Some time ago, Fox News published a report titled “Egyptian mosque turned into house of torture for Christians after Muslim Brotherhood protest.” The report opens by explaining how Islamic hard-liners stormed a mosque in suburban Cairo, turning it into [a] torture chamber for Christians who had been demonstrating against the ruling Muslim Brotherhood in the latest case of violent persecution that experts fear will only get worse.
Such stories have become increasingly common as tensions between Egypt’s Muslims and Copts mount, but in the latest case, mosque officials corroborated much of the account and even filed a police report. Demonstrators, some of whom were Muslim, say they were taken from the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in suburban Cairo to a nearby mosque on Friday and tortured for hours by hard-line militia members.
While it is good that Fox News reported on the Brotherhood’s “torture chambers,” its report is also a reminder of how much the American public is often kept in the dark concerning what happens to Christians in Muslim countries—indeed, about what happens in the Muslim world in general.
The fact is, months earlier, numerous reports, not to mention pictures and videos, circulated in the Arabic media about the Muslim Brotherhood’s “torture chambers.”
On January 6—nearly three months before the Fox News report appeared, I wrote the following words in a FrontPage Magazine article, concerning how several Muslim Brotherhood affiliated clerics had issued fatwas, or Islamic decrees, that all such protesters [against Morsi] are to be fought and killed, regardless of whether they are fellow Muslims, leading to the violent attacks and killings during the uprisings against Morsi, including the “Muslim Brotherhood’s Torture Rooms.”
I linked the phrase “Muslim Brotherhood’s Torture Rooms” back to a December report published by the Arabic-language newspaper Al Masry Al Youm, titled (in translation) “Inside the Brotherhood’s Torture Rooms.” The report explained in detail the “torture strategy” the Brotherhood was using against protesters (scroll down beneath the Arabic text to see graphic images of some of those tortured). Coptic Solidarity translated and summarized the report as follows:
A recent Al Masry Al Youm report, titled “Inside the Brotherhood Torture Rooms at Itihadiya [one of the presidential palaces]” written during last week’s protests indicates how Egyptian police appear paralyzed before the Muslim Brotherhood’s violence and how the attacks on Mina Philip—who was stripped naked and violently beat—were part of a planned and organized attack by the Brotherhood. Reporters spent 3 hours inside the Muslim Brotherhood “torture chambers” next to the Itihadiya Palace. “We were able to enter after an introduction was made by a Brotherhood channel.”
According to the report, the main room has about 15 Muslim Brotherhood well-built men, along with policemen and 3 Brotherhood men in suits; the men in suits decide who gets to be in the room at all times. The process starts with the capture of a protestor opposed to President Morsi or one [who] is suspected of being a demonstrator. The Brotherhood members start beating the person up as a group all over his body then they drag him to a nearby chamber where they take off his shirt and take his wallet, money and phone. They later start interrogating him while beating him up and accusing him of receiving funds from opposition members. They sometimes call their channel to film the “capture of thugs.” Later, he is taken to the main room where he is beaten up again and his clothes are torn. His ID is given to a Brotherhood lawyer who takes down his information. Later, the lawyer would give the person’s ID to the police officer on the scene.
Thus, while Fox News should be commended for its report, that these “torture chambers”—reports of which flooded the Egyptian media— were finally exposed to the American mainstream three months later is a reminder of how woefully in the dark most Americans are when it comes to the truth about the Islamic world.
To a large extent, much of this is caused by Western reporters who simply cannot transcend their own epistemology, who find it hard to believe—and thus report on—the anachronistic absurdities they hear. Indeed, Fox News seems only to have reported on the Brotherhood’s torture chambers because Muslim mosque leaders—not Egyptian Christians or secularists whose accounts are often dismissed as biased against the Brotherhood—confirmed it, as found in the report’s two opening sentences: “Such stories [of torture chambers] have become increasingly common as tensions between Egypt’s Muslims and Copts mount, but in the latest case, mosque officials corroborated much of the account and even filed a police report”—hence apparently why Fox deemed it legitimate enough to report on.
If Fox News reported on the Brotherhood’s torture chambers only after mosque officials verified it—always a rarity, especially considering that it is mosque leaders who habitually radicalize and incite Muslims against Christians, and cover it up—one can only imagine the la-la-land of make believe the viewers of CNN, BBC, etc., are repeatedly subjected to.
Update: One need not try to imagine anymore. The narrative being relayed by Western mainstream media concerning events in Egypt—which is very much based on the pro-Brotherhood Al Jazeera’s distortions and lies, which portray as victim the aggressors—has so little to do with reality, especially in comparison to what is being reported by independent Egyptian reporters. But it does fit the Obama administration’s agenda. More on this later.
Raymond Ibrahim is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War in Christians (published by Regnery in cooperation with Gatestone Institute, April 2013). He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum.