Among the throngs of Egyptians who poured into the streets to protest the rule of President Mohammed Morsi Sunday, signs of frustration with the Obama administration and U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson were clearly visible. Some of the demonstrators are angry at what they perceive to be President Barack Obama’s failure to articulate clear criticism of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Here are examples of some of the strident images and slogans from the demonstrations being widely shared on social media, accusing the administration of siding with the Muslim Brotherhood:
This man holds a sign saying: “Ann [sic] Patterson, You and Your Country Go to Hell, Liars, Sh**!!”
This sign with photos of President Barack Obama and Patterson with the slogan: “Obama & Paterson [sic], Support Terrorism in Egypt.”
Another banner shows a photo of Ambassador Patterson with a red X crossed over her face. This slogan is printed above her photo: “Kick This Bi**h Out of Egypt.” Still, on the bottom of the banner, they misspell the curse word and insert “pitch,” but the message was understood nonetheless.
Yet another sign shows a photo of Patterson at a meeting with Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Leader Mohammed Badie with these words printed in bold letters: “We know what you did last summer,” in reference to the famous horror flick. Those protesters are unhappy Patterson met Badie in January 2012 (not exactly “summer,” we know.)
“Egypt will remain a civil state,” the same sign read, reflecting the secular outlook of those who printed the poster.
As TheBlaze previously reported, Badie, the Brotherhood’s highest ranking official, has in the past called on the Muslim world to carry out “jihad” and conquer Jerusalem from Israel.
Bret Baier of Fox posted a photo a friend sent him of this banner at the anti-Morsi protests reading, “Wake Up America, Obama Backs Up a Fascist Regime in Egypt.”
Eric Trager, Next Generation Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, tells TheBlaze, “The Obama administration was hesitant to criticize Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood which was interpreted by many Egyptians as pro-Brotherhood partisanship.”
“The reason why the administration was hesitant to criticize Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood is because they believe that by not commenting on Egyptian domestic politics they would win the Brotherhood’s cooperation on foreign policy,” Trager explains.
“This was always an illusion because the Brotherhood is deeply hostile toward the west and has no intention to cooperate with the west and maintain the treaty with Israel indefinitely,” he adds.
“The administration did a very poor job in managing perceptions and it needs to fix that as soon as it can, because the anti-American hostility which is a constant among Islamists is now sharply rising among non-Islamists including Christians,” Trager says.
Trager, an Egypt expert who speaks Arabic, says that Egypt’s Christians have been “livid with the administration” since former President Hosni Mubarak was deposed and “feel the administration completely abandoned them” while their churches were being attacked by Brotherhood activists and sympathizers.
The Associated Press reports that Egypt’s ONTV aired footage purporting to show Patterson’s convoy of black SUVs visiting Khairat el-Shater, “a powerful figure in the Muslim Brotherhood who is widely suspected to exercise vast influence over Morsi.”
Though the U.S. Embassy would not confirm the visit, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party spokesman told the AP that the meeting did occur.
Despite the fact that she was the target of some of the anti-American posters during Sunday’s rally, Patterson has tried to correct some of the administration’s mistakes, according to Trager who tells TheBlaze that Christian leaders in Alexandria told him that Patterson has been visiting their churches to demonstrate U.S. support for their plight.
But over the weekend it was clear President Obama still won’t take sides. On a visit to Johannesburg, Obama said, “We do not take sides in terms of who should be elected by the Egyptian people.”
“We do take sides in terms of observing a process for democracy and the rule of law,” he added.
The Associated Press wrote a week and a half ago that activists were angry at statements by Ambassador Patterson criticizing plans for this weekend’s anti-Morsi demonstrations and defending U.S. relations with Egypt’s president and the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Some say that street action will produce better results than elections. To be honest, my government and I are deeply skeptical,” AP quoted her as saying earlier this month. “Egypt needs stability to get its economic house in order, and more violence on the streets will do little more than add new names to the lists of martyrs.”
AP wrote, “Her unusually frank comments have been widely interpreted as referring to June 30 opposition-led protests,” marking Morsi’s first year in office.
Leading opposition activist Shady el-Ghazali Harb told the AP that Patterson showed “blatant bias” for Morsi and the Brotherhood. He said her statements earned the Obama administrations “the enmity of the Egyptian people.”
“The Muslim Brotherhood is ready to offer Egypt on a golden platter to the United States in exchange for Washington’s support. It is no surprise that she would say that,” he said. The AP reports:
Another prominent opposition activist, George Ishaq, counseled Patterson in a television interview to “shut up and mind your own business.” Christian business tycoon Naguib Sawiris posted a message on his Twitter account addressed to the ambassador saying “Bless us with your silence.”
“Throughout Egypt’s post-revolution series of elections, the United States took the position that we would work with whoever won elections that met international standards, and this is what we have done,” Ambassador Patterson said earlier this month, according to the AP.