Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Copts Attacked by Pro-Morsi Thugs

The Coptic Patriarch, Pope Tawadros II, has encouraged the faithful of Egypt to change direction and get involved in the political process. The previous Pope, Shenouda, had a policy that essentially recommended a strategy of lying low to avoid drawing the ire of Egyptian Muslims. I can't blame the current Pope for making this risky move; staying in the sidelines was perceived as an act of weakness. Kidnappings, rapes, torched homes and businesses, and murders were commonplace in Egypt even before Mubarak was forced out of office, and things got worse once the Muslim Brotherhood started stretching their political legs.

Now, Copts are still being attacked, but the brave souls are standing up for themselves:

"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...............

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........

This is how Christians live their lives in Muslim-majority countries and regions. Either way, they know that the mob may attack for any given reason, real or imagined

Congress moved to hold up funding for the stepped-up support that the Obama administration plans to give to the Syrian rebels. They cited the fact that our weapons and money will no doubt go to Al-Qaeda types. I don't know if that is truly why they made this move or if it is because they know what the same rebels are doing to Christians; they may simply be manufacturing an excuse to avoid any mention of the unpleasant reality. The press would have a field day if US Representatives expressed any concern with how Christians are being  treated in the Near and Middle East and few are willing to take a stand.

Obama, always says that he "can't wait for Congress to act". He is showing the same attitude now. Basically, he just does what he wants:

".....White House press secretary Jay Carney did not discuss the reasons behind the congressional delays over the aid on Tuesday, but said it was coming nonetheless.

“In keeping with the president’s announcement of our stepped-up assistance to the [Syrian opposition’s] Supreme Military Council, we are going to consult with Congress on these matters, and we intend to provide that stepped-up assistance,” Carney said at Tuesday’s White House briefing. “We were not bluffing. The president was very serious, as I think he made clear.' "

Our Republic cannot be said to exist in anything but name - a mere legal fiction.

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