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An Egyptian Christian human rights activist is so fed up with the American government assisting the Muslim Brotherhood that he believes the U.S. ambassador should be recalled.
As demonstrators hit the streets of Cairo to protest against Egyptian president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi, Coptic Christian activist and writer Wagih Yacoub is calling for the removal of Ambassador Anne Patterson.
“We absolutely object to the American intervention in our country and we demand the withdrawal, the American government to withdraw the ambassador – the ambassador from our country,” Yacoub said. “She is interfering badly. They are supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. They are supporting terrorists to take over the country to protest the American interests.
“They are working on this. She goes and has dealings with the Interior Minister. I mean come on, the Egyptian ambassador wouldn’t go and have meetings with the police forces in America,” Yacoub said.
He said the ambassador has legitimate reason for talking to the president, “but she has no right to interfere.”
He insists the U.S. government should stay out of Egyptian affairs entirely.
“We love the American people, and we love the American way of life, but we don’t like someone to interfere in our home,” Yacoub said.
On Sunday, thousands of Egyptians are again planning to demonstrate against the Muslim Brotherhood government that Yacoub says is supported by the U. S.
The Coptic Christians of Egypt will definitely be a part of the protests, he said.
“Obviously we agree with the demonstrations. Nothing has improved since Morsi came to power,” Yacoub said. “We see that our country is in real danger and all Egyptians are going out. We are Christians, Muslims, nonbelievers. Everyone is going out.”
International Christian Concern’s new Middle East analyst, Todd Daniels, confirms Yacoub’s statements.
“From talking to some of our contacts on the ground in Egypt there are a large number of Christians who are planning to take part in the demonstrations. One of them said just today that there are some small protests planned for Friday,” Daniels said.
Yacoub says he’s not concerned about a Muslim Brotherhood backlash if Christians are involved.
“They’re trying to push us to sectarian violence, so they try to mention that only Christians are going (to the protests). Everyone is going,” Yacoub said.
Yacoub said the Brotherhood’s intentions are clear, since it is saying only Christians are protesting.
“Why are they saying it’s only the Christians unless they want to play against the Copts. It’s the Copts and they’re trying to prey on them. They want to set up fire against the Christians, and I’m expecting attacks on the churches and Copts,” Yacoub said.
However, Daniels added that an Egyptian Christian in Cairo is forecasting that the demonstrations may be more than just protests.
“The real thing, what will be almost a revolution, will be on Sunday,” Daniels said, quoting the Coptic Christian.
Yacoub said that the eight-hour April attack on the Copts’ St. Mark’s Cathedral is an example of the harsh treatment Christians have received under Morsi.
“I have to mention the attack on one of our cathedrals. Nothing like that has happened in centuries. The attack continued for over eight hours. The president delayed and called our pope after four hours and then the attack continued for four more hours. [The attacks] were sponsored by the Interior minister.”
Daniels believes that Egypt’s secular Arabs, too, question whether Morsi is fit for office. He was installed after the West-friendly Hosni Mubarak was forced out, at President Obama’s urging.
“The opposition groups which are coming from more secular minded Egyptians as well as the minority communities are calling into question if President Morsi even retains the legitimacy to stay in office,” Daniels said. “The majority of his opponents seem ready to say no, and want to see him leave office.
Daniels believes that much of the pre-election posturing by the strongly Islamic groups was false. He added that Christians have paid a price.
“Christians have seen their rights trampled on since Morsi took office. They have been repeatedly targeted in trumped up denigration of religion or blasphemy cases. This has become nearly systemic legal persecution of Christians,” Daniels said.
Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra agrees and believes the Christians are just expressing their frustration.
“The Christians have been marginalized even more by President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in the last year,” Dykstra said.
Dykstra added that the Christians want to see change – again.
“The Christians obviously would like to see another election. Believers are wary over the future with the little freedoms they have being eroded even more by the Muslim extremists, who might set up Shariah law. Many are fleeing the country,” Dykstra said.
Daniels added that many Christians in Egypt were misled before the election.
“The idea that many espoused prior to the election of Morsi that by allowing Islamists to participate in the political process would force them to moderate seems to have been false. The society is becoming increasingly radicalized,” Daniels said.
Daniels said that one reason secular Arabs are protesting is that Egypt’s entire government is the work of a small, but radical, minority.
“The constitution that was enacted under Morsi was written after the few Christians and liberals who were part of the writing process had been forced out,” he said. “That this is happening at the same time as aid [is] being distributed to Egypt and the Human Rights stipulations (H.R. 416 Egyptian Accountability and Democracy Promotion Act) are being waived raises serious concerns.”
However, Dykstra believes it’s in everyone’s interest for a peaceful outcome.
“They want a peaceful protest on Sunday. The military is sending troops to the larger cities already in anticipation of violence this weekend – hopefully to protect the protesters from harm,” Dykstra said.