News / Middle East

    Angry Egypt Protesters Tear Down US Embassy Flag

    Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo, September 11, 2012.Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo, September 11, 2012.
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    Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo, September 11, 2012.
    Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo, September 11, 2012.
    Elizabeth Arrott
    Protesters angry over what they believed was an insult to Islam breached a wall of the U.S. embassy Tuesday, pulling down the American flag and raising Islamic banners in its place.

    The protest began peacefully outside the embassy walls, with demonstrators shouting chants against a video they said was financed by Coptic Christians in the United States that insulted the Prophet Mohammed.

    But a handful of the demonstrators managed to jump over the embassy compound walls, tearing down the U.S. flag and raising black flags printed with Islamic religious inscriptions.

    An official at the embassy said that contrary to a report in the Egyptian media, no guns were drawn and no shots fired during the incident. He said everyone is the compound was safe, and that most employees had left for the day before the protest began. No injuries were reported among the demonstrators.

    Many of those in the crowd were Salafis, members of an ultra-conservative strain of Islam.  Also on hand were hard-core football fans, known as Ultras, who were involved in the political protests that brought down the former government.

    According to the demonstrators the video that angered them was scheduled to be aired on Tuesday, the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.  In Egypt, where about 10 percent of the population is Coptic, church leaders condemned the film.  The U.S. embassy also issued a statement, rejecting actions that “abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

    Protesters have attacked several foreign missions in Cairo over the past year, including the embassies of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Germany for a variety of reasons.  Despite the incidents, security has been lightened in the Garden City neighborhood where the U.S. and other embassies are located, with long-standing checkpoints dismantled.

    Anti-American sentiment has been on the rise since last year's revolution, while perceived insults to the Prophet Mohamed have sparked demonstrations across the region over the last several years.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    September 12, 2012 12:02 PM
    If the so-called anti-blasphemy laws are not abrogated or legislated against worldwide, freedom of religion and human rights of people will never be respected. No religion should superimpose itself against others. Everyone has right to his religion as well as the right to show what's wrong in the other religion(s). In the absence of this, people will be locked in darkness for ages which lopsided education in the islamic countries cannot dislodge. When is the world ever going to be free from the threat that islam poses? Who is going to be the voice of oppressed peoples of the world to speak out against this crime against humanity? An anti-people religion that pins out a people for hate is a crime against humanity. The solution to this problem is to make more prints of the Satanic Verses, the cartoons and lately this beautiful film so that there be total unrest in satan's enclave daily until all his children are tired and hands-down.

    by: Wayne from: Kansas City
    September 11, 2012 6:59 PM
    So what's the name of the film so I can exercise my freedom to decide for myself?

    by: Greg from: Tulsa
    September 11, 2012 6:44 PM
    I am not sure about this but I thought that land attached to an embassy was US soil. IF that really is true then this was another attack on Americans.....Naturally we won't do anything becasuse that would not be PC. Come on liberals I KNOW you are just dying to comment, not serve our country in any meaningful way, but you will comment....

    by: clarke from: Texas
    September 11, 2012 6:19 PM
    They dont seem very consirned about our Christian beliefs. They also "attacked" an American instalation and destroyed an American Flag... Not a window or a water fountain, a flag. Im not sure of what the legal stance of a flag is, but I know it was the 1st thing we did when we got to the Moon, and its been a major symbol in human history for every civilization. To desicrate that on any day, with any flag is unacceptable. To do it to an American flag on 9/11 is a clear indication that we will never get along. I have nothing more to give, and will not waste another second trying to help or listening to anyone trying to help with all the issues in the Middle East.

    by: martha d hadaway from: myrtle beach, sc
    September 11, 2012 5:49 PM
    Why do we give aid to these countries they hate us and take our money. Why were they allowed to scale the wall in the first place!!

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