It has been four years since hundreds of thousands of Egyptian protesters gathered in the capital’s Tahrir Square in a popular uprising that ousted then-president Hosni Mubarak.
A recent New York Times article exemplifies why the Times simply cannot be trusted. Written by one David Kirkpatrick and titled “Vow of Freedom of Religion Goes Unkept in Egypt,” the article disingenuously interprets some general truths in an effort to validate its thesis.
Much of this is done by omitting relevant facts that provide needed context. For example, Kirkpatrick makes Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and the military—widely recognized as the heroes of the June 2013 revolution that toppled former President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood—appear responsible for the poor state of religious freedom in Egypt, when in fact the military has no authority over the judicial system, which is independent.
Even so, there is much evidence that Egypt, while far from becoming a Western-style democracy, is on the right path—one certainly better than under the Muslim Brotherhood. But these are seldom mentioned in the NYT report. Most recently, for example, the military-backed government jailed a popular Islamic scholar for contempt against Christianity—something that never happened under Morsi, when clerics were regularly and openly condemning and mocking Christians.
Similarly, Sheikh Yassir Burhami, the face of Egypt’s Salafi movement, is facing prosecution for contempt against Christianity for stating that Easter is an “infidel” celebration and that Muslims should not congratulate Christians during Easter celebrations. Previously under Morsi, Burhami was free to say even worse—including issuing a fatwa banning taxi drivers from transporting Christian priests to their churches.
Some positive developments are twisted to look as attacks on religious freedom. Kirkpatrick complains that “The new government has tightened its grip on mosques, pushing imams to follow state-approved sermons,” as if that is some sort of infringement on their rights, when in fact, mosques are the primary grounds where Muslims are radicalized to violence, especially against religious minorities like Coptic Christians, amply demonstrated by the fact that the overwhelming majority of attacks on churches and Christians occur on Friday, the one day of the week when Muslims congregate in mosques and listen to sermons.
“State-approved sermons” are much more moderate and pluralistic in nature and the government’s way of keeping radicals and extremists from mosque podiums.
If Kirkpatrick truly cared about the religious freedom of Egypt’s minorities, he would laud this move by the government, instead of trying to portray it as an infringement of the rights of the radicals to “freely” preach hate.
Another positive development overlooked by the article is that Egypt’s native church, the Coptic Orthodox Church, was involved in drafting the new, post-Morsi constitution, and was allowed to voice its opinion over controversial Article Two, which deals with how influential Islamic Sharia will be in governing society. The Church accepted a more moderate version than the previous one articulated under Morsi, which the Church as well as millions of Egyptian Muslims, were against due to its draconian, Islamist nature.
Read more at CBN News
BY RYAN MAURO:
The Coptic Christians of Egypt are — by any definition – victims, especially since the fall of Mubarak, but senior Homeland Security adviser Mohamed Elibiary disagrees. To him, the Copts are to be reprimanded for promoting “Islamophobia” and opposing the Muslim Brotherhood.
The estimated eight million Christians of Egypt have rallied behindthe presidential candidacy of General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who led the military in overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood rulers. Under his leadership, the Brotherhood has been banned as a terrorist organization. El-Sisi promised to rebuild or repair churches damaged by Brotherhood supporters and has even called for a reformation in Islam.
“If Egypt had not been saved by Sisi, you would have seen an exodus of all the Christians from Egypt,” says Naguib Sawiris, a high-profile Christian businessman in Egypt.
No one can rightly blame the Christians for backing El-Sisi, even if there are concerns about his government’s violations of civil liberties. The Christians view him as their rescuer and a strongman who can oversee a transition to a democracy. His main competitor, Hamdeen Sabahi, supports Al-Qaeda when it kills U.S. soldiers and is not viewed as a viable candidate.
Mohamed Elibiary, an openly pro-Muslim Brotherhood senior advisor to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, takes issue with the Copts support for El-Sisi. In a tweet on April 12, he linked to a TIME Magazine article titled, “Christians and Tyrants.” He added that some Coptic leaders and activists “have been extremely unwise & immoral.” The tweet can be seen below:
Elibiary was previously taken to task in September for his criticisms of the Copts. He tweeted that, since 9/11, “extremist American Coptic activists have nurtured anti-Islam and anti-Muslim sentiments.” In another, he spoke of the “need to reform Coptic activism in US including stop[ping] promoting Islamophobia.”
Read more at Clarion Project
On Friday, March 28, in Ain Shams, a suburb of Cairo, Muslim Brotherhood supporters attacked the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church, including by opening fire on it and setting parked cars aflame. Four people died.
One of the slain, a young Coptic woman, was savagely mauled and molested before being murdered—simply because her cross identified her as a Christian to the Brotherhood rioters.
According to an eyewitness who discussed the entire event on the Egyptian program, 90 Minutes, Mary Sameh George was parking by the church to deliver medicine to a sickly, elderly woman:
Once they saw that she was a Christian [because of the cross hanging on her rear view mirror], they jumped on top of the car, to the point that the vehicle was no longer visible. The roof of the car collapsed in. When they realized that she was starting to die, they pulled her out of the car and started pounding on her and pulling her hair—to the point that portions of her hair and scalp came off. They kept beating her, kicking her, stabbing her with any object or weapon they could find…. Throughout [her ordeal] she tried to protect her face, giving her back to the attackers, till one of them came and stabbed her right in the back, near the heart, finishing her off. Then another came and grabbed her by the hair, shaking her head, and with the other hand slit her throat. Another pulled her pants off, to the point that she was totally naked.
