Running the gauntlet

destroyed Coptic church – Giza’s Church of the Archangel MichaelJust a few days ago, mobs of Muslim Brotherhood supporters attacked a Franciscan school in suburban Cairo. They demonstratively pulled down the cross, smashed it to bits and replaced it with a black al-Qaida flag. That was just the beginning.

They looted the school, gutted it meticulously for hours and later burned down what remained of the classrooms. Then came the climax as three nuns were grabbed and paraded through the streets like humiliated prisoners of war.

The frenzied throngs, spat on the helpless female captives, poured refuse on them, slapped and groped at them and heaped abuse and scorn. This too lasted for hours during which the nuns literally ran the gauntlet, not knowing where they are headed and why they are at all going.

The sacking of the school wasn’t unique or unexpected. Egypt’s Christians, who comprise ten percent of the 80-million population, have long been hounded and persecuted. Their lot grew alarmingly dire after Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow and during the short-lived tenure of Mohamed Morsi.

That said, none of the pre-Morsi regimes can be described as having gone out of it way to safeguard the beleaguered religious minority from plunder, murder, abductions of women, their involuntary conversions and forced marriages to Muslims. Despite occasional lip-service, no succor was offered in practical terms.

The recent unrest has only escalated the peril to unprecedented proportions. This isn’t just payback for the fact that the Christians on the whole cheered Morsi’s removal. What’s happening in Egypt isn’t radically different from the anti-Christian ardor that has swept through much of the embattled Mideast ever since the advent of the Arab Spring.

All this incredibly appears to pass right under the radar of Western media. Ostensibly undetected and barely reported, anti-Christian drives stand out as yet further illustrations of  mindboggling selectivity by the press overseas. Some suffering evidently isn’t newsworthy.

The nonobjective criteria for Free World outrage are particularly mystifying given the fact that hardest hit of all are the native churches – like Syria’s Assyrians or Egypt Copts. These are among Christianity’s oldest sects and their members largely comprise the vestiges of ancient indigenous populations.

As is, they face xenophobic fanaticism reminiscent of that brazenly practiced by Afghanistan’s Taliban honchos. In 2001the latter dynamited the 6th Century monumental Buddha statues of Bamiyan – an iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site that offended Muslim fundamentalists for supposedly embodying idol-worship. Some of Egypt’s own Taliban counterparts have already served warning that they will target the Pyramids. But meanwhile, the ultra-vulnerable and reviled Copts constitute much easier and softer targets.

Dozens of churches, monasteries and schools have been ransacked during the past few weeks, with Morsi supporters whipping up passions by accusing the Copts of having orchestrated the killing of pro-Brotherhood demonstrators. The Copts – whose church traces its origins to 50 AD Alexandria – are now popularly portrayed as foreign interlopers who scheme to undermine Islam in the Land of the Nile.

Although the Copts were never remotely a friendly force so far as Israel is concerned – to no small degree feeling obliged to curry favor with the Muslim and nationalist Arab majority – their current travails are evocative of Egypt’s ethic cleansing against its Jews between 1948 and 1956. Effectively, Egypt had been rendered Judenrein. These days many Copts are packing up and emigrating.

In the region as a whole, Christians today account for between 2% to 5% of the population versus 20% 100 years ago. Lebanon’s Christians are at the mercy of the Shiite Hezbollah, whereas in Syria Christians are victimized by Sunnis. In Iraq they are walloped by everyone. In the Palestinian Authority Christian numbers are falling sharply too, as is evidenced by the Muslim majority of once-Christian Bethlehem. Gaza’s Christians are running for their lives.

The one steadily growing Christian community in the Mideast is to be found in much-maligned little Israel. Only under Jewish sovereignty are Christians safe and free from serial terror and harm. But the one beacon of genuine liberality in an unkind and callously intolerant region is hardly likely to win accolades from the self-styled enlightened world.

11 thoughts on “Running the gauntlet

  1. There was an joke that my grandmother liked to tell.

    A Communist, a Fascist and a Zionist are traveling by plane. Suddenly God enters and offers to one wish to each. Communist says that he wishes that there would be no more fascists. Fascist wants no more Communists. Then Zionist asks God if these wishes will be fulfilled. God says ‘yes, of course’. ‘Then’, said the Zionist, ‘I would like a cup of coffee’.

  2. Of course. Europe has largely abandoned Christianity, while amplifying it’s worst characteristics.
    As if the Enlightenment never happened, Europeans grope in the dark for something to hold unto. They seem to have settled on “multi-culturalism”, as if reason were not an alternative and the choice is between variations on arbitrary faith-based systems.

    Yet that does not satisfy the human need for certainty, purpose, and explanation of life.
    Islam struts unto the stage, full of confident rage, filling a moral and purposeful vacuum.
    Europeans tend to be intellectually disarmed, and utterly beyond their depth in dealing with Islam.

    So, Europe does not identify with or want to defend Christians, particularly those in the middle east, who seem to be on the losing side and whose votes do not register in Europe.

  3. I wish the politically retarded Irish masses that gave you such a hard time could all read this article. What a great slight of hand that while they hysterically swallow every piece of anti-Jewish propaganda available, their Christian coreligionists are suffering exactly the same kind of abuse that they falsely accuse Israel of inflicting on the ‘Palestinians’ without the benefit of any solidarity at all from the Irish.

  4. Sadly Sarah, so little of what passes for Arab “Christianity”, whether here in Israel, or in Egypt, or anywhere else for that matter, can ever be considered pro-Israel, even though we gave them their Saviour, which they ungratefully and conveniently forget, to serve their own immediate hate-filled political interests.

    ” I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15,16)

  5. ………….and very little of this is being reported by the media in either the UK or USA. One must wonder whether the Christian community and their leaders will ever stand up to their oppressors in the Middle East and other parts of the world. One wonders if their perceived “n.i.m.b.y. ism” reflects a lack of conviction, leadership and direction.
    Not a peep being uttered from the Security Council or international politicians at large about the attack on Christianity within the Muslim world. Yet little Israel – who affords genuine religious freedom to all and sundry – gets a “U.N. bashing” if it wants for example to legitimately build a single residence on land for deserving residents, or complains if a terrorist kills innocent Jews / Israelis for no reason at all.

  6. The late Coptic Pope was a dedicated Antisemite…maybe his followers are the same…!
    Israels genuine liberality towards the followers of the “New Testament” has not lead to increased sympathy for the Jewish state…WHY ?
    Because the Christians think of the “Holy land” as of their OWN turf !

    • You are lumping anything that calls itself christian into one bag, not very wise or knowledgeable. There are some, unfortunately very small, sections in Christianity, who are pro-Israel and do not claim the Land given to the Jews for themselves, ever. They just believe the Jewish Messiah for their salvation/ remission of sins and are thankful for the spiritual blessings emanating out of this. Yes, to make the name Jesus/Yeshua of Nazareth odious to the Jews in his name the most horrendous persecutions of the Jewish people occurred.

  7. Jews and Christians must learn how to get along better. Otherwise, they won’t be able to withstand the Jihadi tidal wave, when it hits Israel, as it eventually will. Those that fail to stand together will fall, separately. And there are many Christian groups that absolutely believe the Israel exists primarily, for Jewish habitation.

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