The Coptic community in Sydney marched to the Egyptian consulate to protest the mistreatment of their co-religionists. Here is some Youtube video showing the proceedings. As with most such protests in Sydney it was all peaceful and civil. A delegation was allowed up in to the Egyptian consulate to present a petition asking for the redress of their grievances. Although the protest march was of considerable size (by Sydney standards) there wasn’t any obvious media coverage. The Coptic story is an interesting one which really deserves more attention than it gets. Wikipedia writes:
The word “Coptic” was originally used in Classical Arabic to refer to Egyptians in general (see etymology section), but it has undergone semantic shift over the centuries to mean more specifically Egyptian Christian after the bulk of the Egyptian population converted to Islam. In modern usage, it is frequently applied to members of the Coptic Orthodox Church irrespective of ethnic origin. Thus Ethiopian and Eritrean Christians (and Nubians before their conversion to Islam) were traditionally referred to as Copts, though this has been falling out of use since their Tewahedo Churches were granted their own patriarchs.
The number of Copts in Egypt has been subject to some controversy. Coptic sources put forward figures ranging from 14% to 20% (between 10 and 15 million), but the Egyptian government insists that Copts represent about 6% (5 million) of the Egyptian population. Part of the controversy could be attributed to the increasing number of Copts born outside Egypt and who do not carry Egyptian passports. The number of Copts within Egypt may be very slowly declining due to higher emigration rates caused by harassment and discrimination at the hands of Islamist militants and the Egyptian government. Egyptian Copts have occasionally been on the receiving end of violent acts from Islamic extremist groups. Copts have leveled the accusation that the Egyptian government has sometimes been complicit or uncaring in the face of such incidents.
Most of the world today is accustomed to thinking in terms of Arabs=Muslim. But once upon a time, what is now known as the Middle East was a Christian heartland. The echoes of that are reflected in the large numbers of Lebanese Christians in Sydney. More recently I’ve made the acquaintance of some Copts. As the placards and streamers in the video emphasize, they had their issues with Islamism long before September 11. That event, however terrible, did not start history. It simply made more people aware of it.
It was interesting to observe how even the Anglo sympathizers of the Coptic march were reluctant to make the kind of direct allegations of persecution that the Copts made in a matter of fact manner. For example, I have in my hand one of the flyers handed out during the event. It says, “Muslims kidnap the Christian girls, rape them and force them to convert to Islam. The Muslim attack Christian jewelers, kill them and steal the gold … monks in the monastery have been kidnapped, tied to a palm tree with ropes, beaten with electric cables … ” etc. It’s hard to imagine an Anglo handing out a similar leaflet, at least without feeling the worry of being arrested for hate speech clutching at his heart. Clearly if Mark Steyn has said one tenth of what the Copts claimed he would be accused of being a Nazi.
It’s hard to escape the conclusion that there are some things that only a person of a certain race can legitimately utter. The Copts can say these things about Islam because they are not Anglo. One Chinese lady at the demonstration who was taking photos with a really spiffy DSLR was apparently married to a Copt. Would it be ok for a Chinese person to say such things, or had she, in the explicable way of things somehow been transformed by modern consensus into a “white” person? Maybe the rule is that a Chinese woman is “white” under normal circumstances, but is ethnic if she happens to be married to a Copt. Who understands these things? Maybe there’s a handbook of political correctness published somewhere that has a matrix describing what race/ethnicity can say what without being accused of hate speech.
Maybe the real function of “human rights tribunals”, like the one which is shambolically persecuting Mark Steyn, is to generate the jurisprudence defining the shadow code of political correctness which acts like a parallel legal system in increasingly large parts of Western society. Without such “human rights” tribunals we’d be forever scratching our heads about who can legitimately do what. Thank God that the tribunals can authoritatively tell us where thoughtcrime begins and ends. Ironically any such body of political correctness would really be driven by politically incorrect considerations as skin color or ethnic mix, since this after all, is the dominating factor in determining guilt or innocence. Such a politically correct code would in effect say a pureblood this can say that, but a halfblood this can only say so much. It might contain entries like “a Chinese is to be treated as an ethnic minority under this circumstance but treated as white in that circumstance” etc. Of course it won’t say this in so many words, but that’s what it will amount to. It’s an amazing thought to consider in the early years of the 21st century. Maybe it’s true that racism is far from dead in the West. But perhaps it travels, at least in part, under the guise of enlightenment.