The eyewitness, as well as many others who have since appeared on videos, complained about Egyptian State Security and how it did not intervene—just like under Morsi, when St. Mark Cathedral was besieged, even as security stood by—how it knows exactly who the murderers are, and how one of Mary’s murderers, whom “everyone reported to Security,” was simply relaxing in his home, not even hiding.
Added the eyewitness: “Let me tell you, here in Ain Shams, we [Christians] know that every Friday is a day of death; that the day after Friday, Saturday, we’ll be carried to the morgue!”
In fact, the overwhelming majority of attacks on Egypt’s Christians occur on Friday—the day when pious Muslims meet in mosque for prayers and to hear sermons.
The significance of this fact can only be understood by analogy: what if Christians were especially violent to non-Christian minorities on Sunday—right after they got out of church? What would that say about what goes on in Christian churches?
What does it say about what goes on in Muslim mosques?
A video of Mary’s family members has one woman screaming out the following words—which may be of interest to some Americans:
A message to [U.S. President Barack] Obama, who is calling for the Brotherhood to return to power again. I want to tell him, have mercy, enough is enough! His brother is in the al-Qaeda organization! Why do you want to destroy Egypt?….Egypt will remain whether you, the Brotherhood, or anyone else likes it or not!
She was referring to something that is as well known in Egypt as it is little known in the United States: that the Obama administration is a sponsor of the Muslim Brotherhood, which itself is connected to al-Qaeda.
The rest of the video portrays some of Mary’s other family members—many in tears and near hysteria—prompting one to wonder: where is the U.S media? I have not seen a word on this latest Islamic attack on a church and Christians on BBC, CNN, or any of the so-called “mainstream media”? Why is that? They had no problem constantly showing us (over and over again) a video clip of a hysterical female relative of a member of Malaysian flight MH370.
Mary’s family members mourn during church funeral
The mainstream media is silent because Muslim persecution of Christians in general—Obama-sponsored Muslim Brotherhood in particular—throws a huge wrench in that narrative.
After all, how many Americans ever heard of the largest massacre of Syrian Christians by U.S.-supported Islamic rebels?
by John Rossomando:
Elsayed, head of the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Va., features a picture of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi – the Brotherhood’s candidate in 2011 – across the top of the page. Teenage girls post smaller images of Justin Bieber.
In the corner, Elsayed features a dark green variant of the Brotherhood’s symbol of opposition – the R4BIA hand – emblazoned with the Muslim Brotherhood’s motto: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest aspiration.”
Other posts seem to scapegoat Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority for the Muslim Brotherhood’s failure in power after one year. In fact, the Egyptian army moved only after Morsi refused to negotiate with opponents or call new elections as tens of millions of Egyptians took to the street. They felt Morsi focused more on consolidating power for the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists at the expense of Egypt’s crumbling infrastructure and economy.
Elsayed denied connections with the Brotherhood during an August news conference on the eve of a pro-Morsi rally organized by Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (EADHR) when asked about them by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).
“This is not about the Muslim Brotherhood. It is not even about Dr. Morsi,” Elsayed said.
The rally was in defense of democratic values and a stable Egypt, he said. “So we have nothing to do with your claims.”
Neither he nor the EADHR, which also prominently features the R4BIA symbol on its Facebook page, has anything to do with the Muslim Brotherhood, he said. But Elsayed also served as head of the Muslim American Society (MAS) before becoming Dar al-Hijrah’s imam in 2005.
MAS was founded in 1993 as the “overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America,” federal prosecutors wrote in 2008. “Everyone knows that MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood,” Abdurrahman Alamoudi, once the most influential Muslim American political activist, told federal investigators in a January interview from a federal correctional facility where he is serving time.
In a 2004 story about the Muslim Brotherhood in America, the Chicago Tribune quoted Elsayed describing Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna’s ideals as “the closest reflection of how Islam should be in this life.”
Al-Banna aimed to restore the caliphate and reunify the Islamic world with sharia as its guide and the convert Egyptian secular society into a thoroughly Islamic one. According to his 50-point Manifesto written in 1936, his principles included: strengthening the bonds between Islamic nations with the interest of restoring the caliphate; establishing an Islamic spirit of governance; segregating the sexes; banning dancing; and imposing “severe penalties for moral offenses” among other things.
Elsayed’s mosque has a history of ties to radicals and has attracted repeated law enforcement attention over the years. Federal agents described Dar al-Hijrah as the subject of “numerous investigations for financing and proving (sic) aid and comfort to bad orgs and members.”
Among those bad members, American-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki served as an imam at Dar al-Hijrah before leaving the United States; two 9/11 hijackersattended services there, as did Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan and terrorist financier Abdurrahman Alamoudi.
Elsayed is named in a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document detailing the group’s plan to wage a non-violent civilization jihad to destroy “Western civilization from within.” A portion of the document describes people building organizations which spread the Islamist message.
“We have a seed for a “comprehensive Dawa’ educational” organization: We have the Daw’a section in ISNA + Dr. Jamal Badawi Foundation + the center run by brother Harned al-Ghazali + the Dawa’ center the Dawa’ Committee and brother Shaker al-Sayyed are seeking to establish now + in addition to other Daw’a efforts here and there…,” an FBI translation of the Arabic document says
Read more at IPT
by John Rossomando
October 11, 2013
Major Coptic leaders are condemning Mohamed Elibiary, an Obama administration Homeland Security adviser, for suggesting that Copts who raise awareness of anti-Christian violence in Egypt promote “Islamophobic” bigotry.
