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Cairo US Embassy scaled…over a film…not shown yet!

11 Sep

Three different reports on same subject…who is the most biased? Notice the State Dept. response and how it was reported.

Cairo protesters scale U.S. Embassy wall, remove flag

Mohammed Abu Zaid, AP Egyptian demonstrators climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo today and pulled down the American flag to protest a film they say is insulting to the prophet Mohammad.

Update at 2:07 p.m. ET: CNN reports that U.S. security guards fired a volley of warning shots as the crowd gathered outside the embassy walls.

CNN adds that the embassy had been expecting a demonstration and cleared all diplomatic personnel earlier from the facility.

Original post: The Associated Press reports that embassy officials say there was no staff inside at the time.

Reuters reports that protesters tried to raise a black flag carrying the slogan: “There is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger.”

The news agency says about 2,000 protesters have gathered outside the embassy and about 20 have scaled the walls.

The AP says the protesters were largely ultra-conservative Islamists.

Iran’s FARS news agency says the film is the work of a group of “extremist” members of the Egyptian Coptic Church in the United States.

Al Ahram online says the film is reportedly being produced by U.S.-based Coptic-Christian Egyptians, including Esmat Zaklama and Morees Sadek, with the support of the Terry Jones Church in the United States.

Jones is the evangelical pastor who stirred controversy last year by threatening to burn a Quran in public.

CNN says the film in question is a Dutch production.

The AP says clips of the film available on YouTube show the prophet having sex and question his role as the messenger of Godâ??s words.

After the protest, the U.S. Embassy issued this statement on its website:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims â?? as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of other

The Grand Mufti of Egypt Sheikh Ali Gomaa strongly condemned the movie, AllAfrica.com reports.

“Freedom of speech does not warrant desecrating sanctities,” Gomaa said in a statement Sunday.

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/09/11/cairo-us-embassy-protesters-prophet-mohammad/70000126/1#.UE-aWrKPX2m

And BBC reports this way……

11 September 2012 Last updated at 14:56 ET

Egypt protesters breach US embassy over ‘insulting’ film

People attend a rally in front of the US embassy to protest against a recently produced movie insulting Prophet Muhammad in Cairo
Hundreds of protesters gathered at the US embassy

Protesters have breached the wall of the US embassy in Cairo and torn down a US flag over a US-made film which they say is insulting to the Prophet Muhammad.

The flag, which was flying at half mast to mark the 9/11 attacks, was replaced by an Islamist banner.

Thousands of protesters had gathered outside the embassy.

Among the film’s producers is said to be a pastor who burnt copies of the Koran earlier this year.

Among the protesters outside the embassy were hardline Islamists known as Salafists and also members of a football supporters’ club known as Ultras.

They say the film is about to be shown in the US.

On Tuesday night, a handful of protesters continued to sit on the wall of the embassy but the compound was surrounded by Egyptian riot police and there was no sign of any confrontation, says the BBC’s Jon Leyne at the scene in Cairo.

A spokesman for the US embassy in Cairo has categorically denied that any shots have been fired at any time during the protest.

‘Free speech’

The US embassy earlier issued a statement condemning “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions”.

The statement added: “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

The US state department said it was working with Egyptian security to try to restore order at the embassy and to get the situation under control.

Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said there were no reports of injuries, adding: “We had some people breach the wall, take the flag down and replace it. What I heard was that it was replaced with a… plain black flag. But I may not be correct in that.”

The film which sparked the protest is said to have been produced by US pastor Terry Jones and co-produced by some Egyptian Copt expatriates.

Egyptian protesters condemned what they said was the humiliation of the Prophet of Islam under the pretext of freedom of speech.

Reuters UK reports it this way….

Egyptians angry at film scale U.S. embassy walls

People attend a rally in front of the U.S. embassy to protest against a recently produced movie insulting Prophet Mohammad, in Cairo September 11, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO | Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:12pm BST

(Reuters) – Egyptian protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Tuesday and pulled down the American flag during a protest over what they said was a film being produced in the United States that insulted Prophet Mohammad, witnesses said.

In place of the U.S. flag, the protesters tried to raise a black flag with the words “There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger”, a Reuters reporter said.

Once the U.S. flag was hauled down, protesters tore it up, with some showing off small pieces to television cameras. Then others burned remains.

“This movie must be banned immediately and an apology should be made … This is a disgrace,” said 19-year-old, Ismail Mahmoud, a member of the so-called “ultras” soccer supporters who played a big role in the uprising that brought down Hosni Mubarak last year.

Many Muslims consider any depiction of the Prophet to be offensive.

Mahmoud called on President Mohamed Mursi, Egypt’s first civilian president and an Islamist, to take action. Many others were supporters of Islamist groups.

About 20 people stood on top of the embassy wall in central Cairo, where about 2,000 protesters had gathered.

“There is no god but Allah, Mohammad is Allah’s messenger. We will sacrifice ourselves for you, Allah’s messenger,” they chanted, with many waving religious flags.

A U.S. embassy official had no immediate comment on the protesters’ actions but the embassy had put out a statement earlier on Tuesday condemning those who hurt the religious feelings of Muslims or followers of any other religions.

“We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others,” the U.S. embassy said in its statement.

One slogan scrawled on the walls of the embassy, a fortress-like structure that is near Tahrir Square where Egyptians revolted against Mubarak, said: “If your freedom of speech has no limits, may you accept our freedom of action.”

An Egyptian state website carried a statement by Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church condemning what it said were moves by some Copts living abroad “to finance the production of a film insulting Prophet Mohammad”.

About a 10th of Egypt’s 83 million people are Christians.

It was not immediately clear which film angered protesters.

However, according to the website http://www.standupamerianow.org, the Christian Pastor Terry Jones, who angered Muslims by burning a copy of the Koran, was due to take part in an event on Tuesday called “International Judge Mohammad Day” in Florida in which it would symbolically put the Prophet on trial and play it out live over the Internet.

“Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy,” the U.S. embassy statement said, adding that it condemned the efforts by “misguided individuals” to hurt the feelings of Muslims.

In another incident prompted by similar sentiments last month, a lone man attacked the German embassy with homemade nail bombs and a hammer with which he cracked glass at the entrance, following a report about a protest in Germany where demonstrators bore caricatures of the Prophet outside a mosque.

No one was injured and there was no serious damage in that incident.

(Reporting by Tamim Elyan and Reuters correspondents; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Alison Williams)

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