White House Refuses to Call 21 Beheading Victims Christians, Just 'Egyptian Citizens'

Monica Sanchez | February 17, 2015
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ISIS released a gruesome five-minute video over the weekend showing a mass beheading of 21 captive Coptic Christians on a Libyan beach, vowing to “conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission.”   

The White House released the following statement on Sunday condemning the Islamic State but curiously disregarding how all “twenty-one Egyptian citizens” were Christians.

The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists.  We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and our support to the Egyptian government and people as they grieve for their fellow citizens.  ISIL’s barbarity knows no bounds.  It is unconstrained by faith, sect, or ethnicity.  This wanton killing of innocents is just the most recent of the many vicious acts perpetrated by ISIL-affiliated terrorists against the people of the region, including the murders of dozens of Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai, which only further galvanizes the international community to unite against ISIL. 

This heinous act once again underscores the urgent need for a political resolution to the conflict in Libya, the continuation of which only benefits terrorist groups, including ISIL.  We call on all Libyans to strongly reject this and all acts of terrorism and to unite in the face of this shared and growing threat.  We continue to strongly support the efforts of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General Bernardino Leon to facilitate formation of a national unity government and help foster a political solution in Libya.”

In the statement, Press Secy. Josh Earnest reaffirms the President's position that such "heinous" acts of violence are "wanton" or "random," this mass beheading of Christians being "just the most recent of the many vicious acts perpetrated by ISIL..."  

Here’s Pope Francis’ impassioned statement in contrast:

“Today I read about the execution of those twenty-one or twenty-two Copt Christians. Their only words were: ‘Jesus, help me!’ They were killed simply for the fact that they were Christians.

“The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard.

It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians! Their blood is one and the same. Their blood confesses Christ.''

Speaking in his native Spanish before a delegation from the Church of Scotland in Vatican City, the Jesuit pope added,

“The martyrs belong to all Christians.”

Unlike President Obama’s administration, Pope Francis recognized that it was not mere coincidence that 21 Christians were slaughtered that day.

He phoned the Coptic Orthodox Church patriarch Pope Tawadros II to personally express his condolences for the “barbaric murder of Christian Copts by Islamic fundamentalists,” reported Reuters. 

The fact that the White House intentionally neglected to mention how all 21 of the victims were Coptic Christians is a blatant insult to the 90,000 Copts living in the U.S. and the many others around the world.