Elibiary sent out a series of tweets that Coptic leaders found offensive last month. The tweets appeared to chastise the Coptic community for lobbying on behalf of their relatives in Egypt. He targeted them because they had aligned themselves with conservative groups that he called “Islamophobic.”
“VERY disturbing if true: bit.ly/18xotzi US DHS adviser accuses #Coptic #Christiansof inciting Muslims! #Speechless! Pls comment!” Bishop Angaelos, Coptic Pope Tawadros II’s personal representative in the United Kingdom wrote in a Sept. 28 Twitter post.
Elibiary personally attacked Michael Meunier, president of Egypt’s al-Haya Party, two days earlier after Meunier spoke with The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) about Elibiary’s earlier offensive tweets against the Copts.
Meunier denounced Elibiary’s personal attack, saying the issue had nothing to do with Islamophobia – but that Elibiary threw out a straw man to protect the totalitarian Muslim Brotherhood.
“If you look at him you can definitely see that he is a sympathizer of the Brotherhood,” Meunier said. “If you are in the Brotherhood you don’t have a card. The guy put up the sign for R4BIA [on his Twitter account], a symbol for people who burn churches and kill people.”
Brotherhood defenders are trying to smear their critics as anti-Muslim bigots, rather than people concerned about Brotherhood violence and repression, Meunier said. “He has a grudge against my activism, my spending two months in Washington, highlighting the vicious activities of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Elibiary initially defended sporting the R4BIA on his Twitter profile, saying “#R4BIA=#Freedom4ALL.” But he relented to pressure Friday and removed it. “While I did remove #R4BIA twibbon as I updated my profile, my view & support of its human rights & pro democracy values continue. #AntiCoup,” Elibiary wrote.
R4BIA takes its name from Cairo’s Rabia ad-Alawiya Square, where hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood protesters were killed in armed clashes with Egyptian security forces in August.
The #R4BIA platform includes a litany of principles that run in open opposition to Western values. It invokes concepts such as: “pure martyrdom”; “unification of the Muslim World”; “the end of Zionists”; “the birth of a new movement for freedom and justice”; “justice for everyone against rotten Islamic values”; “the end of oil sheikhs”; and “the end of capitalists.”
“Western concepts such as democracy, human rights, freedom, equality and right to life, often exercised in a double standard, have utterly collapsed in Palestine, Syria, Bosnia and lastly in Egypt. With the spirit of the Rabia sign, these and similar concepts will be reinterpreted based on Islamic principles,” the section “How did R4BIA emerge?” says.
In a Twitter exchange with the IPT, Elibiary said that he has a nuanced view of the Muslim Brotherhood.
But does his “nuance” include a private endorsement of the #R4BIA movement’s stated goals? Elibiary is not talking despite several invitations by the IPT on Twitter to sit down in person and talk about his views on R4BIA and other issues despite his challenge for dialog.
The R4BIA platform page makes extensive positive references to Sayyid Qutb, a Muslim Brotherhood leader executed in 1966 who explicitly called for violent jihad against infidels; his books are replete with massive anti-Semitic and anti-Christian dogma and conspiracies such as the Jews’ control of world finance.
He seemed perplexed when others questioned him about Qutb’s extremism, telling one questioner he was “curious” about the label.
Qutb called on Muslims to fight non-Muslims unless they pay the jizya or poll tax. That’s a tribute given by non-Muslims to Muslims in exchange for allowing them to practice their religion and keep their lives safe. Qutb also advocated using violenceagainst those who do not convert to Islam.
Posting the #R4BIA icon on his Twitter has nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood, Elibiary claims, although it has been exclusively used by the Brotherhood and its supporters.
He also insists that sporting the Muslim Brotherhood R4BIA banner on his Twitter account does not have anything to do with his professional duties as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council.
But Elibiary takes a page straight out of the Muslim Brotherhood playbook, blaming “Israelis” for the torrent of criticism he has faced for his accusations against Christians and for his support of the Muslim Brotherhood.
He went on offense on Twitter against the dozens of complaints about the yellow #R4BIA salute on his profile and accused them of “#R4BIAobia.” Moreover, pictures of Hamas terrorists flashing the R4BIA salute have emerged on the Internet – reinforcing the ties between the terrorists and their Egyptian parent group.
In the IPT’s new documentary, “The Grand Deception,” former Brotherhood member Abdurrahman Muhammad explains that even universal principles such as ‘justice’ have a different meaning to the Brotherhood than it does for Americans. Justice in the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood’s eyes, Muhammad says, only exists when a state is ruled as a theocracy under Islamic law.
“We will never have justice until we have an Islamic state because whoever doesn’t rule by what Allah has revealed is an oppressor,” Muhammad says in the film, explaining Muslim Brotherhood thought.
Brotherhood apologists such as Elibiary attempt to define the Brotherhood as “moderate.” Yet Rafik Habib, a Coptic Christian Brotherhood apologist whom Elibiary respects, told American diplomats that even the “left-wing” of the Islamist group were not “moderates” in a Western sense. He said their goal was a “religious state where Sharia is applied to all aspects of life.”
