An armed mass of around 2,000 angry Egyptian protesters stormed the walls of the U.S. embassy early this afternoon. They burned the U.S. flag and hoisted in its place a black banner painted with the words, “There is no God but God, and Mohammad is his messenger.”
USA Today reports that U.S. staff were evacuated prior to the demonstration, and that security officials initially fired over the heads of protesters.
“We are obviously working with Egyptian security to try to restore order at the embassy and to work with them to try to get the situation under control,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said from Washington.
Following the incident, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry assured America that it was committed to protecting all embassies.
America gives Egypt $1.3 billion per year in direct military aid, in addition to other forms of assistance.
It is unclear exactly what the protest was about, but the excuse appears to be a U.S. film that purportedly insults the prophet Mohammed.
Since America helped push former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from office, anti-American protests have grown. When U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited just after Mohammed Morsi was elected in July, her entourage was pelted with tomatoes. In that incident, many of the protestors chanted anti-Islamist slogans blaming America for bringing the extremists Muslim Brotherhood to power.
Now, those who do not support the Muslim Brotherhood fear to protest.
Contrary to Western dreaming, a free democracy has not come to Egypt. The removal of Hosni Mubarak, who was a U.S. ally, has resulted in the Islamification of the formerly secular nation. It has also led to the formation of a government that is not only uninterested in democracy, but that is also hostile to both America and Israel.