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Why Christians Are Being Slaughtered in Egypt

On April 9 -- Palm Sunday, which starts the holy week of Easter -- two Christian churches were bombed during mass in Egypt, leaving at least 50 worshippers dead and nearly 130 injured or maimed (graphic images/video of aftermath here).

Less than four months earlier, around Christmas, another Christian church was bombed in Egypt, leaving 27 worshippers -- mostly women and children -- dead and wounding nearly 70.

On New Year’s Day 2011, yet another Egyptian church was bombed, leaving 23 worshippers dead.

In 2013, almost 70 Christian churches in Egypt were attacked, many burned to the ground, by Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

Many “lesser” attacks on Egyptian churches -- botched bombing attempts, hate-filled graffiti, and “angry mob” uprisings -- are so common that they receive virtually no coverage in the West.

One need only listen to the words and teachings of some of Egypt’s Muslim preachers to understand why Egypt’s Christians are increasingly being slaughtered, and why their churches are constantly under attack.

Dr. Ahmed al-Naqib has studied at the best Islamic madrassas, including Al Azhar, authored numerous books on doctrine, received awards and decorations for his academic achievements, and regularly appears on television. In one video he appears discussing an earlier Muslim mob attack on a church in Egypt, which the media and government always denounce as fitna -- an Arabic word that means temptation or discord and which Islam commands Muslims to oppose.

Citing revered Islamic texts including the Koran, Dr. Naqib explained that the open display of shirk -- associating someone else with Allah, which is the greatest sin in Islam and which the Koran accuses Christians of doing via the Trinity -- “is the worst form of fitna, worse than murder and bloodshed.”

In other words, and as he went on to make perfectly clear in the remainder of the video, fitna (or discord) is not when Muslims attack Christian churches -- far from it. Fitna is rather when Christians are allowed to flaunt their shirk (or “blasphemies”) in churches near Muslims.  Fighting that, even to the point of murder and bloodshed, is preferable.

Dr. Yasser Burhami is the face of Egypt’s Salafi movement; he is as well-credentialed and prolific as Naqib: Barhami is on record saying that, although a Muslim man is permitted to marry Christian or Jewish women, he must make sure he still hates them in his heart, and must always show that he hates them, because they are infidels. Otherwise, he risks compromising his Islam.

Burhami once issued a fatwa forbidding Muslim taxi and bus drivers from transporting Christian priests to their churches, and act which he said is “more forbidden than taking someone to a liquor bar.”

It’s not just “radical” or Salafi sheikhs who make such hateful pronouncements.

Even so-called “moderate” Islamic institutions, such as Al Azhar’s Dar al-Ifta, issued a fatwa in August 2009 likening the building of a church to: