Egyptian Governor Blames Obama for Burned Churches

(National Geographic) Peter Hessler - In Minya in Upper Egypt last August, local mobs attacked government buildings, Coptic Christian churches, and a museum, killing dozens, including a number of police officers. The mobs were responding to events in Cairo, where security forces had violently dispersed two sit-ins held in support of deposed President Morsi, a longtime leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Since then, the Minya judicial system has rushed to punish hundreds of people accused of inciting the local violence. On Monday, after a trial that lasted only a few minutes, a Minya court issued death sentences to 683 alleged rioters, most of whom weren't even present at the trial. A month earlier, the same court had sentenced 529 others to death. I scheduled a meeting with the highest-ranking local official, Governor Salah Zeyada. I was surprised to hear whom the governor blamed for Minya's problems: Barack Obama and the U.S. "They broke into six police stations in Minya and stole all the weapons....They burned 14 churches completely. And they burned four prosecution offices and courts, and they attacked the Mallawi Museum and stole all the antiquities. This was an American plot to turn Egypt into a new Syria, or a new Libya, or a new Iraq." I asked the governor to clarify who was responsible for the burned churches. "It was Obama," he said. "And all of the American politicians who have divided all of the world. They are the only people who supported the Muslim Brotherhood, because they knew that the Muslim Brotherhood would destroy all of Egypt."

2014-05-09 00:00:00

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