Coptic Christians March on Washington: 'We Support the Egyptian Army'

Dennis M. Crowley | August 22, 2013 | 4:55pm EDT
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Protesters demonstrate their support for the Egyptian Army at a rally that began outside the White House (

( - Hundreds of Coptic Christian and Egyptian Americans rallied outside the White House today to express their support for the Egyptian army in its effort to protect people in Egypt from Muslim Brotherhood.

The protestors carried Egyptian flags and signs that read: "We support the Egyptian army," "You can burn down our churches but you can never touch our faith," and "Let the Egyptian people choose their own future."

The demonstrators called on the Obama administration to follow the lead of the Egyptian Army, who they claim is defending both Christians and Muslims from terrorists.

"The people are here, because they feel that our U.S. administration has been taking the side of the Muslim Brotherhood, who has been burning churches in Egypt and attacking public institutions, police stations and brutally killing people," said Magid Riad, an attorney from New York and legal counselor for the Coptic Church in the United States.

Riad, the main organizer of the rally, told, "We feel that our government in the United States should not be supporting this terrorist organization."

Wagdi Anton was born in Egypt, and is now living in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended the rally carrying an Egyptian flag.

“The Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization killing people, burning churches. The media here are not displaying the real story. Civilians are being killed. Churches are being burned, and government buildings, schools and orphanages are being destroyed," he told

"The people who voted for Morsi, don't want him anymore and that is their right," Anton added.

Violet Heness came to Washington from her hometown of Drexel Hill, Pa.

"Christians and Muslims are gathered together to tell the president to stop supporting the organization responsible for burning over 80 churches. American money should not be going to people killing both Muslims and Christians."

The demonstrators then marched several blocks to the office of the Washington Post and then to the Washington news bureau of CNN. Many of those taking part say some elements of the American news media are not reporting the truth.

"Some of the American media give the impression that this is like a military-revolution in Egypt. It is not like that at all. It is the people themselves who wanted change in the existing government," said Father Mikhail Mikhail, senior pastor of St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Seven Hills, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.

“We need people in the United States to understand that the Egyptian people must decide their own will...nobody should interfere in that business," Mikhail added.

The demonstrators then marched to the offices of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). The demonstrators call this group "The Embassy of the Muslim Brotherhood." The march concluded at the office of the Egyptian military attache.

Throughout the demonstration, several marchers carried large bullhorns to proclaim: "We support the Egyptian Army."

The demonstrators called the Egyptian-military "heroic" and said it was protecting innocent people in Egypt against terrorism.

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