July 28, 2014

Coptic Pope Blasts Muslim Brotherhood, US, EU. Is Washington Listening?

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Source: Assyrian News Agency | Mary Abdelmassih The Pope is at the top of the Islamists' assassination list. (AINA) -- Since ex-president Morsy's ouster on July 3, attacks on Egyptian Christians by members of the Muslim Brotherhood have taken place in most governorates across Egypt. These attacks have escalated since security forces ended the pro-Morsy protests in central Cairo on August 14th. During their 6-weeks of protests, Muslim Brotherhood leaders explicitly threatened to harm the Copts should they be forced to end their protests, which they vowed to prolong until Morsy is restored to power. "Over the past weeks we have witnessed an increasing trend of anti-Christian rhetoric calling for 'the attack upon and eradication of Christians and churches' in Egypt," said Coptic Bishop Anba in the United Kingdom. "The result of such incitement, at least in part, has been the unprecedented attack on fifty two churches and numerous Christian homes and businesses across eight … [Read more...]

Egypt: Why Are the Churches Burning?

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Source: New York Review of Books p>On a recent afternoon this month, in a busy downtown Cairo street, armed men exchanged gunfire, threw rocks and Molotov cocktails, and freely wielded knives in broad daylight. The two-hour fight, which began as an attempt by some shop-owners to extort the customers of others, left eighty-nine wounded and many stores destroyed. In the new Egypt, incidents like this are becoming commonplace. On many nights I go to bed to the sound of gunfire, and each morning I leaf through newspapers anticipating more stories of crime. Stopped at gun-point; car stolen; head severed; kidnapped from school, held at ransom; armed men storm police station opening fire and killing four; prison cells unlocked—91 criminals on the loose. Many people I know have already bought guns; on street corners metal bludgeons are being sold for $3; and every week I receive an email, or SMS or Facebook message about a self-defense course, or purse-size electrocution tool, or new … [Read more...]

Christophobia in the Muslim World

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Source: Boston.com Last weekend’s scenes of anti-Christian mob violence in Cairo, against a background of churches in flames, is a powerful reminder of a grim reality: Non-Muslim communities have become endangered species throughout much of the Islamic world. Some statesmen have begun to acknowledge the existential crisis facing non-Muslims. Former Lebanese Prime Minister Amine Gemayel warned earlier this year that Islamic extremists are waging a war of “genocide,’’ while French President Nicolas Sarkozy now refers to the region’s Christians as the victims of “a perverse program of . . . religious cleansing.’’ The most sensational acts of anti-Christian terror command headlines — for a moment. Such was the case when 41 worshippers at Baghdad’s Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church were held hostage and then massacred by Islamic extremists last October, and 23 Egyptian Christians in Alexandria were killed by a bomb blast as they left mass early this year. Pakistan’s only … [Read more...]

Telegraph: Egyptian Christians say They are ‘Under Organised Attack’

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Source: The Telegraph A priest whose church was at the centre of sectarian riots at the weekend has said Egyptian Christians were "under organised attack" as religious authorities warned the country was at risk of civil war. Armed troops and riot police guarded the streets around St Mena's church and nearby burned-out shops and apartment blocks in the impoverished, crumbling Cairo suburb of Imbaba. Inside, Father Cherubim Awad said a conspiracy was the only possible explanation for the violence that had engulfed relations between Christians and Muslims in recent weeks. "Five churches were attacked on the same night," he said. "From the beginning of this year we have had all these attacks in a short space of time. "There is some hidden hand behind this, whether from inside the country or outside it." The street battles, which began on Saturday evening outside his church, demonstrated the breakdown in law and order in parts of Egypt that began during the uprising that … [Read more...]

