A potential diplomatic storm may be brewing prior to the arrival next week of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in New York City and the White House.
According to an unclassified daily brief circulated by the State Department Executive Secretariat this afternoon, Morsi ordered the Egyptian embassy in DC to take legal action against the U.S. citizens who are alleged to be behind the “Innocence of Muslims” video that has flamed tensions in the Middle East.
The State Department briefing states:
EGYPT ISSUES ARREST WARRANTS FOR INFLAMMATORY VIDEO
(U) Egypt’s general prosecutor issued arrest warrants and referred to trial seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and American pastor Terry Jones on charges linked to the inflammatory video, media report. The accused, all of whom are believed to be outside Egypt, could face the death penalty if convicted of harming national unity, insulting Islam, and spreading false information. DRL’s Office of International Religious Freedom comments President Morsy reportedly directed the Egyptian Embassy in Washington to take legal action in the United States against the individuals. The Egyptian government has been an ardent supporter of anti-defamation resolutions at the UN. (Ops/Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor’s Office of International Religious Freedom, AP)
Should President Obama be hosting President Morsi next week, when Mosi has directed his government to launch a legal attack on the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens?