CAIRO (Middle East Eye) – A coalition of Muslim American groups has called on the administration of President Joe Biden to intervene to halt a mass execution of political dissidents in Egypt set to take place in the coming days, joining a growing number of rights groups urging increased U.S. pressure on Cairo.
The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), which includes some of the largest Muslim American groups, sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressing that Washington should pressure Cairo “publicly and privately” to stop the executions.
The groups called on Biden to suspend U.S. military aid to Egypt until Cairo improved its human rights record.
“As Americans, we know that Egypt’s military dictatorship benefits greatly from our taxpayer dollars,” the coalition wrote. “Because of this support, our nation has both the opportunity and the obligation to stop its planned mass execution of political prisoners.”
The USCMO includes prominent Muslim groups, such as American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Muslim American Society (MAS).
Earlier this month, Egypt upheld the death sentence against 12 Muslim Brotherhood leaders arrested in the wake of a coup that brought current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to power in 2013.
Supporters of then-President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, had staged a sit-in at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square against the coup. The protest was violently dispersed in a massacre that Amnesty International has called a “horrific turning point for human rights in Egypt”.
Egyptian security forces killed hundreds of protesters at Rabaa, and many more were prosecuted in relation to the sit-in, including the 12 Muslim Brotherhood leaders facing imminent execution.