US authorities have been told to show restraint in dealing with the racially charged demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri – by the Egyptian government. In a bizarre turnaround, authorities in Cairo used language similar to that offered by Washington when Egypt was facing its own protests from Islamist demonstrators in 2013 – an uprising that led to the deaths of hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
According to Reuters, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry released a statement on Tuesday saying it was "closely following the escalation of protests" in Missouri, unrest sparked by the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager gunned down by white Police Officer Darren Wilson.
Criticism of the US over Ferguson has similarly flowed from other repressive regimes, including China, with a comment piece published by the state-run Xinhua news service on Monday excoriating the US for the "racial divide" that "still remains a deeply-rooted chronic disease that keeps tearing US society apart, just as manifested by the latest racial riot in Missouri".
"Uncle Sam has witnessed numerous shooting sprees on its own land and launched incessant drone attacks on foreign soil, resulting in heavy civilian casualties,” the article states, concluding: "Each country has its own national conditions that might lead to different social problems. Obviously, what the United States needs to do is to concentrate on solving its own problems rather than always pointing fingers at others."
Russia Today, the state-owned broadcaster in Moscow, has likewise been reporting on events in Ferguson via a live blog, while Iran’s leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, has taken to Twitter to peddle a more insidious and conspiratorial line, blaming the riots in Ferguson on Jewish control of the US government.
Yet the criticism of the US isn’t just schadenfreude. The riots, which started on August 9 and have seen the deployment of the US National Guard in the suburb, have led global rights organisation Amnesty International to place observers in Ferguson – the first time the organisation has dispatched representatives on US soil, according to the Washington Post.