by Raymond Ibrahim // NRO’s The Corner
While Western media, following the lead of pro-Brotherhood Al Jazeera, continue demonizing the Egyptian military’s attempts to neutralize the Muslim Brotherhood terror bases – where people have been tortured, raped, and killed, all according to Islamist fatwas (yes, including the rape, more on this later) the media portray them as “sit ins” where Islamists are “holding vigil” only to be slaughtered by the military. Conversely, the media has been incredibly silent about the terrors being visited on Egypt’s Coptic Christians, the nation’s original inhabitants, by the very same people in the “sit ins.”
For starters, and as CBN’s Gary Lane just put it, “What do Muslim Brotherhood members do when Egyptian Security Forces launch a forewarned operation to clear them from Cairo tent cities? Attack Christians. That’s right. Morsi supporters responded with a monumental attack — unprecedented in modern times — on churches throughout Egypt. The torching and destruction of churches occured within six hours of the start of the military crackdown.”
Indeed, the abuse of Egypt’s Christians has reached unprecedented levels in the modern era. Al-Qaeda’s flag has been raised above their churches; their pope is in hiding under threat of death; a priest was shot in front of his church, and another Copt beheaded; their children are being abducted; nary a day goes by without a church being attacked or set aflame; hate filled graffiti covers their homes and churches.
And why has the persecution reached unprecedented levels? Because the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi was ousted by a revolution that saw as many as 30 million Egyptians, most of them Muslims, take to the streets. But of course, the Brotherhood does not want to admit that Muslim majorities do not favor their rule, so they scapegoat the already-hated Christians, portraying them as fundamental to the ousting of Morsi. Any number of Brotherhood leaders — from the general guide, Mohammed Badie, to the group’s spiritual father, Sheikh Yusif al-Qaradawi, all of whom publicly denounced the Coptic pope for being supportive of the revolution and supposedly even killing Muslims – are responsible for this rise in persecution of Copts.
Accordingly, among some Islamists, anti-Christian fury has taken on genocidal proportions. Recently a Libyan Muslim named Tamar Rashad called in to a talk show, saying “I want to offer the good news to [Pope] Tawadros that, Allah willing, the day is coming when no Copt will ever again tread the ground of Egypt – and no churches. We will no longer allow churches to exist.” When the TV host appeared to protest, Rashad interrupted him saying, “It’s already decided, take your cameras and go to the churches and you’ll see what’s going to happen soon, Allah willing.”
In fact, it has become difficult in the last few days to keep up with the attacks on Egypt’s Christians, so many and nonstop are the reports emanating from human-rights organizations in Egypt. Especially throughout Upper Egypt – in Minya, Asyut, Sohag – Christians and their churches are under attack; dozens of Coptic homes and businesses have been set on fire. Due to the risk to Christian lives, many churches are no longer holding regular worship services.
Also often left untold by the major media is that Copts suffered unprecedented abuses under Morsi’s one year of rule – through legal measures as well as extralegal ones.
For example, in April, after Christians mourned several Copts who were killed by Muslims in St. Mark’s Cathedral, Coptic Christianity’s holiest site and home to the Coptic pope (before he went into hiding from recent death threats), Muslim mobs who had waited outside launched yet another attack. Eyewitnesses said as many as 40–50 tear gas canisters targeted the mourners, many of whom were women and children hiding in the cathedral. Two more Copts were killed and many dozens wounded as other officers stood by while the Muslim mob tried to destroy the cathedral. As one Egyptian political commentator pointed out at the time, under Mubarak, not even a pebble was thrown at St. Mark’s Cathedral.
Similarly, under the one year of Morsi rule, over a dozen cases of Copts being attacked, arrested, and given sentences double the maximum for supposedly insulting Islam, took place; under Mubarak’s thirty year rule, less than a handful of cases was ever registered—proof that, under the Brotherhood, Coptic persecution became legally codified in the context of “blasphemy.”
One can go on and on. Yet you won’t find out about the persecution of Egypt’s Christians – certainly nowhere near its true extent nor the historical continuity and patterns evinced throughout the centuries – following the so-called mainstream media or academia, as can be seen even now in their skewed coverage of the military’s attempts to disperse the Brotherhood bases.
It’s time the full, ugly truth about Muslim persecution of Christians was known – and acted upon.
Raymond Ibrahim is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians and publishes monthly reports on Islamic persecution of Christians.