In recent protests over the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi in Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood supporters looted, burned and destroyed 58 churches, Christian schools, and other Christian installations. Many members of the Brotherhood have decided to scapegoat the Christians for the downfall of Morsi’s government, even though they had nothing to do with it, and have targeted them ever since. But in fact, as Raymond Ibrahim documents in an important new book, the recent persecution in Egypt is nothing new.
In Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (Regnery), Ibrahim, an Egyptian-American Coptic Christian, reveals why it is such a cruel irony that leftists and Islamic supremacists in the U.S. routinely tar the foes of jihad violence with charges of “bigotry” and “hatred.” In reality, it is they who are fronting for a recrudescence of bigotry and hatred on a grand – indeed, worldwide – scale: the Muslim war on Christians that stretches from Nigeria to Indonesia and involves restrictions on Christians’ freedom and Christian worship, creating a climate of hate in which Christians live on the precarious edge, constantly bracing themselves for a violent Muslim outbreak against them that could come at any time, without warning.
In Egypt, which Ibrahim uses as a paradigmatic example of the plight of Christians in Muslim countries, Coptic Christians have suffered discrimination and harassment for centuries. The recent worsening of their situation didn’t start just with the “Arab Spring.”
Late in 2010, for instance, Muslims in Egypt subjected the Copts to an unprecedented reign of terror. An Islamic jihad-martyrdom suicide bomber murdered twenty-two people and wounded eighty more at the Coptic Christian Church of the Saints in Alexandria, Egypt on New Year’s Eve. Just days later, as Christmas (which Copts celebrate on January 7) 2011 approached, an Islamic website carried this ominous exhortation: “Blow up the churches while they are celebrating Christmas or any other time when the churches are packed.”