ISNA Calls for End of Violence against Egyptian Protesters

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is deeply disturbed by the killing of protesters by security forces in Egypt. We stand against any violation of human rights of citizens exercising their civic right to protest, and peacefully express their dissent, on either side of the issue. We consider the killing of innocent people unacceptable. ISNA shares the sentiments expressed by deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch: “The use of deadly fire on such a scale so soon after the interim president announced the need to impose order by force suggests a shocking willingness by the police and by certain politicians to ratchet up violence against pro-Morsy protesters. It is almost impossible to imagine that so many killings would take place without an intention to kill, or at least a criminal disregard for people’s lives.” According to Reuters, the White House “strongly condemns” Saturday’s bloodshed, and urges respect for the right to peaceful protest. “Violence not only further sets back the process of reconciliation and democratization in Egypt, but it will negatively impact regional stability,” spokesman Josh Earnest said. Whether one agrees or disagrees with those calling for the reinstatement of an elected president, one has a profound moral obligation to speak up for the democratic process and for the right of freedom of speech and peaceful protest inherent in that process. We call upon the security forces in Egypt to refrain from attacking peaceful protesters from either group and protect the right of each side to dissent. We call upon President Obama and our government to pressure the Egyptian military and the interim government to end bloodshed of innocent people among its own citizens and to re-engage the democratic process immediately.