HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Egypt: Lessons for American Freedom

Egypt: Lessons for American Freedom

Burnt Church in EgyptAfter Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi was recently removed from power in Egypt, Islamic radicals went to work in that country. First came the red graffiti that was splashed on Christian churches, homes and shops. Then came the attacks. Since August 14, at least 47 church buildings and monasteries have been set ablaze or looted, including one Coptic church that had just been built after 13 years of haggling for construction permits. Christian schools, homes, and shops are continuously besieged by Brotherhood supporters who have killed several Christians in recent days as they protest the deposing of their Islamist leader. Up to now the Obama Administration has not condemned the anti-Christian persecution that has swept that country. Congressional response has been muddled: Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) says that aid to Egypt has been halted because of the riots, but the Pentagon says that is not true. But open discussion about the anti-Christian animus in that nation is regularly avoided.

Regardless of the intransigence of leaders in Washington, private citizens are saying "enough is enough." In the West, an online public petition (protectchristians.com/pc) is calling for national leaders, including President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and British P.M. David Cameron, to demand an end to anti-Christian violence in Egypt.

At the same time, as stark evidence of America's abundance of freedom, Al Jazeera, the Arab media television network based in Qatar, has begun broadcasting this week in the United States after taking over Al Gore's defunct Current channel. The Al Jazeera news operation, long considered to harbor pro-Islamic sympathies, has engendered widely divergent responses here in America. In the Baltimore Sun, Gil Roman has authored articles on the Arab media company that lead with glowing statements like "Why Al Jazeera's purchase of current TV is a good thing for [American] media," and he claims that it will bring "solid journalism" to viewers. On the other end of the spectrum are the detractors. AT&T and Time Warner Cable will omit Al Jazeera from their cable listings, and Israeli news publication Arutz Sheva states this week that the Arab news operation is "widely seen as being biased in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood." The Israeli news source goes on to say that Al Jazeera is a "key agitator in the rebellions that have spread throughout the Arab world in the last two years."

Abundant First Amendment freedoms allow Al Jazeera to prosper within American borders, while at the very same time, on the other side of the world, Arab nations openly persecute Christian minorities. There is a lesson here. Christian communicators in the U.S. have plenty of reasons to fight for religious liberty, free speech, and freedom of the press within our own nation, beginning with the best one of all: to preserve our ability to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But here is one more reason: to role model what true freedom really looks like to the rest of the world. It is a lesson that Egypt desperately needs to learn, and soon.  

By Craig Parshall
Senior Vice President & General Counsel, National Religious Broadcasters
Director, John Milton Project for Free Speech    

Click here to read more articles written by Craig Parshall.

Published: August 22, 2013

Latest News

NRBMLC Files Comments to DOJ on ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees

The NRB Music License Committee (NRBMLC) filed comments with the U.S. Department of Justice last week in response to its plans to review the “consent decrees” that govern how the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) license songs for public performance in the United States.

National Radio Day: A Look Back at the Early Days of Christian Broadcasting

When radio emerged as a public medium in the early 1920s, preachers were fascinated but cautious.

Christian Advocacy Group Protests Offensive Cartoon Network Program

The Christian Film & Television Commission® (CFTVC), an advocacy group promoting quality Christian entertainment, is organizing a protest against Black Jesus, the Cartoon Network’s new controversial program.

CBN’s Superbook Partners with Newton Media

Newton Media has been selected to partner with CBN’s Superbook to brand market their award-winning animated Bible series and build their continuity program via DRTV, barter syndication, and digital platforms.

4 FEBC Volunteers Martyred in Ukraine

Four young FEBC volunteers who were recently captured by pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine were brutally beaten to death simply for being Christians, according to a report from the organization last week.

Answers in Genesis: Ark Encounter Will Not Be Built with State Funds

Answers in Genesis, the apologetics ministry of Ken Ham, is working to make it clear that the full-scale Noah’s Ark that it plans to build in Williamstown, KY, will not be constructed with state funds.

Galcom International to Celebrate 25 Years of Dynamic Outreach

While attending a Christian conference in 1988, Harold Kent, a businessman in Tampa, FL, heard that the major international radio ministries (TWR, HCJB, FEBC, ELWA, etc.) were cooperating in order to cover the world with short-wave radio in 140 languages.

Five Q Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Five Q, a full-service web development and interactive marketing agency that serves ministries and non-profits, marked its 10-year anniversary on Sunday.

Save the Date: Defending Truth Apologetics Conference on November 1 in Nashville

This November, the NRB Network and TodaysChristianMusic.com will present the 2nd Annual “Defending Truth in a Culture of Deception” Apologetics Conference in Nashville, TN.

Theme Picked for 23rd Annual Faith and Family Friendly Awards Gala

“Faith & Values Are for Reel” has been announced as the theme for next year’s 23rd Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry.

More News