Egyptian Protestors Outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo(EPA)

A frustrating and infuriating situation is unfolding in Egypt today where protestors have scaled the walls of the United States embassy, torn down the American flag, ripped it apart when they couldn’t burn it, and replaced with a black flag with an inscription of the Shahada on it.

According to reports, the mob is venting its frustration about the Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones, who has made a film (along with some Egyptian Copts) that reportedly vilifies Muslims and their prophet Muhammed.

There is a ton that we don’t yet know about this story, but a quick thought (beyond disgust) is some serious dismay that there are some commenters already equating the brazen storming of an embassy’s grounds (which thankfully were empty of diplomats) and the vile and idiotic work of Terry Jones, whose efforts should be bait not taken. Before the demonstration-turned-ambush even happened, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a statement defending free speech but also condemning insults against any religion–an implicit rejection of Gross. (Not that this would stop a mob, but it does show the sensitivity to the offense.)

The timing is also worth pointing out, not only for its obvious and insulting resonance today, but because as Eric Trager mentions, the attack comes as Egypt is seeking aid–which the United States has provided a billion dollars of annually since 1979.

Here’s the footage below:

Egyptians angry at film scale U.S. embassy walls [Reuters]
Florida pastor burns copies of Koran outside church [NYDN]