Beyond the Cusp

August 31, 2013

Egypt Erupts Again, It Must Have Been Friday

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

 

August 17, 2013

Muslim Brotherhoods Day of Rage in Egypt

Just as most of those who study Egypt had predicted, the Muslim Brotherhood fired their initial shot across the bow of the interim government which the Egyptian Military put in place and has pledged to protect. There will be scratch the surface coverage in most media outlets where they may show some pictures and videos of a few of the confrontations which took place either in Cairo or Alexandria. Those who might choose to go somewhat further might include a comment or two and even a picture of one of the confrontations between the Coptic Christians and Muslim Brotherhood supporters. What will receive scant coverage is that by the time Monday morning news hits the airwaves and your ears as you have that first cup of coffee to get going there may be only a few Coptic or other Christian structures remaining standing. The tragedy that the Copts are about to face is probably the most criminal of all the violence which will spill across Egypt as the revolution to place Muslim Brotherhood backed Peace and Justice Party President Morsi back into the seat of power and forcing the resumption of the Islamization of Egyptian society will be hurled hard and wide against the oldest of Egyptian societies, the Coptic Christians as well as any other non-Sunni Muslim populations.

 

The Coptic Christians are about to face the same form of persecution and violence as was faced by Egyptian Jews under Egyptian persecution starting in 1948 and continuing for the next several years. The Jewish population in Egypt in the decade after Israel was founded in 1948 dropped from over seventy-five-thousand to less than one-hundred mostly very elderly Jews today with no younger generation coming to replace them. It can reasonably be expected that Egypt will be completely free of any Jewish population within the next couple of decades. This allows the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood along with the cooperation of the Salafists to now cleans Egypt of their next target, the Christians otherwise called the Sunday People from an old Arab battle cry which goes, “First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People.” Going back to 2011 it has been reported that close to one-hundred-thousand Coptic Christians fled Egypt in that year and has been estimated to have exceeded a quarter of a million per year since and will likely explode well past that in the coming months. One has to remember that the Coptic Christians make up one of the oldest and most purely original Egyptian populations surviving that predated the Islamic conquest of Egypt. These Christians were converted by John Mark, (author of the Gospel of Mark), who became their first bishop sometime between the year 42 AD and 62 AD, making them one of the earliest Christian communities which continues to exist very much as they were in antiquity. Now these early and faithful Christians are facing obliterations and the destruction of their churches, cathedrals and other historic places without anybody lifting a finger to protect them or their historic places and legacy.

 

This is just another tragedy which is unfolding within Egypt as the nation devolves into civil war. Meanwhile, the Coptic Christian communities are burning starting with their churches and proceeding to their places of business and finally to their homes. Their communities face obliteration by conflagration, a cleansing of their neighborhoods by fire executed by the Muslim Brotherhood and their Sunni followers yet their cries and tears will pass uncommented and blanketed by a silence that drowns their screams. What will happen to young Coptic women is unspeakable in its horrors and the rest of the Coptic population will face persecutions only slightly less horrific and face it alone in the world, friendless. This coming atrocity is what President Obama should have spoken against and made clear that the Coptic Christians are to be protected if Egypt intends to retain any of their billions of dollars of annual aid monies from the United States. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the President to do the honorable thing, it’s the weekend and the golf course is calling. One might ask where are the cries over this injustice which is being perpetrated in plain sight of the world. Yet the world remains silent. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is in Israel and the Palestinian territories (Palestine as Ban Ki-Moon referred to them) pressuring Prime Minister Netanyahu to make the necessary sacrifices while assuring Chairman Abbas whom he praises with showers of promises and support. Where is the Pope who should be screaming out over the injustice to the Coptic Christians whose society that predated that of the Vatican City now are laid waste in a sea of flames and blood. Where is any leader in the Christian world even murmuring the slightest complaint, let alone coming to these persecuted people’s aid providing them protection or at the very least a place to which to flee? Why is the United States Sixth Fleet not mounting a rescue operation to take these victims of frenzied mobs to a place of safety? Where is the Christian world when their brothers and sisters are being slaughtered and martyred for their faith? Sleep well oh western world while atrocity once again swallows up an ancient and peaceable people, sleep well.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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