Elibiary did not reply when the IPT asked him if he was willing to condemn extremist and racist statements and actions by Muslim Brotherhood leaders. These included threats of expelling the Copts if they did not accept Sharia, Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie’s description of Jews as the sons of “apes” and “pigs,” and Qutb’s violent statements about Muslim relations with non-Muslims.
By not acting in the face of atrocity, the U.S. has unintentionally given the signal that it is retreating from the region. The implication of this retreat is that violence against Christians and other minorities can proceed with impunity.
Iskander Toss, who had lived all his life in the town of Delga in Upper Egypt, last week was kidnapped, severely beaten, and dragged on the dirt roads of the village until his spirit left him.
His crime? As in the Kenya mall massacre last week, he was a Christian.
A few days later, the Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] jihadists opened his grave, pulled his body out, and dragged it through the village until the majority of the Coptic families fled in terror.
What is unique about Toss’s death is that people know is his name. Throughout the land of the Nile, murders like his are taking place on a regular basis.
Delga, located 150 miles south of Cairo, is one of the oldest and the largest towns in Egypt. Out of over 100,000 inhabitants, 25,000 are Christians. Delga had a number of churches [4-5], some going back to the 4th century. Almost all of them have been destroyed.
For the past 75 days, since Morsi was forced out of office, members of the Ikhwan and its affiliates have cordoned off the village. They forced some Christians to pay “Jizya,” the extra poll tax that Christians and other non-Muslims are required to pay (like a shakedown fee for “protection.”) Members of the Ikhwan make life intolerable for Christian community in the village.
On September 16, 2013, the Egyptian armed forces moved in to free Delga from the Ikhwan and its supporters. The armed forces waited that long because of what happened earlier in Kerdasa, another village south of Cairo and the home of many Christian families.
In Kerdasa, members of the Ikhwan, starting in a police station, took 11 policemen and soldiers hostage. They tortured and shot them dead on camera, and set the station and the village’s churches on fire. Christians fled the village of Kerdasa.
The government’s strategy was to wait to give the world chance to see what the Ikhwan is capable of.
Ehab Ramzy, a Coptic attorney in Egypt, provided the context. He stated in a televised interview that his office building was set on fire along with 50 churches and 1,000 Christian businesses. They were destroyed in Upper Egypt, Ramzy explained, on the day that Morsi was forced out. This was the Ikhwan strategy, he said: to punish the church for not supporting Morsi.
Since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, the problem has only intensified: anti-Christian violence now manifests itself in Egypt with increasing regularity.
Since ouster of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, what happened to the Christians in Delga and Kerdasa, has been happening throughout Egypt.
Read more at Gatestone Institute
- Coptic Christian Says Egyptian Military Ignoring Persecution (freebeacon.com)
- Egyptian Army Plays Cavalry: Takes Town Back from Islamists (counterjihadreport.com)
- Violence against Christians in Egypt worsens, Coptic priest says he’s afraid to ‘walk in the streets’ (theglobaldispatch.com)
Killing off the Christians. We won’t ignore it. Will you? (thecommentator.com)
- EGYPT – Delga, Islamists threaten Christians: “When the army leaves we will destroy everything” (asianews.it)
Dalia Moghaed, credited with helping President Obama draft his June 2009 Cairo speech about American relations with the Islamic world, recently downplayed attacks against Egypt’s Coptic Christians on a Facebook page.
More than 80 Coptic churches were burned by Brotherhood supporters after the Egyptian military’s crackdown last month on Muslim Brotherhood encampments in Cairo. A local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party appeared to sanction violence in retaliation for the Coptic Church’s backing of the Egyptian military.
Nonetheless, Mogahed pointed the finger at the Egyptian media.
“The Egyptian media took advantage of the Copts to achieve many personal/political gains, which has angered the West,” Mogahed said in a Sept. 22 post which appeared on the Facebook page of the Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (EADHR).
Mogahed isn’t the only American Islamist tied to the Obama administration to slam the Copts on social media.
In a Sept. 15 Twitter post, Mohamed Elibiary, a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Advisory Council, accused American Coptic activists of fanning hatred of Islam.
“For >decade since 9/11 attack extremist American #Coptic activists have nurtured anti #Islam & anti #Muslim sentiments among AM RT wing,” Elibiary wrote.
In earlier tweets, Elibiary attacked American Copts for protesting against how their relatives in Egypt have been treated by the Islamists.
“Good read by @mwhanna1 on need to reform #Coptic activism in #US including stop promoting #Islamophobia,” Elibiary wrote Sept. 14.
“I think the Obama administration should be ashamed to have had someone like this in their administration,” said Michael Meunier, president of Egypt’s Al-Haya Party and a Coptic activist. “This underscores the thinking inside the Obama administration.”
Brotherhood groups in the United States and their supporters are lashing out at the Copts, who have been among the Muslim Brotherhood’s visceral critics, and dismiss their grievances as mere bigotry. Meunier charged that the Brotherhood is trying to slander the Copts to reduce their effectiveness.
“The Copts have nothing to be ashamed of. Morsi made the Copts’ lives’ hell, so they got together with the moderate Muslims to overthrow Morsi,” Meunier said. “The Muslim Brotherhood victimized the Copts, and now it wants to blame them.”
by John Rossomando:
Amjad Qourshah, an Islamic studies professor at the University of Amman in Jordan with ties to the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), has unleashed a tirade of anti-Christian venom against Egypt’s Copts, accusing them of burning their own churches.
