Christians face discrimination in many places in the Muslim world, including in Egypt, however it certainly doesn’t help when Fox News, a bastion of Right-Wing fundamentalism (of both the political and religious variety) pushes misleading stories.
In an article published on March 26, 2013, Fox News ran a story on its main page with the inflammatory title, “Egyptian mosque turned into house of torture for Christians after Muslim Brotherhood protest.” The headline paragraph read,
Islamic hard-liners stormed a mosque in suburban Cairo, turning it into torture chamber for Christians who had been demonstrating against the ruling Muslim Brotherhood in the latest case of violent persecution that experts fear will only get worse.
As you can see there is a fair bit of editorializing. Fox contradicts their own narration that this was an “Islamic hard-liners vs. Christians” demonstration,
Demonstrators, some of whom were Muslim, say they were taken from the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in suburban Cairo to a nearby mosque on Friday and tortured for hours by hard-line militia members.
Is this “militia” to go unnamed?
In fact the conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and anti-Muslim Brotherhood groups clearly transcends the sectarian divide. For months there have been tensions in Egypt between the ruling party and opponents, sometimes spilling into violence; Brotherhood offices have been torched and ransacked while opponents of Morsi have been killed in clashes, jailed and have had peaceful protests disrupted.
Of course, Fox News is trying to fire-up another Randolph Linn and hence any of the complexities and nuance of the situation will be glossed over and left out of the context; we know that Islamophobia is a central position at Fox, being an integral part of Roger Ailes‘ strategy.
A more sober report by Ahram Online on the incident gives us a realistic picture, leaving out the false reporting about the protest as a “Christians vs. Muslims” conflagration:
The board of directors of a community-funded religious centre in Cairo’s Moqattam district – located near the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters – issued a statement on Monday confirming that “members of the Islamist current” had taken control of the mosque during Friday’s bloody clashes between protesters and Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
Anti-Brotherhood protesters had accused Brotherhood members and supporters of holding and torturing their opponents inside the mosque during street battles.
The Belal Ibn Rabbah Mosque lies in the Nafoura square where scuffles broke out between both groups on Friday.
Media reports in the past 72 hours had cited witnesses, some of whom said they are Moqattam residents, who claimed to have been brutally tortured at the hands of Brotherhood members inside the mosque on the day of the clashes.
The statement issued by the mosque’s board of directors is the first document to corroborate claims made by anti-Brotherhood protesters that supporters of the ruling Islamist group had occupied the mosque.
Muslim Brotherhood Secretary-General Mahmoud Hussein had accused protesters of breaking into mosques following Friday’s clashes.
The centre stated that it had filed an official legal complaint about the incident.
Egypt’s prosecution-general, meanwhile, has subpoenaed on Monday several political activists accused of “inciting and committing violence against the Brotherhood’s headquarters and group members.”
Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdullah ordered the subpoenas based on a complaint filed by Brotherhood lawyer Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maksoud on Monday morning against 169 individuals – including opposition figures and “thugs” – accused of of instigating attacks on the Islamist group’s headquarters.
If Fox News was trying to feed its base’s “Christian persecution complex” they succeeded as the comments were, as you would expect, extremely anti-Muslim, verging at times on the genocidal.
Mick Wagner talks about burning the mosque down and sonarguy thinks Islam should be erased from the earth:
Scott Willis links it back to the USA:
brunsk42 brings Obama into it:
Some want to nuke the Egyptians, like totalpeon doing his best impersonation of Eric Allen Bell:
This is only a representative sampling of the 160 or so comments on the Fox article which was predictably and faithfully reproduced by the looniverse.
Such media malfeasance at Fox is nothing new or surprising and just highlights how easy it is in our present climate to get away with bashing Muslims and Islam.