Jamaa Islamiya Protest before US Embassy for Top Sheikh Release

 For the 4th time, tens of members pf the Jamaa Islamiya staged a protest yesterday in front of the US Embassy in Cairo, demanding the release of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who spent more than 18 years in U.S. prisons.

 They threatened to start an open sit-in in front of the embassy building if their demands were not answered.

 The protest started with a recorded reading of some verses from the Holy Qur’an. The reader was Sheikh Omar himself. Then the sheikh’s attorney delivered a speech and condemned the imprisonment of the sheikh despite his bad health conditions and the several diseases he suffers.

 The attorney urged the Egyptian Armed Forces Supreme Council to interfere to help release him.

 Protesters chanted slogans in Arabic and English such as “Freedom for Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman” and “Jamaa Islamiya demand Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman’s release.”

 Other slogans targeted the US such as “Oh America, you say freedom, jailing the sheikh is against freedom.”

 Mohamed Abdel Rahman, the sheikh’s son, said: “We are here today to demand the release of my father for his bad health condition. We hold the Armed Forces Supreme Council and the government full responsibility for any complications that may happen to the sheikh.”

 “We met with the interior minister and leaders in the National Security Apparatus and Foreign Ministry and they welcomed the return of the sheikh to Egypt. His return to Egypt will greatly support the trend of the moderate Islam and the rejection of violence,” he added.

 The army and policemen were cordoning off the protesters to prevent them from penetrating the security fence around the US Embassy.