Monday, January 3, 2011

PressTV blames Israel for Egypt church bombing

Iran's English-language TV propaganda outlet, PressTV, has reported that Israel's Mossad intelligence agency was responsible for the Christmas day bombing of a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria, Egypt, which killed more than 20 worshippers. PressTV headlines an article on the bombing "Mossad behind Egypt church blast". While the article offers no evidence for this outrageous claim, they reach their conclusion based on the following points:

Although, at first glance, the finger is pointed at extremist Wahabi or Salafi groups, it goes without saying that no Muslim, whatever their political leanings may be, will ever commit such an inhumane act.

Attacks on churches in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and Tunisia can be analyzed in the context of a Zionist scenario aimed at driving a wedge between Muslims and Arab Christians. Since the emergence of Islam, Muslims and Christians in the East have always coexisted peacefully as Islam pays due respect to the freedom of divine faiths -- especially Christianity [sic]. In Egypt, too, Muslims and Christians are living in peace and harmony. Never, ever have the Christians in Egypt complained of any problems keeping them from carrying out their religious duties [sic]. The fresh plot by terrorists to target churches is an organized Zionist scenario aimed at creating a rift between Muslims and Christians.

PressTV infers from these "facts" a grand conspiracy involving the Sudan civil war, water rights in North Africa and incitement of Egypt's Copts to rise up against the Muslim majority.

After south Sudan is separated from the north, the Israeli regime will, thanks to its physical presence on the ground, take control of the water flow in the river and hold the 11 countries on both sides of the Nile to political ransom. Leaders in south of the African country had already announced they would establish broad political relations with Tel Aviv once they break away from the north [sic]. Another scenario on the West's agenda is to lay the groundwork for the formation of a Coptic government in Upper Nile in Egypt [sic].

PressTV thus blames the victims of oppression in Sudan and Egypt, and infers without benefit of evidence a most unlikely conspiracy of Jews behind these Christian-Muslim conflicts. The absurd icing on this crazy cake:

All the existing evidence proves that the Alexandria church explosion, though appearing to have been carried out by extremist groups, is the handiwork of the Israeli intelligence service Mossad.

In other coverage of the attack on the PressTV website, an article on Coptic protests against the terrorist attack emphasized the threat posed to the Muslim majority by Copts, claiming that 45 policemen had been wounded by Coptic protesters and ominously pointing out that 10% of the Egyptian population is Christian.  AFP coverage of the protests indicate that Egyptian police killed two Copts, arrested more than 160 and injured countless others, eliciting the condemnation of Coptic leaders.  (Read here.)

The PressTV article on the protests quoted President Mubarek to the effect that "foreign hands" were responsible for the bombing, thus leaving vague the question as to whether Islamists or Israelis were responsible, as did another article on their website. They also quoted Hezbollah's Naharnet website to support their Mossad conspiracy theory. Another article on the PressTV website quotes spokesmen for Islamic Jihad, Fatah and the Palestinian Legislative Council opposing the bombing. That article cites unnamed "experts" blaming Mossad for the bombing.

Suicide bomber kills 21 at Egypt church

The AFP paints a much different picture of the attack and its aftermath. Their coverage of Egypt's investigation of the bombing reports that the Ministry of the Interior blames foreign terrorists both because the attack was a suicide bombing and because al-Qaeda has indicated a motive.

Al-Qaeda has called for punishment of Egypt's Copts over claims that two priests' wives they say had converted to Islam were being held by the Church against their will.

After a similar bomb attack on a Christian cathedral in Bagdhad that killed 44 worshipers, 2 priests and 7 police, al-Qaeda took responsibility and connected it to Egypt.

(Responsibility for the Baghdad cathedral attack) was claimed by Al-Qaeda's Iraq affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq, which said its purpose was to force the release of the two women in Egypt.  
"All Christian centres, organisations and institutions, leaders and followers, are legitimate targets for the mujahedeen (holy warriors) wherever they can reach them," the group said.   "Let these idolaters, and at their forefront, the hallucinating tyrant of the Vatican, know that the killing sword will not be lifted from the necks of their followers until they declare their innocence from what the dog of the Egyptian Church is doing," the ISI said.

That threat, issued two months ago, seems very clear.  PressTV's coverage has thusfar failed to report it.

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