Popular and widely read Egyptian newspaper Al Wafd published the above picture today portraying U.S. President Barrack Hussein Obama as Satan himself. The unflattering picture has been making the rounds on Facebook in the Middle East and, according to Al Wafd, is representative of the hatred growing numbers of people in the region have for the American president, thanks to his staunch and unwavering support for Islamists and jihadiis — whether in Nigeria, Libya, Egypt, or Syria — even as they terrorize, murder, rape, and burn down Christian churches, that is, even as they engage in diabolical activities.
The Egyptian military is planning a crackdown on Islamist militants in Sinai, according to media reports late Friday, following an attack which left one Egyptian police officer dead and another wounded.
Attacks on security checkpoints in Sinai have occurred almost daily since the ouster of Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Islamist Mohammed Mursi.
The offensive against “armed gangs and terrorists” in Sinai will include artillery and air power, but the militants will have a chance to surrender, the pan-Arab al-Hayat newspaper reported on Friday.
The Egyptian army will also close the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip “indefinitely,” an official source told Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm.
The Obama administration’s call for an “inclusive” political process in Egypt with a role for the Muslim Brotherhood has been overshadowed by deadly clashes between security forces and supporters of the Islamist group.
Violent protests yesterday in Cairo and elsewhere over the military’s ouster of President Mohamed Mursi raised doubts about prospects for an eventual accommodation that would allow the Brotherhood that supports him to compete in new elections.
While President Barack Obama’s administration has stopped short of condemning the July 3 military takeover, it has called on Egyptian leaders to pursue “a transparent political process that is inclusive of all parties and groups,” including “avoiding any arbitrary arrests of Mursi and his supporters,” Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said July 4 in a statement.
The administration has urged the Egyptian military to stop using heavy-handed tactics, according to two U.S. officials who asked not to be identified commenting on private communications. They said the administration is concerned that some in the military may want to provoke the Islamists to violence and provide a rationale for crushing the movement once and for all.
Such a move would fail and probably prompt a shift to al-Qaeda type terrorist tactics by extremists in the Islamist movement in Egypt and elsewhere, the U.S. officials said.
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On Wednesday, Gen. Abdel Fatah Said Al-Sisi announced a military coup in Egypt. He said that the Constitution had been suspended, that early elections would take place, and that there would be a “code of ethics” for the media. He stated that the chief of the Constitutional court would be taking charge during a transitional period before another election. He said the new government would be “diverse and include all the people,” and that the constitution would be revised to reverse changes made by ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi.
Al-Sisi said there would be a code of ethics for the media that would “establish values and ethics for the media to follow.” He also stated that there would be a committee for reconciliation from leaders who are credible. The armed forces, he said, call on the great Egyptian people with its various groups to continue to have peaceful protests and end the crisis. He also said that the military warned it would take action against anyone moving beyond peaceful protest.
“May Allah preserve Egypt and its people,” al-Sisi concluded.