"Everyone at the church seemed to have friends and relatives who were trying
to leave Egypt. Parents picking up their kids said they were bracing for an
Islamic takeover of their homeland. Church officials said there had been a
steady stream of newcomers seeking help or coming to Arabic Masses. One man who
arrived from Cairo three weeks ago, reached by a church counselor on a cell
phone, nervously told his story through an Arabic translator.
“I am going to apply for asylum and get my family out as soon as I can,” said
the man, 34, who gave his name only as Zekry. “The Islamists are taking over,
and disaster is coming very soon.”
In the past several months, he said, he had been threatened for sheltering
Muslims who converted to Christianity, and his wife had been harassed for not
wearing a veil when she went to pay their Internet bill. “The clerk told her,
‘Next time come back with your head covered. Your time is over,’ ” he said." Washpost
Ahh! What do these Copts know about this! The State Department and NSC know what they are doing, don't they? This reminds me of Larry Wilkerson telling me (through a mutual acquaintance) that I should shut up and trust the Bush administration about Iraq. That was in 2002. He and Powell knew best (he said).
Well, the government does not know best. It is infected with the idea of "progress" in human relations, the idea that all the world wants to be like us Western people. Well, they don't.
Christians in the Arab world come in marvelous varities. Prince Hassan of Jordan did a great job of describing them in his small but learned book, "Christianity in the Arab World."
These Middle Eastern Christians are the remnant of peoples who inhabited and dominated the region before the coming of Islam in the 7th Century AD. Most of the present Muslim population in the Arab countries are descended from Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians who gradually (over centuries) yielded to; social pressure, discriminatory taxation, inferior status before the law, etc. and converted to Islam. Islam treats any conversion from Islam to be apostasy and this usually is thought to be a capital offense under sharia law.
Gradually over the centuries accomodations were reached that allowed Muslims and their dhimmi (religious minority) neighbors to live in peace together so long as the dhimmis understood that they were second class citizens without whatever political power might be enjoyed by Muslims. There were some advantages to "dhimmitude." The minoritues had their own religious courts and were not subject to sharia. they were not subject to military service requirements. In fact it was not allowed until European influence began to seep into these regions. Christians and Jews sometimes had specialized financial service occupations or were advisers to rulers. The king of Morroco is still so advised.
The Ottoman tanziimaat in the 182os and the spread of colonialism introduced the idea of an equality of humans across sectarian lines. In Egypt, the Coptic Christian minority (10%) tended to become Westernized quite rapidly and were advantaged in business and government by the Muhammad Ali dynasty and their British "advisers." Their status and that of the Jews is reflected in literature by the "Alexandria Quartet."
But, always in the background there lurked a deep resentment on the part of the Muslim majority, a feeling that the Copts ahould be put in their place as the kuffar that they were and are. Now the time has come.
This kind of ethno-religious division is commonplace across the contact "line" between Muslims and Christians. It was reflected in the Balkans in the recent past. It is reflected in the never ending sporadic attacks on churches in Pakistan.
The percentage of Christians in the population is steadily falling across the Islamic World. It will continue to do so. pl