Egypt: The Realist Scenario

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It's Jimmy Carter all over again. Source: Chronicles of Culture | Srdja Tifkovic The image of the “democratic revolution” in Egypt, as constructed by the mainstream media in North America and Europe over the past two weeks, evokes the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989. The BBC World Service, NPR and other Western media outlets bring us young, articulate, lightly-accented demonstrators who talk of democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law. Hosni Mubarak is presented as a latter-day Erich Honecker, heading a corrupt and sclerotic regime on the wrong side of history. The image is attractive but inaccurate. The unrest may be brought under control by Mubarak’s loyalists working in tandem with the military, or it may lead to one free election resulting in the establishment of an Islamic republic, but it will not produce a Western-style democracy. Political Islam, embodied in the Muslim Brotherhood, is the only well organized force capable of supplanting the … [Read more...]

Coptic march Melbourne – What you didn’t see

Church in Nag Hammadi

H/T Free Copts Gates of Vienna also asks "Where is Freedom of Religion?" … [Read more...]

U.S. Ambassador praises Egypt’s Freedom of the Press and Human Rights; Copts say otherwise

A friend sent me this translation of an original article in Arabic here. During her visit to Tanta University Scobey praises Freedom of the Press and Human Rights in Egypt Monday 14th of December 2009 Gharbia: Hend Adel Margaret Scobey, the United States of America’s Ambassador to Egypt affirmed that there is no differentiation between minorities in Egypt and described it as the country of civil coexistence, where there are some cases that reach the level of slight conflict, that Egypt aims to solve before they develop, in light of it enjoying full freedom of the press and Human Rights organizations work there in complete freedom. … [Read more...]

Report: Egyptian State Security Accused of Cover-up in Muslim Riots

From the Assyrian International News Agency. (HT: The Volokh Conspiracy): Cairo (AINA) -- In an effort to cover up the Muslim mob violence against the Copts which broke out last week in the town of Farshoot and neighboring villages (AINA 11-22-2009, 11-23-2009), and in view of the complete news blackout imposed by the Egyptian government, Egyptian State Security has intensified its pressure on the Coptic Church in Nag Hammadi and the victims of the violence into accepting extrajudicial reconciliation with the perpetrators, and opening their businesses without any compensation. Similar State Security scenarios have been experienced by Copts in all sectarian incidents in the past, in which they always come out as losers, having been forced to give up civil and criminal charges, while the criminals get away scot-free. "There will be no reconciliation before full financial compensation has been paid to the Coptic victims, and the criminals are brought to justice, so that safety … [Read more...]

A ‘somber’ time for Egypt’s Copts

Christ the Teacher (Coptic icon)

From the Times (UK): The first two months of the Coptic new year have been a somber time for Egypt’s ancient Christian community. The new year fell on the inauspicious date of September 11. And a spate of attacks on this large and downtrodden community by Islamist extremists or villagers giving a religious pretext to petty quarrels have provoked accusations of officially tolerated discrimination and heightened fears that Islamists will be emboldened to undercut the laws that promise religious freedom and legal equality in Egypt. Clashes broke out in Kafr al-Barbaqri, a Nile delta town, in July after a shopkeeper stabbed a teenager to death in a dispute over an empty soda bottle. The Christian grocer had refused to give the Muslim boy a partial refund, and in the ensuing argument the grocer struck the boy with a knife, leading to his death. Dozens of Muslims went on the rampage, setting fire to the grocer’s house and the one next door, leading to 30 arrests. A month earlier … [Read more...]

Egypt’s Copts the ‘New Martyrs’?

Perilous times for Egypt's Christian community. In "Egypt's Coptic Christians Are Choosing Isolation," the Washington Post reports that "the most populous Christian community in the Middle East is seeking safety by turning inward, cutting day-to-day social ties that have bound Muslim to Christian in Egypt for centuries." The story notes a dramatic decline in of the Coptic Christian population in Egypt. Violent confrontations between Muslims and Christians are on the upswing. In May, Arab Bedouins attacked monks reclaiming the 1,700-year-old monastery of Abu Fana. Monks say the attackers fired on them with AK-47 assault rifles and captured some among them to torture. Attackers broke the legs of one monk by pounding them between two rocks. One Muslim man was killed. A few days earlier, gunmen in Cairo killed four Copts at a jewelry store but left without taking anything. Strife over liaisons between Christian and Muslim men and women led to recent clashes between the … [Read more...]