Saturday, August 17, 2013

Coptic Christians blamed for violence in Egypt - Fox News

This transcript is automatically generated

Ouster of a Muslim Brotherhood the back of president Mohamed -- things have gone because of -- -- and Jennifer Griffin was reporting.

The American Jewish Committee is calling for the protection of Coptic Christians in Egypt and Jason Isaacson is the director.

A government and international affairs for the American Jewish Committee he joins me now from Washington DC welcome Jason.

Thank you -- As Jennifer was saying that they're out a lot of that violence against the Coptic Christians and she was saying that there is it's actually much worse than the media's reporting is that what your information is as well.

Yeah I've been looking at the media as I'm sure you have as well and there are occasional reports of some facts.

In that community but but nothing that measures up to that the scale of what really is happening and there have been 4050 churches that have been burned down other than cops who have been killed.

Other Coptic institutions charitable organizations schools that have been affected it's people have been marauding the Muslim Brotherhood has been marauding across Egypt and targeting cops.

Is there anything go -- do you mean is there anything that the government is trying to do is there any kind of protection for these -- Coptic Christians in -- You know it's it's been an issue for a long time as as as you know really since the fall of king -- in the early 1950s.

The Egyptian Coptic community has.

Crystal has dwindled.

And has been targeted sporadically over the years there of -- occasional massacres occasional attacks on -- institutions.

We are now calling on the Egyptian government to to step up its efforts to protect their Coptic institutions and cops.

But but but frankly let's point the finger where it belongs which is that the supporters of Mohamed Morsi the Muslim Brotherhood.

That has specifically targeted the cops believes that the cops are somehow behind the the overthrow of -- and and they're making them pay.

How can they be behind it when they are really only 10% or less of a population of Egypt why is it that they target them.

Well you know there's a tradition of scapegoating minority communities something our community certainly knows it's.

It's it's true that in the early months of the of the -- -- regime -- there was some kind of an effort to reach out to the Coptic leadership.

The believe that that there were messages when the new look Coptic Pope was installed the last fall.

Positive messages but in in the succeeding months in the months leading up to the to the ouster.

Just -- -- -- weeks ago.

It was increasingly clear that the Muslim Brotherhood that Mohamed Morsi himself was.

Was was was in favor of efforts to.

-- diminish the role of the Coptic community which is an important minority has long been an important minority economically and and socially within within Egypt how much didn't.

I did have a -- that's -- those -- Coptic Pope.

How much affected that have on the situation when he actually said to his Christians you know go out and give politically involved with a four.

They were not the politically involved or politically active did that as exacerbate the situation.

Well I.

I think if if you're in the Muslim Brotherhood and you're looking for targets and -- looking for minority targets they're in other good candidates but.

But no where -- the prime movers in the effort to turn out tens of millions of egyptians in the streets on June 30 and in the days that followed that.

Were they behind the military's.

Ouster and -- on July 3 no of course not.

There in what is the American Jewish Committee getting involved in this and protecting Christians in Egypt.

We are committed to the notion of religious pluralism were committed to interfaith understanding we're committed to peace we're also.

Pretty much committed to.

The viability of a minority communities in the Arab -- the Christian minorities across the Arab world.

Have had a difficult time in recent decades in Egypt.

It's not just since the fall of Mubarak but before as well that there have been attacks on costs.

We have stood beside that community and other minority communities that have been -- Phishing attack in that part of the world but elsewhere as well.

-- you know hot I asked Jennifer Griffin about the cutting off aid to Egypt because of the -- the about political coup which brought which oust.

Mohamed -- from power but is that a good thing regardless of you know the ramifications for -- economically is it wherever the age wise.

I -- Germany German government just announced it will suspend 25 million euros.

Two to Egypt whether you're quite an environmental protection projects so they're already making a motion to say we're gonna -- some -- at least it's.

Kind of you know it -- kind of motion but would that be a good idea for the US -- moment -- -- I -- -- -- -- I don't.

I don't thinks that the US has suspended the shipment of several fighter jets to the Egyptian military the US has just announced that it says was said earlier.

The the suspension of the latest military exercised -- military exercise between the United States and Egypt next month.

But cutting off the aid would not be a good idea the United States' relationship with -- Egypt is -- fundamental to regional security.

We have a long standing relationship of that country the Suez Canal we have strategic importance of -- the Israeli Egyptian peace treaty.

All are within the national interest of the United States we have to continue that relationship with the most important tradition -- -- -- which is the year which is the military.

How is it how can you protect the Christians when it appears that -- own government their own government is not doing that.

How can the US get involved in the.

It's it's not it's not the US's role to to put boots on the ground in Egypt and protect churches that's the that's the role of the United States to use its political and economic and military.


Two 22 -- Egyptian government to take these steps and also -- point.

It's really important that we point the finger of blame where it belongs which is something government that's behind burning down churches -- the Muslim Brotherhood and -- to be.

I think more.

More -- more more more widely known than it is now.

Is having Mohamed Morsi out of power.

Having -- -- Muslim Brotherhood out of power is that a good thing.

But it's up to the egyptians to decide who runs their government it's not up for us -- for the United States government to do that.

You have to those site that while elected in democratic election.

In the months following his his installation as president of Egypt there were increasing signs of -- that is democratic not moves.


Violating the constitution that -- been that have been put in place.

So it.

Was he a Democrat was -- in favor of stable prosperous.

Modern Egypt you if there's plenty of evidence that in fact he was moving the country in the wrong direction and that the people who turned out in the streets by the tens of millions on June 30 in the most unprecedented outpouring of support.

In that country were perhaps in the run into him in the world to to try to change -- government.

They've got to be listened to it wasn't the military that started this it was -- people themselves Derosa now let me just say one more -- -- The violence that's taken place.

Is it is is terrific.

It's it's not.

No one can stand.

-- and and and not say a word of condemnation about the the the terrible -- killing of of of civilians but at the same time.

It is the Muslim Brotherhood that has tried to disrupt life in -- that is.

Some chaos in Egypt that has attacked institutions.

Not just Coptic institutions -- public institutions the library at Alexandria.

And has refused to take part in a political process.

And -- and the only way forward is for them to change that course and to be part of the political process that will restore some sort of path to democracy in -- of.

Yeah yeah unfortunately we know fortunately when you talk about democracy but -- it was a good democratic vote that brought more seem to power so.

It's -- democratic -- that brought him into power but he quickly.

Said about the process of -- Deconstructing the that very Democrat democracy that it put him in place.

You know what that reminds me of the Nazi party they've got -- -- -- 39% of the vote and look what happened.

This happens so it it does happen all right thank you very much Jason.

Regular Isaacson who is -- with the -- director of government -- international affairs for the American Jewish Committee thank you so much for being here.
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