Letter from Cairo: Most Egyptians have been shocked by the biased and subjective coverage of their struggles by the international press

My dear friends all over the world, I would like to thank you for your heartfelt messages and for showing genuine concern for our safety. I would like to tell you that my family and I are all fine. The reason I am writing you this e-mail is to provide you with an alternative point of view to the events taking place in Egypt.  Most Egyptians have been shocked by the shameful, biased and subjective coverage by the international press, that I feel the need to clarify some of the egregious misconceptions about the recent events in Egypt.   Clearly, this is a polarizing and sensitive subject so, at the risk of sounding biased, I will only attempt to provide you with my point of view and try to be as objective as possible.

As you may know, it all started with more then 25 million Egyptians from all walks of life taking to the streets against the Muslim Brotherhood (MB regime) for many reasons. The MB disregarded every democratic principle and used their positions in elected office only to consolidate their power and actively marginalize all other opposition groups.  They committed horrible atrocities during their time in office, including attacking, kidnapping, and torturing those who opposed them.  They dragged the country into economic distress and sent the country into a dangerous spiral, failing to provide the basic needs for most citizens. They also polarized the once-united people of this country and drove them to sectarian violence, thereby compromising the social fabric that has coexisted for ages in Egypt.  Their leadership actively incited violence against minorities and perpetuated hate speech against Christians in Egypt.  These are just a few of the reasons that have contributed to the mounting anger at the MB leading up to the June 30 demonstrations asking for Morsi to step down.
Post June 30, 2013 the MB held rallies leading to the two sit-ins in major squares in Cairo, bringing traffic and the daily activities in and around those areas to a complete standstill. What the foreign media and most of the Foreign Governments have deliberately kept from the western public is the fact that the sit-ins were far from peaceful.  Rather, these sit-ins were the breeding ground for thousands of MB-sponsored terrorists who repeatedly called for Jihad against the state and explicitly declared on television their intentions to resort to violence and seek martyrdom if their demands of reinstating Morsi to power are not met.  MB leadership were caught on camera saying that the terrorist insurgency in Sinai, which had been ongoing for a few weeks, would stop only when their demands are met.  Eyewitness reports and media outlets also documented the presence of large amounts of ammunition and heavy weaponry inside the sit-ins.  More alarmingly, Amnesty International found disturbing evidence that MB supporters have tortured many opponents in the vicinity of the sit-ins – some were tortured to death (see http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/egypt-evidence-points-torture-carried-out-morsi-supporters-2013-08-02).  
Security forces have warned the MB publicly on more than one occasion to dispose of their weapons and to refrain from any violence, but all calls were in vain. The interim government went the extra mile and allowed senior US, EU, and African government officials access to the deposed president despite official charges being pressed against him. Those visits were intended to try and reach a compromise that would end the sit-ins peacefully and without any bloodshed but, again, all in vain.  The interim government and the army repeatedly invited the MB leadership to participate in the national dialogue for transition, but they ignored all such calls and, instead, chose to continue their escalation against the state and the citizens of Egypt.
After more than a month of enduring the atrocities and violence emanating from the MB sit-ins, the Egyptian people had enough.  On July 26, Egyptians went out en masse (accounts of more than 30 million Egyptians took to the streets that day) to demand that the military confront these ruthless acts and threats by the MB. 

Having exhausted all attempts for dialogue, the government was left with no options but to disperse these sit-ins to protect the lives of Egyptian citizens and preserve national security.  No democracy in the world would have allowed an armed and actively hostile protest to continue in the middle of its capital for more than a month without taking action.  

Yet, Egyptians witnessed with great disappointment a flawed and obscenely biased coverage by the likes of CNN and other international networks portraying the events as a brutal police force attacking what they insist on labeling as a peaceful sit-in.

I would like to clarify the following:

1. The security forces gave several warnings to the demonstrators that they should evacuate the site peacefully and preserve human life. , but they refused to move.

2. Instead, the demonstrators started shooting live ammunition and launched a series of coordinated attacks against the police leading to the death of more than 73 police officers and injury of many more.

3. The police did not resort to violence until it was necessary to protect themselves and was clear that the MB have turned the confrontation into an all-out battle.

4. When the police was able to reach the sit-in sites, they found a disturbing amount of weapons and ammunition, which was all covered on national television on air and in real-time.

5. The MB started to kill dozens of Christians and burned more than a dozen churches simultaneous to the dismantling of the sit-ins. By now, and since August 14th, there has been more than 50 churches and monasteries (some of those churches are acclaimed national heritage dating back to the 4th century ) that were burned down by MB supporters around the country.

6. Since the breakup of their sit-ins, the MB have been attacking and burning police stations, hospitals, government buildings, schools, and any individual demonstrating signs of support for the army, which has resulted in the death and injury of tens, if not hundreds, of Egyptians all around the country.

