• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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More on Egyptian Christians Abused at Anti-Mosque Protest

Right Wing News has an article about the two Egpytian Christian journalists who were mistaken for Muslims and abused at Sunday’s anti-mosque protest in New York; the author spoke to one of the two men, Joseph Nassralla:

Right off the bat, I asked him if the description of the incident given by North Jersey.com was accurate.

Regrettably, he said that it was. He said that they were talking to people back at the studio in Arabic, some people in the crowd overheard, thought they were Muslim infiltrators who were there to disrupt the event, and became increasingly hostile despite their attempts to explain. At one point, Joseph Nassralla told me he was shoved and his camera was knocked out of his hand. He said he was worried that things might have really gotten out of hand if the police hadn’t escorted him and Karam El Masry away.

However:

Mr. Nassralla seemed mainly to be chagrinned that there had been such a misunderstanding. He also noted that after hearing about the incident, Robert Spencer personally phoned him to apologize for what had happened.

[Pamela Geller] told me that she was surprised that there had been problem and noted that there were other Coptic Christians at the rally and even a few Muslims and none of them had any problems.

…I also informed Pamela about my conversation with Joseph Nassralla and his affirmative response to my question about speaking at the next rally against the Ground Zero mosque. Her response?

“I would absolutely love to have him speak at the next protest.”

There are also a couple of videos, showing the police intervention and impromptu speeches by Nassralla and other Coptic Christians. They complain bitterly of persecution in Egypt, and warn that Muslims in the USA are planning to take over the country. Nassralla also denounces Obama and the government because they “want God out”, and he calls on Muslims to accept Jesus. He also tells us that he spent three months in prison in Egypt, that he came to the USA the day before 9/11, and that there is a $2 million price on his neck.

 

It should always be remembered that however distasteful, corrosive, and obviously self-serving that Geller and co’s hate-mongering might be, it wouldn’t get much of a hearing without the very real represssion that currently exists across the Muslim world.

Nassralla’s “The Way” satellite channel has a website here;  its schedule includes Coptic Orthodox programmes, but also shows featuring ex-Muslim converts to Christianity, who are more likely to be Protestant (those featured include the polemicist Nonie Darwish, whom I blogged in passing here). It seems that the “The Way” is part of a wider organisation run by Nasralla, called “Media for Christ“. There is also a YouTube channel here, and a Facebook page here.