PHOTOS: Pro-Egyptian Army Protesters Gather Outside White House


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CREDIT: ThinkProgress

WASHINGTON, DC — Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the White House on Thursday, all of them calling for President Barack Obama to support the Egyptian Army over deposed President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The protest made its way through downtown Washington, holding aloft signs slamming the Brotherhood as “terrorists,” before stopping in front of the White House. Several hundred of them were New York and New Jersey natives who packed into seven buses to drive down to take part in the march. “The military now is protecting the people in Egypt, they’re protecting the people against the Muslim Brotherhood,” Rasha, a woman from New York with her husband and children, said. “We’re here to show everyone that’s not the true story.”

“We are here to send two messages,” Mahmoud Ashour told ThinkProgess, identifying himself as being with the June 30 Youth Coalition. “One message is for our brothers and sisters in Egypt, to support the military. Second message here, telling the American administration to stop the lie and saying that it’s a coup. It’s not a coup; it’s a revolution.” Other protesters shared that view, none of whom believed that the Egyptian Army was wrong in ousting Morsi last month. Nor did any protesters mention the hundreds killed in the process of the Army breaking up Brotherhood-organized sit-in protests in Egypt.

Many of the people that ThinkProgress talked to believed that Morsi had not been elected President at all in a free and fair election (the White House said Morsi’s victory was both free and fair). Theories included that the Muslim Brotherhood printed out false identification cards to hand out to their underage supporters and other underhanded tactics to steal their victory. Several also said that Obama had helped organize Morsi’s victory, personally calling up Gen. Mohammad Tantwai — head of the Supreme Armed Forces Council that ruled Egypt after long-time President Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow in 2011 — to have Morsi declared the winner.

U.S. aid to Egypt was also a common complaint among demonstrators. One man held up a sign reading “A – American I – Imposed D – Dictatorship,” imploring the U.S. to keep the money “and Morsi too.” Two young men from New Jersey asked why Obama could send money to Egypt rather than supporting the homeless in their state and New York City. Aid to Egypt is currently being hotly debated in Washington as the administration continues to avoid calling what happened last month a “coup,” which would force aid to be shut-off.

Both Muslims and Coptic Christians took part in the protest with participants eager to point out the unity between the two groups. Sal Moussa is a Copt who has been in the United States for 26 years and told ThinkProgress he felt the need to ride one of the buses from New Jersey to make his church’s voice heard. “Morsi was President for one year, he made the country the worst ever seen in Egypt,” Moussa said, standing next to his wife and son.

Nobody ThinkProgress talked to seemed short on opinions about Morsi and the Army with even children taking part and holding signs. One group of teenaged girls initially demurred from speaking to ThinkProgress, before launching into a litany of complaints against Obama. “Obama’s the one giving them money, so technically Obama’s the one destroying Egypt,” one girl said, before her friends chided her for being so blunt.

As the crowd dispersed, several families could be seen grabbing slices of pizza from boxes in front of the Treasury Department building before heading towards the buses that would take them to the Egyptian Embassy. More photos of the protest can be seen below:

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