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The PJ Tatler

Raymond Ibrahim


November 3, 2011 - 12:13 pm

Earlier we saw that Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Ali Gomaa, the nation’s second highest religious authority, categorized all Christians as “infidels” – a word that is much more complicated, and more damning, than the usual and casual translation of “non-believer.” We also saw that some Western apologists are in the habit of praising Gomaa as a “moderate.” As incongruous as that many see, when one hears what other Muslim leaders have to say about “Christian infidels,” one may indeed see Gomaa as a “moderate,” relatively speaking.

Enter Sheikh Yassir al-Birhani, Vice President of the Salafi Summons in Alexandria, Egypt, and a regular fixture on religious programs, including on Al Jazeera. Consider his remarks in an interview on Al Rahma (“Mercy”) Channel regarding the Maspero massacre, when the military mowed down Christians protesting the latest destruction of a church in Edfu.

“Al-Birhani: ‘Copts are infidels by witness of the Quran; shall we apologize for the Quran to please them? Allah’s curse on them,’” by Amani Musa for Free Christian Voice, October 13:

Sheikh Yassir al-Birhani said, commenting on the Edfu church attack and the events leading to Maspero: “Copts created the sectarian strife, claiming that Muslims destroyed a church,” adding “the building that was burned and destroyed had no papers or permits.”

Many Muslims, including the governor who signed the papers, denied that the church had official status, even though the original, signed papers and permits have been shown and are still in possession of the Copts.

“Christians are infidels by Allah as shown by the Quran: shall we apologize for the Quran, and distort its contents, to please them?”…

Al-Birhani concluded his conversation on Rahma Channel by quoting several Quranic verses demonstrating that Copts [Christians] are infidels.


Raymond Ibrahim, a Middle East and Islam specialist, is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings have appeared in a variety of media, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, World Almanac of Islamism, and Chronicle of Higher Education; he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, NPR, Blaze TV, and CBN. Ibrahim regularly speaks publicly, briefs governmental agencies, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and testifies before Congress. He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center; Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow, Middle East Forum; and a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution, 2013. Ibrahim’s dual-background -- born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East -- has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former.
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