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Why the Brotherhood Targets Christians — Remember the Maspero Massacre

August 21st, 2013 - 5:34 am

The problem with Egypt is not the Brotherhood, it is the culture. Secular democrats are a distinct minority and there is no prospect that that will change any time soon. As I argued in a National Review column today, it is a mistake for us to idealize what life for Christians was like in Egypt before the Muslim Brotherhood came to power:

Mubarak was, on balance, an American ally, but he made his own accommodations with Islamic supremacists — abiding their prominence in academe, their promotion of anti-Semitism in the media, and their more than occasional harassment of the Copts. The stubborn fact is that attacks on Egypt’s Christians long predate the Brotherhood’s now-aborted rise to political power.

It is worth reprising Spring Fever’s description of what was going on in Egypt in the weeks after Mubarak’s fall but long before Morsi’s mid-2012 election:

With Mubarak out of the way and control of the revolution up for grabs, the Western media began assuring increasingly alarmed readers and viewers that there was little chance Egypt would go the way of Iran because the uprising lacked a Khomeini-like charismatic cleric to seize the moment. But then the Brotherhood began shunting aside non-Islamist opposition leaders, including Google executive Wael Ghonim, whom Western media had posited as emblematic of the uprising’s modernist, progressive character. After all, well over a million Muslims were not jamming the square to hear a good corporate citizen of the Left; they were there to hear Sheikh Qaradawi, sharia personified.

Just a week after Mubarak’s expulsion, on Juma — i.e., Friday, the Islamic Sabbath, when the uprising tended to heat up as Muslims poured out of their mosques with the voices of fiery imams still ringing in their ears — Sheikh Qaradawi was cheered like a rock star in Tahrir Square. Tellingly, security for his appearance in the former backyard of his archenemy, Mubarak, was provided by the Egyptian military … even as the Brothers were preventing non-Islamist speakers from taking the podium. The Brothers and the generals, it seemed, could reach accommodations. In his sermon, Qaradawi celebrated the revolution as Allah’s victory and heralded it as a divine omen for “our brothers in Palestine” — meaning Hamas. Just as Allah had provided “victory in Egypt,” so too would there soon be a “conquest of the al-Aqsa Mosque” in Jerusalem.

Soon, murderous attacks against Coptic Christians intensified. On New Year’s ever, a church in Alexandria was bombed, killing 23. In March, angry mobs attacked a Cairo church. In April, rioters in Qena demanded the ouster of the regime-appointed governor because he is a Christian and thus, under sharia, unfit to govern in a Muslim land. In May, screaming, “With our blood and soul, we will defend you, Islam!” jihadists stormed the Virgin Mary Church in northwest Cairo, torched it, burned to the ground the nearby homes of two Copt families, attacked a residential complex, killed a dozen people, and wounded over 200 more. In October, thousands of Muslims attacked and destroyed the St. George Coptic church in Edfu. The pastor had been insufficiently attentive to their complaints that the renovation of the house of worship, carried out only after government approval, left it with a “cross [that] irritates Muslims and their children.” And then there was that dome that made it look like, well, a church.

Flabbergasted that the world seemed indifferent to their plight, thousands of Copts went to Maspero, a Cairo media center, to draw attention. The demonstration turned into a shocking massacre when some soldiers opened fire on the protesters and others rammed cars into them. Dozens of Christians were killed and 300 wounded — though the media focused on the three soldiers who lost their lives in the melee started by the military. Video circulated of a soldier boasting that he had shot a Christian in the chest, after which the crowd around him shouted, “Allahu Akbar!

We can only hope that enough international pressure can be brought to bear that the Egyptian armed forces will be moved to stop the ongoing brutalization of Christians. We can only hope that the military takeover will eventually lead to a more inclusive Egyptian society that turns away from sharia repression and toward the protection of the fundamental rights of minorities and women. But we should not kid ourselves: Egypt is a long, long way from there. The Brotherhood is savaging Christians because, in Egypt, it is a very effective strategy to portray oneself as the defender of Islam fighting “enemies of Islam.”

To understand what is happening in Egypt and throughout the Middle East, you would do far better to read Ray Ibrahim’s Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians than to catch the Western media’s spring fever.

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I like McCarthy but I think he is wrong. His main point is that the problem is the Islamic culture of Egypt. True enough, but that was always true and will be so for the foreseeable future if not forever.

Our task is to contain, fight and push back the power of Islamic Caliphate hatreds and their allies - the Left. Our task is to fight the terrorists and not to think it is futile because the cultures work against us.

We certainly have to think through a strategy that would be successful. It may or may not be of importance but while McCarthy is correct that the current head of the government is not a supporter of Coptic's, I would take his attack on the Brotherhood and his pledge to rebuild the Churches - which would involve resting them from their current status which are now Mosques - is in response to the conservative institutions of Egypt in the military and in the business world.

If the secularists number only 20 million ok, but that should be enough.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This should be a wake up call to every country with substantial and growing Muslim populations. It won't be long before the burning of churches becomes commonplace outside the MIddle East. Cancers spread when left untreated.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I left essentially this same comment on another PJM column, but it is apropos for Mr. McCarthy's as well. This is just one more justification for cutting off all aid to Egypt (and I am neither Christian nor Jewish). The Saudis and other Arab monarchies of the Middle East, in their own self-interest, are aiding the Egyptian government against the Muslim Brotherhood - let them pick up all of the tab. Every Saudi and Qatari dollar flushed down the Egyptian toilet is a dollar not available to fund their rabid Wahabi-inspired mosques and madrassas around the world.

This is a win-win for the US and the rest of the world. As long as the Arab spigot is flowing we can ignore the unfolding and inevitable humanitarian crisis, because their neighbors are there to "help." Let the Egyptian military take on the task of breaking the back of the MB, and let their misogynistic, Jew-hating and hate-filled neighbors deplete their treasuries funding it. There is much that we can do, but helping to fund any of these medieval bigots isn't one of them.

As for the real politique argument about maintaining good relations with the military post-MB, that's a chimera. And, if they use up all of the fuel and spare parts for their US military equipment let those same neighbors loan them some of their American military hardware, and drain their treasuries even more.

As Mr. McCarthy points out, large majorities in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East want Sharia and, with it, theocratic societies. Let the ones who overwhelmingly want that implode, while we and the rest of world create shields as best we can from the implosion, work with the handful of societies who want something else, and then pick up the pieces in the aftermath. That's true real politique.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There are not enough caves in the middle east to house these Neanderthals. Islam is the culture of death. Who wants 70+ mother in laws in the afterlife.....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't see how any of those brain-dead morons could look in the mirror at themselves and feel superior to an ant, let alone the rest of humanity. I guess people can believe anything.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I dunno, Andrew, I'm mostly with you on this, that any country with a large Islamic population is in deep doo-doo civilization-wise, and yet by that same token a lot of their "low-information voters" are likely to answer polls in favor of Islam, whether they really believe it or understand it or care about it.

And maybe it's the 20m who live in the cities who matter, the others will just take things as they come.

Dar al-Islam has cleared out pretty much all non-believers except the Copts over the past 20 years, I wonder how much longer even Christians in Turkey will be safe - or happy - there.

If we had a POTUS worth spit, that might well be the sharp end of the spear - we will support only regimes that "tolerate" other faiths, and that means no dhimmis, either. And of course we could start with our friends the Sauds. As to what we would do in cases like Egypt where the Christians are under attack - I dunno, take it to the UN maybe, see if we can get a consensus for action, hmm? I will note here, however, that George Dubya neither was big on this, either, a lot of Christians were cleared out of Iraq on his watch, and maybe 9 of the last 11 Jews.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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