His Facebook tirade, translatedhere by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, also included an image of Jesus that is reminiscent of the 2006 Danish cartoon depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad with abomb in his turban.
In this case, the Sacred Heart image depicts Jesus with an AK-47 over his shoulder with a bomb halo surrounding his head, saying “Jesus says: ‘Sell your clothes and buy arms.” The caption above the image says: “The way to hypocrisy For the Orthodox Copts.”
The publication of the Muhammad cartoon led to widespread rioting and was condemned by MAS and by other Muslim groups around the world.
“This has nothing to do with free speech,” Mahdi Bray, then-head of MAS’s political arm, said after the Philadelphia Inquirer republished the Muhammad cartoon in February 2006. “It’s pure sensationalism that reeks of religious disrespect.”
MAS and fellow Islamist groups, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), have been silent about the violence against Egypt’s Christians by the Muslim Brotherhood. Those groups either have roots in the Muslim Brotherhood or have worked with it. The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has similarly been silent.
“It is entirely predictable that such a person would be invited to speak for the Muslim American Society (MAS), which has been referred to as part of the ‘nucleus’ of the Muslim Brotherhood here in the United States,” said Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. “Only a brief perusal of the responses to the current situation in Egypt from Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups in the United States reveals a deep and abiding loyalty to the Muslim Brotherhood, a disdain for pro-liberty Muslims and dissidents, and ambivalence at very best when it comes to the plight of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East.
“Lines are being drawn in the sand, and as more of this rhetoric reveals itself, Americans and others will see the true nature of groups like MAS and others,” Jasser continued. “As we are alarmed, may we be also inspired to act – empowering Muslims and our allies who seek reform of our community and the protection of liberty.”
Qourshah is not an exception when it comes to radical speakers at MAS-ICNA conferences.
Saudi Sheikh Ayed Al-Qarni was considered too radical to be admitted to the United States for last year’s national convention. And MAS violated a promise to no longer invite Egyptian Islamist Ragheb Elsergany to its events after he launched into an extreme anti-Israel diatribe at the December 2009 MAS-ICNA convention.
At least 58 churches, Christian schools and monasteries have been torched by Muslim Brotherhood supporters in the past week in the worst anti-Christian violence in Egypt in 700 years. Egypt’s Youm7 reports that more than 200 homes and businesses owned by Copts and other Christian groups also have been torched since Egyptian security forces stormed the Muslim Brotherhood’s encampments in Cairo last Wednesday. At least nine Christians have been killed around Egypt in the past week.
Qourshah alleged it is all a conspiracy. “The Christians are burning their churches on the instructions of State Security to win the sympathy of the West so that it continues to support the coup,” he wrote Aug. 14 on his Facebook page.
The absurdity of Qourshah’s rhetoric is underscored by the fact rioters who torched St. George Cathedral in Sohag were heard screaming “Allahu Akbar!” as they burned the church to the ground. A memo published last week purportedly from the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, similarly attacked the Copts and appears to endorse the church burnings. Anti-Christian graffiti with slogans such as “Mohamed is the prophet of Allah” and “Islam is the solution” have been commonplace. The Coptic Catholic bishop of Luxor reported that Islamists tried breaking into his house to torch it.
In at least one instance, a banner resembling al-Qaida’s black flag was hoisted over a gate where the cross had been.
Additionally, Muslim Brotherhood gangs marked Christian homes and businesseswith check marks before they were torched. In the town of Minya black “X”s were scrawled on Christian-owned stores while red “X”s were painted on Muslim-owned stores.
Moderate Muslims who have no connections with the Brotherhood have helped their Christian neighbors fight the fires.
Read more at IPT News
BY: Adam Kredo:
A group of Egyptians protested in front of the White House Thursday afternoon to “expose” what they say is “the clear bias of the Obama administration and the American media in support of the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist ideology.”
Hundreds of Egyptians, who travelled to Washington, D.C. from around the United States, gathered in front of the White House before marching to the offices of the Washington Post, news network CNN, and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim advocacy group that protestors called the Brotherhood’s “embassy.”
Protest organizers called on “all Egyptians” living in the U.S. to join their march, which took place as violence in Egypt continues to rage between the Muslim Brotherhood and secular military forces.
The marchers’ final stop was the Egyptian military attaché’s D.C. office, where the activists chanted their support for “the Egyptian army for its heroic stand against [Muslim Brotherhood] terrorism.”
“We are against the Muslim Brotherhood,” protestor Ramez Mossed told theFree Beacon. “He [Obama] supports the Muslim Brotherhood. He has a big hand in Egypt and the mess in Egypt. We’re trying to tell him, ‘Don’t support the terrorists. Please be fair.’”
Many of those who participated in the march are Coptic Christians, a religious group that has been systematically targeted with violence by pro-Brotherhood protestors, some of whom have been desecrating and sieging churches in Egypt.
The protestors gathered on the curb outside of the White House lofting signs that read, “We support the Egyptian Army,” and “The Muslim Brotherhood never renounced terrorism.”
“You can burn down our churches but you can never touch our faith,” read another sign.
“I love this sign,” said one passerby who saw the sign referring to the churches. “I believe it too.”
