The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy organization, on Saturday called on the Obama administration to condemn the killing of pro-Mohammed Morsi protesters in Egypt and “use the leverage of taxpayer funds being sent to that nation’s military to push for a return to democracy.”
“We urge an end to the silence over the ongoing massacres of peaceful pro-democracy activists in Egypt by forces that receive billions of American taxpayer dollars,” the group said in a statement.
Egyptian military forces have instituted a shoot-to-kill policy to suppress protesters urging the Muslim Brotherhood’s return to power. At least 72 people were killed in pro-Morsi demonstrations during the weekend in Cairo. At least 9 others were killed in Alexandria during protests the day before, Fox News reported, bringing the count to 81.
“Without a clear condemnation of the killings, we send the message that even more repressive measures may be taken against the demonstrators,” CAIR said. “The clearest indicator of our nation’s revulsion at the killings would be to suspend all American military aid until the violence stops and democratic freedoms are restored.”
U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry issued a statement Saturday calling on Egyptian authorities to “respect the right of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.”
A Muslim Brotherhood statement said the “inhuman massacre” had only strengthened their resolve to peacefully resist the “coup d’etat,” AFP reported.