Conservative bloggers are denouncing President Obama for his statement condemning a terrorist attack against a church in Egypt on New Year’s Day. These bloggers are falsely claiming that, in the words of Jim Hoft, “Obama is making up Muslim victims” of the attack. In fact, there were reportedly Muslims wounded in the attack.
Ace of Spades’ Gabriel Malor followed up on Hoft’s attack, claiming that Obama “create[d] Muslim victims” of the bombing. And Pam Geller wrote today that the president’s statement “was grotesque, misleading, and deceptive.”
All three blogs quoted Obama’s statement that “[t]he attack on a church in Alexandria, Egypt caused 21 reported deaths and dozens of injured from both the Christian and Muslim communities.” Hoft explicitly drew the conclusion that Obama had falsely claimed that there were Muslims among the fatalities saying of Obama’s statement: “Not true. All 21 of the victims in the attack were Christian. No Muslims died in the attack.”
Of course, only people intentionally trying to gin up phony outrage would read that sentence and argue that Obama was trying to claim that there were Muslim fatalities and hoping that no one would fact-check the claim. Who knows? Maybe Hoft really believes what he wrote. But a rational person would see that Obama was saying that there the injured came from both the Christian and Muslim communities.
And it is true that there were Muslims among the injured. Indeed, Hoft included a quote from a Catholic Online article saying: “All but eight of the injured and all the fatalities were Christians from Saints Church, located on the eastern side of the coastal city..” Furthermore, Agence France-Presse reports that according to Egyptian authorities, “The hospitals have taken in seven deceased and 24 injured persons, eight of them Muslims.”
All three bloggers also falsely suggest that Obama refused to call the church bombing an attack on Christians. Geller, for instance, wrote: “These were jihadi attacks against Christians. Islamic supremacists slaughtering non-Muslims. Does Obama the mourn the deaths of homicide bombers as well?”
In fact, Obama made very clear that this was an attack against Christians. Indeed, in the very next sentence after saying that “[t]he attack on a church in Alexandria, Egypt caused 21 reported deaths and dozens of injured from both the Christian and Muslim communities,” Obama stated: “The perpetrators of this attack were clearly targeting Christian worshipers, and have no respect for human life and dignity.”
President Obama’s statement concluded with the following line:
The United States extends its deepest condolences to the families of those killed and to the wounded in both of these attacks, and we stand with the Nigerian and Egyptian people at this difficult time.
If only these right-wing bloggers had responded to the attack concern for the victims, regardless of religion, rather than launching another desperate attack on Obama. Alas, that was not the case.