Indeed, the abuse of Egypt’s Christians has reached unprecedented levels in the modern era. Al-Qaeda’s flag has been raised above their churches; their pope is in hiding under threat of death; a priest was shot in front of his church, and another Copt beheaded; their children are being abducted; nary a day goes by without a church being attacked or set aflame; hate filled graffiti covers their homes and churches.
And why has the persecution reached unprecedented levels? Because the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi was ousted by a revolution that saw as many as 30 million Egyptians, most of them Muslims, take to the streets. But of course, the Brotherhood does not want to admit that Muslim majorities do not favor their rule, so they scapegoat the already-hated Christians, portraying them as fundamental to the ousting of Morsi. Any number of Brotherhood leaders — from the general guide, Mohammed Badie, to the group’s spiritual father, Sheikh Yusif al-Qaradawi, all of whom publicly denounced the Coptic pope for being supportive of the revolution and supposedly even killing Muslims – are responsible for this rise in persecution of Copts.
Accordingly, among some Islamists, anti-Christian fury has taken on genocidal proportions. Recently a Libyan Muslim named Tamar Rashad called in to a talk show, saying “I want to offer the good news to [Pope] Tawadros that, Allah willing, the day is coming when no Copt will ever again tread the ground of Egypt – and no churches. We will no longer allow churches to exist.” When the TV host appeared to protest, Rashad interrupted him saying, “It’s already decided, take your cameras and go to the churches and you’ll see what’s going to happen soon, Allah willing.”
One of the reasons for the Jewish state is to be a protector and refuge for Jews worldwide. But who will protect believers belonging to the world’s largest religious group, Christians?
In the past several days, the Egyptian police and military have clashed with Muslim Brotherhood ‘demonstrators’. Hundreds have been killed, mostly (but not only) on the Muslim Brotherhood side.
My expectation is that bloody clashes will continue until the Brotherhood is suppressed. Neither side is interested in a compromise.
So here is how our Secretary of State responded to the situation:
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday called the bloodshed in Egypt “deplorable” and urged all sides to seek a political solution.
“In the past week, at every occasion … we and others have urged the government to respect the rights of free assembly and of free expression, and we have also urged all parties to resolve this impasse peacefully and underscored that demonstrators should avoid violence and incitement,” Kerry said.
“[Wednesday's] events are deplorable and they run counter to Egyptian aspirations for peace, inclusion and genuine democracy. Egyptians inside and outside the government need to take a step back, they need to calm the situation and avoid further loss of life. We believe that the state of emergency should end as soon as possible,” Kerry said.
How even-handed! Or even a tiny bit pro-Brotherhood.
I think that it would be appropriate for a country one of whose founding principles is the rejection of religious persecution, and whose largest religious group happens to be Christian, to at least take into account the barbaric behavior and attitudes of the Muslim Brotherhood in its consideration of whom to support in Egypt.
The US has consistently ignored the fact that the Brotherhood is viciously anti-Christian (anti-Jewish is a given) and anti-American, as well as profoundly anti-democratic, despite the fact that it came to power through a (questionable) election. In any event, Morsi’s first acts were intended to arrogate total power to the Brotherhood and put an end to any future democracy in Egypt.
The pro-democracy protesters that began the process of bringing down Mubarak and were so admired in the US — the ones that use Facebook and speak English to CNN reporters — were never represented by the Brotherhood.
Yes, it is true that the Obama Administration did not use the word ‘coup’ and has not stopped aid to Egypt. But it is time to end the pro-Brotherhood tilt that started with Obama’s Cairo speech in 2009.
Trying to curry favor with Islamists of any stripe is stupid, unproductive and likely to cause pain for women, Christians, and many other groups that do not fit in their seventh-century worldview.
Whose side are we on, anyway?