Read more at Free Beacon
- Coptic Christians ask Obama why he doesn’t care about them (breitbart.com)
- US Coptic Christians chant ‘Obama, don’t you care? Christian blood is everywhere’ (bizpacreview.com)
- Coptic Christians chant in Tennessee streets: ‘Obama, don’t you care?’ (washingtontimes.com)
WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2013
WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Coptic Solidarity is gravely concerned that continued Western support for the Muslim Brotherhood is directly responsible for the violent tactics they are now using against Coptic Christians and transitional authorities. The months following Mubarak’s ouster prove that the Western cliche claiming the Muslim Brotherhood has renounced violence is unequivocally false.
The transitional government moved to break up several pro-Morsi sit-ins on August 14th. Although depicted as peaceful political demonstrations by Western media, these protestors have been amassing weapons to perpetrate attacks against anti-Morsi individuals. Documentation also proves these protestors have kidnapped, tortured, and killed Egyptians merely for their political beliefs and religious affiliations.
The coordinated and near immediate violence led countrywide by the Muslim Brotherhood and Gamaa Islamya militias, shows that peaceful sit-ins have been a charade and that the violence was pre-planned. This violence is unprecedented in modern Egyptian history.
Latest reports indicate that 62 Christian establishments have been attacked, ransacked, and/or set ablaze. This includes churches, monasteries, schools and charities, from Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical traditions. Additionally, hundreds of Copts-owned businesses, homes, and cars have been destroyed. An accurate accounting of deaths and injuries is not yet available. Forty-three police officers were killed, mostly defending police centers attacked by Islamists. In Kirdasa, Gizeh, nine officers’ bodies were discovered horribly mutilated.
This violence follows increasing attacks against Copts in recent months. Since Morsi was deposed, Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, and Salafist leaders have called on jihadists to come to Egypt to repossess the government. These leaders and the Islamist street mobs are exacting retribution on Copts for participating in the June 30th demonstrations like millions of their Muslim compatriots.
Overt efforts are being made to intimidate and threaten the Coptic community. Jihadists raised the Al-Qaeda flag over churches, including the St. George Church in Sohag. Graffiti disparaging Christians has been painted throughout the country. Islamists have distributed flyers threatening Christians. Hundreds of Christians have fled their homes, especially in the Sinai where there is virtually no protection from jihadists. Intentions of cleansing Egypt of its Christians are no more hidden.
There has been a rash of violent attacks against Copts. In July, Coptic priest Mina Sharubim was gunned down in North Sinai. Christian businessman, Magdy Lamay Habib, was found decapitated in the Sinai.Jessica Boulous, a young Coptic girl was recently gunned down in Cairo while returning home from a Bible class.
Coptic Solidarity President, Adel Guindy, states, “It is imperative that Egyptian authorities provide immediate protection to Copts and their establishments. Western governments need to condemn this Muslim Brotherhood -perpetrated violence and finally distance themselves from terrorism. The Egyptian people are closely watching to see if the U.S. and EU will support true democracy and human rights, or continue in their misguided policies of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Coptic Solidarity is non-profit organization dedicated to leading efforts to achieve equal citizenship for the Copts in Egypt. For information, contact Lindsay 801-512-1713, Hal 240-644-5153 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gaza jihadists call for ‘jihad’ against Egypt’s el Sisi (longwarjournal.org)
- Reports from Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood’s Fresh Assault on Coptic Christians (pjmedia.com)
- REPORTED LIST OF CHURCHES AND CHRISTIAN INSTITUTIONS ATTACKED IN EGYPT SINCE WEDNESDAY WILL ASTONISH YOU (theblaze.com)
- Video: Coptic Church Set Aflame by Muslim Brotherhood Supporters (raymondibrahin.com)
- Egypt’s Churches Aflame as Brotherhood Targets Christians (israelnationalnews.com)
by John Rossomando:
Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority has become a favorite target for Muslim Brotherhood supporters and other radical Islamists across the country in the wake of themilitary’s decisionto clear supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi from their Cairo sit-ins this morning.
No sooner did security forces, backed by armored cars and bulldozers, clear encampments in the city’s Nadha and Raba’a al Adiwiya squares did the Islamists turn to targeting Christian churches. Approximately 1,000 Muslim Brotherhood supporters set fire to the Churches of Abraham and the Virgin Mary in Menya.
Angry mobs also targeted churches, monasteries and other church properties in Alexandria, Suez and a number of other cities in Upper Egypt, according to Egypt’sAl-Ahram.
Muslim Brotherhood members also firebombed Mar Geergiss Church, the main Coptic church in the southern Egyptian city of Sohag, burning it to the ground. Islamists had previously raised an al-Qaida flag over the church. St. Theresa Church in Assiut in Upper Egypt was also burned.
“It is a climate of violence,” he added, “and the people are scared,” Father Rafic Greiche, a Catholic Church spokesman in Egypt, told Vatican Radio.
Sixteen Coptic churches had been torched by pro-Morsi mobs, including several ancient ones, the Egyptian blogger “Big Pharoah” wrote in a Twitter post.
Brotherhood supporters blame the Copts for toppling former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi because Coptic Pope Tawadros II backed the military’s July 3 move to oust him.
Coptic priests and laymen have been killed, churches have been burned or scrawled with anti-Christian graffiti by Islamic militants across Egypt in the past month.
“These guys have been blowing places up and killing people in Sinai. They’ve been attacking churches all over Egypt – putting al-Qaida flags and Morsi’s pictures on churches, so there is no question that the Brotherhood are the new terrorists,” Michael Meunier, president of Egypt’s Al-Haya Party and a Coptic Christian, said regarding the violent Islamist attacks against Christians since Morsi’s fall.
