Wednesday, September 12, 2012

About the Cairo Embassy Press Release... [Update: Protest in Cairo was Scheduled]

    Some time on September 11, the US Embassy in Egypt released the following statement:
U.S. Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement
September 11, 2012
The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others
 The statement has caused some controversy for condemning those who would "hurt the religious feelings of Muslims" while ignoring the protests and trashing of the American flag and embassy grounds going on outside.  Curiously, the press release is only accessible with the link I used above, which has appeared in numerous news reports.  The Embassy's page of its 2012 Press Releases and Transcripts does not list the statement.  Here is a screen shot as of 11:32 AM EDST on September 12:

There is an odd entry "Page Layout" which would appear to be listed in the chronological place the missing Press Release should be, but clicking on it brings up a blank page.

    Also curiously, a Google Search for the title of the press release brings back 2 hits on the US Embassy Cairo Twitter account.  However, clicking on the one returns a "Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!" and the other brings up a recent tweet that does not link to or quote the release at all.  [Update:  Twitchy.com has been reporting the deleted tweets since last night.]  Is the embassy trying to walk about the press release or at least obscure its timing?

UPDATE:  From a report yesterday (9/11) at Egypt.com [emphasis mine]:
[The embassy press release] came as a protest was scheduled to take place in front of the US embassy in the Egyptian capital over cultural sentiments that Muslim activists said betrayed their faith.

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