NEW YORK, Sept 12 New York City police have
added security at Coptic Christian churches around the city,
protecting against any spread of the Egyptian and Libyan
demonstrations over a film produced in the United States
The police department said it has "no evidence of any
attacks planned against targets in the city" but has taken the
extra precautions based on "reports that Coptic Christians were
linked in some fashion to the video."
The video, called "Innocence of Muslims," portrays the
Prophet Mohammad as a womanizer, a homosexual and a child
abuser, angering many Muslims and provoking a deadly attack on a
U.S. mission in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three
There remain questions around precisely who made the film,
although one of its major promoters is an Egyptian Christian
living in the United States, Morris Sadek. He said on Wednesday
he did not consider the video offensive to Islam.
Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, however, condemned some
Copts living abroad who it said financed "the production of a
film insulting the Prophet Mohammad," an Egyptian state website
Coptic Christians, who form Egypt's biggest minority group
and constitute most of Egypt's 10 percent Christian population
in a country of 83 million people, have long had a difficult
relationship with the country's overwhelmingly Muslim majority.
Conflicts over conversions, cross-faith romances and
church-building have long flared in Egyptian towns where turf
wars or family rivalries often loom as large as sectarian
Since former President Hosni Mubarak's removal, Christians
have become increasingly worried after an upsurge in attacks on
churches, which they blame on hardline Islamists, though experts
say local disputes are often also behind them.
New York City has five Coptic Orthodox churches, with two on
Staten Island and one each in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens,
according to the website of the Coptic Orthodox Church Network.