Just last week, a 10-year-old Coptic girl was shot dead by Islamic militants on her way home from Bible school. Muslim extremists tossed firebombs through the windows of four Christian homes and a local church last Sunday to stop a Christian neighbor from building a speed bump in front of her home. The clash left 15 people wounded.
But if you ask some Muslim Brotherhood leaders about Christian-Muslim relations, things have never been better.
Muslim Brotherhood politician Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, who served in Egypt’s dissolved parliament as a member of the Freedom and Justice Party, denied during a press conference last Friday held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., that the Muslim Brotherhood was anti-Christian.
Read more at IPT News
- ‘Peaceful’ Brotherhood Protesters Torching Coptic Christian Churches (nationalreview.com)
- Morsi Supporters Torch Three Coptic Churches in Egypt After Military Crackdown (Video) (thegatewaypundit.com)
- Egypt: Military attacks Muslim Brotherhood protesters, Muslim Brotherhood attacks Christians (legalinsurrection.com)
- Morsi supporters ‘torch three churches’ in Egypt (foxnews.com)
- Egypt’s Christians: Prime Targets for Muslim Brotherhood Violence and U.S. Indifference (nationalreview.com)
By HAMZA HENDAWI:
CAIRO — With a mob of Muslim extremists on his tail, the Christian businessman and his nephew climbed up on the roof and ran for their lives, jumping from building to building in their southern Egyptian village. Finally they ran out of rooftops.
Forced back onto the street, they were overwhelmed by several dozen men. The attackers hacked them with axes and beat them with clubs and tree limbs, killing Emile Naseem, 41. The nephew survived with wounds to his shoulders and head and recounted the chase to The Associated Press.
The mob’s rampage through the village of Nagaa Hassan, burning dozens of Christian houses and stabbing to death three other Christians as well, came two days after the military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi from power. It was no coincidence the attackers focused on Naseem and his family: He was the village’s most prominent campaigner calling for Morsi’s removal.
Some Christians are paying the price for their activism against Morsi and his Islamist allies in a backlash over his ouster last week.
Since then, there has been a string of attacks on Christians in provinces that are strongholds of hard-liners. In the Sinai Peninsula, where militant groups run rampant, militants gunned down a priest in a drive-by shooting as he walked in a public market.
Egypt’s Christian minority, about 10 percent of the population, long shunned politics for fear of reprisals, relying on their church to make their case to those in power. That changed in the revolutionary fervor when autocrat Hosni Mubarak was toppled in 2011, as Christians started to demand a say in the country’s direction.
But they took it to a new level during Morsi’s year in office and the empowerment of his Islamist allies. The new Coptic Christian pope, Tawadros II, enthroned in November, openly criticized the president. He told Christians they were free to actively participate in politics and that the church will not discourage them.
“The Christians have emerged from under the robes of the clergy and will never go back,” said Ezzat Ibrahim, an activist from Minya, a southern province with a large Christian community.
It was a risky gamble for a minority that has long felt vulnerable, with its most concentrated communities often living in the same rural areas where the most vehement and vocal Islamists hold sway.
During Morsi’s year in office, some of his hard-line allies increasingly spoke of Christians as enemies of Islam and warned them to remember they are a minority. When the wave of protests against Morsi began on June 30, Brotherhood media depicted it as dominated by Christians — and to hard-liners, it smacked of Christians rising up against a Muslim ruler.
The worst anti-Christian backlash since Morsi’s July 3 ouster was the attack in Nagaa Hassan, a dusty village on the west bank of the Nile River, not far from the most majestic ancient Egyptian archaeological sites in the city of Luxor.
Read more at The Republic
- Muslim Brotherhood Out, Killing Christians In (gatestoneinstitute)
by John Rossomando
July 2, 2013
Millions of Egyptians are in the streets demanding the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt for their totalitarian theocratic policies. But many of America’s leading Islamists are sticking by Morsi and condemning the protesters on social media.
“Only in Egypt, Mubarak supporters, military rulers, anti-Islamists, confused leftists, anarchists, & some well-meaning activists undo a democratic election,” Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Los Angeles Executive Director Hussam Ayloushwrote on his Twitter feed Saturday, linking to a longer post on his Facebook page. “This is not about how successful of a president Morsi is, it is about understanding democracy and accepting its outcome as the choice of the majority. A strong opposition is needed to have good checks and balances, but through legitimate and non violent means only. Do you really believe that fulools [remnants of the Mubarak regime] are seeking democracy?”
Of the millions who took to the streets, only “some” are “well-meaning activists” in Ayloush’s judgment. And he seems to think elections are the only acceptable time for citizens to petition their government. Living in California, he should know better. Americans can try to recall their elected officials, but Egyptians apparently shouldn’t enjoy the same power.
WOLF ISSUES REPORT FOLLOWING VISIT TO MIDDLE EAST DURING TUMULTUOUS TIME OF CHANGE IN THE REGION
Renews Call for Special Envoy to Advocate for Beleaguered Minority Faith Communities, Which are Increasingly Under Assault
Washington, D.C. (March 7, 2013) – Rep. Frank Wolf today made a series of policy recommendations – including his continued push for the creation of a Special Envoy for Religious Minorities in the Middle East and South Central Asia – following a recent trip to Lebanon and Egypt, where he met with high-ranking government officials, religious leaders, humanitarian aid organizations and refugees who have fled Syria.
