video might offer the greatest proof: Days before the massacre, when Copts were protesting the destruction of their latest church, around 20 Egyptian soldiers and security personnel captured a protester and mercilessly beat him (while calling him an "infidel," to put the beating in context). Mixed among the military (camouflage uniforms) and security (black uniforms) is what appears to be a plainclothes civilian, who proceeds to stab the Christian protestor in the head with a knife several times; the victim later received 20 stitches. The plainclothesman is most likely a member of the military or security, dressed as a civilian for stealth purposes, otherwise he would not have been able to move among them so casually.
The Role of the Egyptian State Media (or "War is Deceit")
"Egyptian TV"—demonstrating, unsurprisingly, that state-run media always serve dictatorial regimes—merely propagated the lies of the Military Council.
Even as armored vehicles were mowing down Christian protesters, Egyptian TV broadcast footage of reporters saying, "Help, the Copts are killing our heroic, patriotic soldiers and burning Qurans!" One segment on Egyptian TV had an outraged reporter condemning Christians—"as if they were the Israeli enemy"—for killing "our noble protectors [soldiers], who never once fired a single shot." As a result, many Muslims took to the streets brutally attacking Christians and their property.
Egyptian TV also lied by saying three soldiers died at the hands of Copts; officials at the TV station later confessed to making it up. That, however, did not stop a barrage of op-eds in Egypt blaming the Christians for their own massacre.
Due to Egyptian TV's misinformation, several Egyptian reporters unequivocally condemned it. Anchorwoman Dina Rasmi said: "I am ashamed that I work at this despicable TV channel… Egyptian TV was effectively calling for civil war between Muslims and Christians… Egyptian TV has proven that it is a slave to those who rule." Another news anchor, Mahmoud Yousif, announced that he "washes his hands of what Egyptian TV is broadcasting."
Although it should be clear that anti-Christian sentiment fueled this latest Muslim slaughter of Christian minorities, a few specifics follow:
- Soldiers screamed "Allahu Akbar!"["Allah is Greater!," the Islamist war cry], and cursed "Infidels!" as they approached and attacked the protesters—which of course is not so out of the ordinary when one considers that, even in olden times and in movies, the Egyptian military was called the Jihadiyya [the organization that wages holy war].
- A video of a soldier boasting that he shot a Christian in the chest is greeted by the crowd around him with "Allahu Akbar!"
- After the incident, Dr. Hind Hanafi, president of the University of Cairo, recommended separating the wounded Christians from the wounded Muslims admitted into the hospital, thereby institutionalizing religious discrimination, even in hospitals.
A massacre at this level never occurred during the thirty-year reign of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, and yet Mubarak is being charged with "crimes against Egyptians." What about the Military Council? It has committed greater crimes—even though it has been in charge for less than a year. Saddam Hussein was condemned by the international community for using chemicals on his own people; where are the international community, the media, and the so-called human rights groups when it comes to a government running over its own civilians with tanks and having "death squads" of snipers shooting at them?
Finally, if this report testifies to crimes against humanity, consider what it says about diplomacy: If Egyptian leadership lies and deceives to suppress its own "infidel" citizens—whose "crime" was to object to the continual destruction of their churches—how credible can it be to the outside "infidels," Israel and the U.S.?
Raymond Ibrahim, a Middle East and Islam specialist, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.