Reports out of Egypt recounted that late Friday violence by ousted President Mohammed Morsi demonstrators resulted in at least six people killed and close to two-hundred suffering injuries requiring medical attention. These reports came from both the Egyptian Health Ministry and Al Arabiya. The clashes broke the calm and quiet of the past two weeks and resulted from the largest demonstrations since the first weeks after Morsi government was replaced by a Military installed interim government until a new constitution and elections can be voted on. Those demonstrations had resulted in hundreds of protesters being killed and almost countless more suffering various extents of injuries. In the interim period numerous Muslim Brotherhood leadership have been arrested and held by the Egyptian military in their efforts to decapitate the leadership of the demonstrations. Chief among those arrested was the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie. As is the usual instigation for these demonstrations, five-hundred demonstrators came straight from Friday prayers leaving from central Cairo’s Sahib Rumi Mosque chanting, “Wake up, don’t be afraid, the army must leave!”; “The interior ministry are thugs!”; and “Egypt is Islamic, not secular!” This resulted in several thousands marching in several other Cairo districts and suburbs by the late afternoon.
The reinitiating of demonstrations, even of a somewhat lesser level of violence, does not bode well for proceeding with an orderly and peaceful transition back to a semblance of a functioning Egyptian democracy in whatever form is decided by the future constitution. Apart from the foreboding that the transit from the Muslim Brotherhood supported Peace and Justice Party dominated parliament with their candidate Morsi as President to a new non-Islamic secular government will be resisted by the Brotherhood and that they have sufficient middle level leadership which has stepped up to replace those who the Egyptian military has already arrested. This poses yet another challenge to the Egyptian people who are the impetus behind the call for new government which is secular and not under the thumb of Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood.
Unfortunately, transiting to secular governance may not be the biggest problem facing the world from out of Egypt. The problem will require the intervention of outside interests to force an alternative for the Coptic Christians, as they are victims of the Muslim Brotherhood supporters, while not raising sufficient concern that the Egyptian military or the Egyptian public will act; so they need an outside interest to lead the way to a solution. The Coptic Christians have become the punching bag for every angry group looking for somebody to blame and persecute to relieve their anger. The Coptic Christians are an easily found and defenseless group whose safety and property are not worthy of protection by the authorities. They have faced broad based violence resulting in burning down of their churches, businesses and even their homes. Some of the churches and monasteries that have been destroyed are of great historic value but since they are not Islamic they are considered worthless and not worth preserving by the Egyptian military, the Muslim Brotherhood or Salafists. Add to this the situation in the Sinai Peninsula with the infestation of terrorists and the Egyptian military and people have their challenges before them, and these are dangerous and serious challenges. The future in Egypt will eventually settle down, it just does not appear that eventually will come easy or soon. The one item which should not be left to the Egyptians is the safety and future of the Coptic Christians. This is one problem which will fall on the Christian world to address and will serve as the measure of the compassion in the Christian world. The simple truth is that the Egyptian military would probably assist to a minimal extent any Christian efforts if it would remove the Coptic Christians from being something which will only reflect poorly on the reputation of Egypt in the eyes of much of the world. Should the Egyptian authorities, military or civilians, find a solution which permits the Coptic Christians to be rescued from the dangers they currently are facing, would be a major step towards revamping the Egyptian’s reputations. Will anybody from the Christian world step forward or will the Christian world share the shame for the persecution of the Coptic Christians, one of the oldest and most pure to their roots Christian populations in the world.
Beyond the Cusp