The recommendations are included in a 14-page report detailing the trip. Titled “First the Saturday People, Then the Sunday People: The Exodus of Jews and Christians from the Middle East,” the report is set against the backdrop of historic and tumultuous change in the broader Middle East. The primary focus of Wolf’s trip was to talk to the Syrian Christian community as well as other religious minorities in the region. He wanted to hear firsthand about their concerns and what the future might hold. He also wanted to put this issue in the larger context of an imperiled Christian community in the broader Middle East, specifically in Egypt and Iraq. Wolf came away deeply troubled by what he heard and alarmed at what amounted to the changing face of the Middle East.
The report details the virtual elimination of once vibrant Jewish communities in countries like Egypt and Iraq, and cautions that a similar fate may await the Christian communities in these same lands. The report’s title reflects this sobering reality.
While in Lebanon, Wolf met with both Christian and Muslim families who had crossed the border from Syria. He also toured the offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which is leading the humanitarian response in Lebanon, and visited two locations where refugees are now living.
Wolf said there is no easy solution to the tragedy that is unfolding in Syria, especially after hearing from many of the people he talked to that dynamics changed with the arrival of foreign fighters. Wolf was told men from Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen and Egypt are now fighting in Syria. There have been press reports that jihadists from Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Iraq are also in Syria.
Wolf said the Syrian Christians he met with all encouraged the church in the West to speak out on their behalf.
In Egypt, Wolf met with one of the last remaining Jews in the country, leaders in the Coptic Christian community, civil society activists and Egyptian government officials, including the prime minister.
Except for his meetings with Egyptian officials, no one painted a rosy picture for the future of Egypt, and many were critical of the United States’ perceived support for the Muslim Brotherhood. He was told the United States was losing credibility and appeared to have double standards when it came to freedoms in America versus freedoms in other countries.
Wolf reported that the perception among opposition leaders and the minority community was that as long as the Muslim Brotherhood looked out for U.S. interests in the region it could act with impunity within its own borders. He was told “the United States is helping create a state of terrorism that will be exported to Europe. The dogma of religion affecting human rights and women’s rights will be worse than the Wahhabi sect in Saudi Arabia.”
Wolf cautioned that if the Middle East is effectively emptied of the Christian faith it will have grave geopolitical implications. He urged policymakers not to underestimate the impact of this demographic shift on the prospects for pluralism and democracy in the Middle East. He also stressed that these ancient faith com¬munities “have inhabited these lands for centuries, and are a vital part of the fabric of global Christendom.” He urged church leaders in the West to speak out about what is happening not only in Syria, but in the Middle East as a whole, and recommended that Christian leaders from the Middle East be brought to the United States to make the case for greater engagement from the American faith community. In January, Wolf wrote to more than 300 Protestant and Catholic leaders in the U.S. urging them to use their influence to speak out on behalf of the persecuted church around the globe, specifically in the Middle East.
Wolf has been pushing since January 2011 to establish a high-level Special Envoy at the State Department with the dedicated mission of protecting and preserving religious minority communities in the Middle East and South Central Asia. The House by a vote of 402-20 in July 2011 approved creating the position, but the effort stalled in the Senate. Wolf has reintroduced this bipartisan legislation in the 113th Congress.
Regarding Egypt, Wolf said the United States should seriously consider conditioning its foreign assistance, specifically military assistance.
“Since the Camp David Peace Accords, Egypt has received over $60 billion in U.S. foreign assistance, the second-largest overall recipient of such funding,” Wolf said. “Given the Mubarak regime’s human rights and religious freedom abuses, I have long-believed this assistance should be conditioned on improvements in these areas. Now with the Muslim Brotherhood at the helm, and the transition to a mature democracy with all that entails far from certain, I am more convinced than ever that aid to Egypt must be conditioned upon the government respecting and upholding universally recognized human rights norms.”
Wolf said the United States must press President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood more broadly to respect and uphold religious freedom, freedom of speech and the press, freedom of assembly and other basic rights. Police reform, too, must be a priority, he said.
“Rather than ramming through the constitution, the Muslim Brotherhood must be urged to embrace an inclusive process that takes into account the concerns of the opposition and various minority groups,” Wolf said. “Clear benchmarks must be set – and ?an agreed upon framework established – ?that allows policymakers in the U.S. to determine if Egypt is truly on a path to reform.”
Wolf also recommended that Congress consider removing altogether the State Department waiver authority as it relates to aid to Egypt, since the State Department, without fail and irrespective of changes on the ground, uses the waiver.
Wolf said The U.S. embassy should actively seek to cultivate relationships with the liberal, democratic Egyptian opposition groups and individuals, human rights groups, Coptic Christians and other key civil society actors.
“By most accounts, U.S. policy has not evolved to meet the new realities in Egypt,” Wolf said. “We have embraced the Morsi government the same way we embraced the Mubarak government to the detriment of other elements of Egyptian civil society – elements with which we have a natural affinity. While such groups may not take the reins of leadership in the near future, they are central to the Egyptian democratic experiment, and we can bolster their standing and effectiveness if we take the long-term view. In this same vein, aid to Egypt should once again benefit Egyptian civil society, not simply the military and economy.”
Wolf said congressional delegations traveling to Egypt should meet with activists, NGOs and Christian leaders to better understand what is happening on the ground and to hear firsthand the perception of the United States’ support for the Muslim Brotherhood.
The full report can be found here.