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The PJ Tatler

Andrew G. Bostom


August 21, 2013 - 10:50 am

Expatriate Egyptian Coptic Christian writer Samuel Tadros has just observed how Egypt’s Copts—the country’s indigenous, pre-Arab Islamic jihad inhabitants—have been under siege by a recent spate of Muslim Brotherhood inspired and led church burnings, which punctuates the worst outbreak of anti-Coptic Muslim violence since the era of Muslim Mamluk rule (i.e., the 13th to 16th centuries).

Tadros was alluding to the effects of mainstream Islam upon its Egyptian Muslim votaries, resulting in the inexorable attrition of the Coptic population by the mid 14th century—the indigenous, pre-Islamic majority reduced to a permanent, vulnerable minority by the usual pattern of Islamization, via jihad: massacre, destruction and pillage of religious sites, forced or coerced conversion, and expropriation. This chronic process intensified and reached its apogee in a series of 14th century pogroms and persecutions, described by the great Muslim historian al-Maqrizi:

Many reports came from both Upper and Lower Egypt of Copts being converted to Islam, frequenting mosques, and memorizing the Quran, to the extent that some of them were able to establish their legal competence and sit with the legal witnesses. In all the provinces of Egypt, both north and south, no church remained that had not been razed; on many of those sites mosques were constructed. For when the Christians’ affliction grew great and their incomes small, they decided to embrace Islam.

Egyptian military strongman, and recent putschist, General al-Sisi issued an ecumenical sounding statement pledging that that army engineers would assist in the reconstruction of the devastated churches, as reported on August 16, 2013:

The Egyptian defense minister ordered the engineering department of the armed forces to swiftly repair all the affected churches, in recognition of the historical and national role played by our Coptic brothers.

But these noble-sounding words have rung hollow given the subsequent, ongoing lack of protection the Egyptian military has afforded its “Coptic brothers.” As reported on August 20th, Bishop General of Minya (in Upper Egypt, four hours from Cairo) Anba Macarius was critical of the army’s continued feeble response, claiming their lack of initiative in protecting churches and other Christian buildings engendered the ideal environment in which “crime and terrorism flourish.” Macarius declared:

First we must protect the Christians and the feelings of those who have suffered loss. Now we are calling on the state to protect the churches and the army to come onto the streets.

The morally reprehensible inaction of Egypt’s allegedly “secular” army—failing to protect its hapless and beleaguered Coptic minority—heightens concerns over the direction of this institution under a demonstrably anti-secular leader, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. In a detailed analysis of al-Sisi’s 2006 US Army War College mini-thesis—which had to be obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request—I demonstrated that he is vociferously opposed to the kind of Western secular consensus model of government Egypt so desperately requires. Moreover, al-Sisi’s mini-thesis also espoused ardent Sharia-supremacist views, highlighted by his lionization of the classical Islamic Caliphate system.

Why does this matter, in the immediate term, both morally and strategically? As my colleague David French wrote in a passionate denunciation of the Egyptian army’s current predilections, and concomitant U.S. moral and strategic blindness:

As churches burn, as nuns are paraded through the streets by the Muslim Brotherhood, and as Christians across Egypt fear for their lives in the face of the jihadist onslaught, American policy can and should get very simple, very fast: Not one scintilla of aid until the Egyptian military demonstrates — by deeds, not just words — that it is committed to stopping this wave of persecution in its tracks, protecting the most basic human rights of its Christian citizens, and utterly defeating the Muslim Brotherhood.

Andrew Bostom ( is the author of The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims (2005/2008) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History (2008).

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The Christians in Eqypt are to be commended for their survival and restraint under intense persecution. May God grant them mercy and may His enemies be scattered.

I pity the poor people in the ME who are suffering from the malevalent, evil belief system with which they have been afflicted. May they come to the light and be freed from their bondage and hatred.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The now defunct Juan Peron could teach both the Egyptian army and the Muslim vandals a thing or two. He was the one who in 1955 sent a bunch of thugs to torch the churches of Buenos Aires. Later when he returned much wiser from his 18 year exile in 1973 he reflected: "The worse mistake I made was to pick a fight with the Church" (paraphrased). Fire did not descend upon him from Heaven but he was smart enough to discern that the events of his long exile were somehow connected to the fight he picked with The Carpenter from Nazareth. Intelligent people learn from their mistakes, geniuses learn from other people's mistakes. Apparently the Romans are not coming back, neither are Napoleon, Stalin or Hitler. The Carpenter continues to make coffins for His enemies twenty centuries later. The current powers that be in the world will try to erase Christianity from the face of this planet. In doing so they shall seal their own doom. Everything will fall to pieces but somehow His Church will survive and flourish again. I even venture to say that they will rebuild the world one more time after all their enemies have gone to dust like all the others before them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Just one more justification for cutting off all aid to Egypt (and I am not Christian). 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 Saudi neighbors deplete their treasury funding it. There is much that we can do, but helping to fund any of these medieval bigots isn't one of them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
But (gasp!) protecting Christians is so un-PC in Washington. They won't even think of it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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