7. On Friday, MB protestors were seen on live television raising Al-Qaeda flags along with their machine guns as they marched in the streets of Cairo shooting live bullets at residents of downtown Cairo and burning a number of buildings, causing mass terror and destruction. In addition, the MB supporters were harassing the nuns as per below:
"Islamist mob parades nuns in Cairo as prisoners of war http://t.co/revzw731TJ #Egypt "

8. On Saturday, MB protestors were also seen on live television shooting their machine guns from the tower of a mosque in which they were holding another sit-in in Ramsis Square, near downtown Cairo.

9. On Sunday, 24 unarmed soldiers returning from their home leave to their base in Sinai were pulled out of a bus and executed with close-range shots to their heads and left to bleed on the side of the road.

10. I have decided not to include in this email links to the images and footage of the atrocities committed by the MB due to their graphic and disturbing nature.  However, if you are interested to see the evidence for yourself, please let me know and I would be happy to send them to you.
Simply put, the MB is a terrorist organization that has been holding the country hostage for a month and the continuation of its hostilities from the sites of these sit-ins was posing serious threats to Egypt and the whole world.  Portraying the MB as peaceful activists who are only seeking democracy in the face of a brutal state is utterly untrue.

There is no doubt that there are many supporters of the MB and others who were at the protest sites who were in fact peaceful demonstrators who were there in support of a cause. Many of them lost their lives during the clashes too.  The loss of human life on such a large scale is tragic.  While we mourn for these innocent Egyptians, we cannot forget that it was the MB who put their lives at such risk when they decided to take up arms against the state and against their fellow citizens.  
After supporting the MB in previous elections and giving them the benefit of the doubt, the majority of Egyptians have discovered the true nature of the MB and have grown to reject this terrorist group.  As a country, we are now engaged in true war against terrorism with all what that entails.  We all understand that to combat domestic terrorism, there is a hefty cost to be borne by the great Egyptian people.   Mistakes have been and will be made along the way – it is unrealistic to expect otherwise in such a complex war against an organized militia whose intent is to exact nationwide destruction and they have proven their capacity for it.  However, we have faith in our army and our police and we support them as they undertake this challenging war to protect Egypt and its citizens.  
We must focus on how we can rebuild our country and how we can redirect it towards the democratic transition that millions of Egyptians have been fighting for since January 25, 2011.  It is essential that we hold elections as soon as possible so we can move forward on the roadmap towards a truly democratic state.  We want to take control over our fate alone, without unwanted international interference.  We must rise to the challenge to answer the aspirations of our people to live in freedom and dignity.  These maybe dark times but I am confident that Egypt will recover.

I apologize for the long email but I just wanted to explain the situation here to all of you and convey to you a message that I am not seeing in the international media.  I thank you once again for your thoughts and your concern, and I appreciate you taking the time to read this.  

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commented 2013-08-26 07:10:51 -0400 · Flag
Jim writes:

Fascinating and tragic. I wonder how long before similar emails originate from the USA to concerned loved-ones oversees. I picture of our future perhaps.
commented 2013-08-25 10:38:43 -0400 · Flag
Ben writes:

Note the frustration about the coverage by the Western media because of our “political correctness” when it comes to Muslim Brotherhood. In addition, the big issue we are making about the annual $1.3 billion of military aid (most of which comes back to USA as explained below). We (USA) are loosing our influence there while Saudi Arabia. Kuwait, Jordon, United Arab Emirates and Israel are in full support of what is happening in Egypt while our Administration cannot make up its mind.

My prediction:
1. Within a few months (less than 5), the Military will have control of Egypt and the cities will be somewhat peaceful.
2. Within 2 years, there will be a democratic constitution in Egypt.
3. Shortly after that, there will be an election of a parliament followed by election of a president.
commented 2013-08-25 10:36:49 -0400 · Flag
Barbara and Tom write:

I have to say that looking at the Press coverage (CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera English) makes me feel as if I am living in a parallel universe!! It is totally amazing to have to say that the most accurate and unbiased reports I am seeing in the United States and world press is actually coming from Fox News!!!!!!!

There are demonstrations by the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in different parts of the city and in other cities throughout Egypt. Some of these are violent with demonstrators attacking and looting churches, Christian shops and homes, museums, police stations and government buildings. These often happen after curfew to challenge the government and security forces and under cover of darkness. The protestors are armed with weapons said to have come from Libya and Syria and the Brotherhood have had militia training for months to confront anyone perceived to be against them.

The President pro tem and the interim government have a very tough road ahead to get the economy back on track. One year of the MB led government was disastrous to an economy already reeling after the 25th January Revolution. Saudi Arabia, to counter the support given to the MB by Qatar, have pledged billions in aid and have announced they will fill any gaps in aid rescinded by the US and European Union.

A vast majority of Egyptians want the US to keep their aid and stop interfering with Egyptian internal matters. Russia and China are looking on with great interest. Bases on the Red Sea and the Mediterranean are prime real estate to dream of!

Keep Egypt in your prayers and hope that the bloodshed of the past few weeks will not continue. The Muslim Brotherhood has to accept the will of the vast majority of Egyptians and come to the table as PEACEFUL participants in any future government. They refuse to see the writing on the wall as do most radical religious groups.