Saturday, January 21, 2006

Beating and Humiliating Copts in Cairo: Revealing the Egyptian Police's Ugly Face

On January 9th 2006, a woman named Hanan tried to buy some clothes from the Good Shepherd Center in Cairo's district of Shobra, which has a high Coptic concentration. The clothes were worth L.E. 270 but the woman tried to buy them for only 150.

Reymond, the owner's son, and Theresa, a shopkeeper refused. One hour later the woman returned with a large number of police forces and detectives from the Rod El Farag police station.

They ruined the center's goods and arrested Reymond and Theresa in a humiliating manner. Both were brought to the police station where they were accused of stealing L.E. 750 from Hanan. There, Reymond and Theresa learned that the woman was a relative of a police officer. Reymond's father was called to the Rod El Farag police station, where the officer who runs the station, namely Mahmoud El Sayed, threatened him saying: "Either you pay or your son will be humiliated and put in jail and tried for theft!" As the father insisted on his son's innocence and accused the woman of lying, the officer screamed at him saying: "Get out you thieves, I can put you in jail as well. As if we don't have enough problems with Reymonds, Theresas, Georges, Abdelmessihs, and all that garbage." (All are Christian names) The father was understandibly troubled, for he realized the story was religion-fueled, and that the officer was dicriminating against him, his son, and Theresa because of their Christianity.

When the father was taken to where Theresa and Reymond were detained, he found Theresa begging the woman and saying: "Ma'm, I'm like your daughter, would you accept for your daughter to be humiliated like this?" But the woman interrupted her: "Shut up you felth! You are nothing but a thief and a shopkeeper. My daughter is a physician!".

Then an officer called Mohamed EL Barbary got up and slapped Reymond and Theresa on their faces a number of times and screamed at the father's face: "Won't we ever finish with your headache? We can do more to your son and put him in jail, so you'd better pay the woman L.E. 750 and end that story." Fearing for his son and the shopkeeper, the father decided to give the woman the sum she wanted saying: "I entrust this money to God." So she pulled the money saying: "As if you (Christians) know God!".

The woman subsequently left with the officer in a police car with plates 21/2779.

For one last time, the officer looked at the father threating him: "I will teach you a good lesson! I will show up at the center and make you piss on yourselves when you see me!" A complaint was sent to the minister of interior dated Janaury 9th 2006, and another was sent to the head of the State security. Obviously no action was taked by either of them.


At 12:07 PM , Blogger xavier said...

Will your correligionaries ever snap and become violent? How much humilation must the Copts put up with before they start killing their tormentors?


At 12:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


For Christians who dare to expect equality, Egypt is like a big concentration camp. Would a concentration camp inmate try to attack the army?

At 12:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope that will never happen, because if we start to retaliate, then we are no longer protected by the grace of Christ our God. It is important to investigate and document all types of human rights violation.

Most importantly, we have to remember that we live in fast moving world. The winds of change are blowing all over the closed societies of the Middle East. These changes are very painful to every one involved. A generation ago no one would have dared to questions Islam or its tenants, now people are asking many questions and NO one is able to close the door of freedom once it is opened. The same is true for the Christians of the Middle East, they are asking question such as why should I live in denial of my freedom? And why should I shut my mouth when my freedom and values are violated.
Here is a simple advice to Christians of Egypt, stop hiding. If you worship in a hidden church, then go public with your worship. Let them burn our churches and then go again and celebrate in the street of you burned churches. If they burn one, let us build another one, if they burn ten churches, let us then celebrate in the streets of the villages and cities and let God witness our struggle. Let us declare the kingdom of God to all Egyptians. Let us preach the good news that God loves all people irrespective of their color, religion, or ethnicity.
Finally, in all of what we do, let us proclaim that Christ is the savior of our Muslims neighbors too. It is time for us to preach the good news to all of Egypt and to the Muslim world.

At 1:09 PM , Anonymous Meriam said...

Copts are living amongst thousands of Bin Ladins !
It's not easy dealing with such mentality.

At 5:05 PM , Anonymous wa7da_masrya said...

this story is happening everyday against all Egyptians , the police officer and the minister of interior is a minister of terrorism , i heard a lot of smilar stories happened to diffrent Egyptians from the police officers ,the problem is that in Egypt there is no human rights and no justice and no law ,and this is clear due to the dictatorship of Mubarak regims and officers are a part of that regim

At 8:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cold War, Holy Warrior

In the fall of 1953, the Oval Office was the stage for a peculiar encounter between President Dwight D. Eisenhower and a young Middle-Eastern firebrand. In the muted black-and-white photograph recording the event, the grandfatherly, balding Ike, then 62, stands gray-suited, erect, his elbows bent and his fists clenched as if to add muscle to some forceful point. To his left is an olive-skinned Egyptian in a dark suit with a neatly trimmed beard and closely cropped hair, clutching a sheaf of papers behind his back, staring intently at the president. He is just 27 years old, but he already has more than a decade of experience deep inside the violent and passionate world of militant Islam, from Cairo to Amman to Karachi. Alongside him are members of a delegation of scholars, mullahs, and activists from India, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, some dressed in suits, others wearing robes and shawls.

The president’s visitor that September day was Said Ramadan, a key official and ideologue of a secretive, underground fraternity of Islamic fundamentalists known as the Muslim Brotherhood. As he stood at the president’s side, Ramadan appeared respectable, a welcome guest if not a fellow statesman.

Officially, Ramadan was in the United States to attend a colloquium on Islamic culture at Princeton University, cosponsored by the Library of Congress. It was an august event, held with much pomp and circumstance in Princeton’s Nassau Hall. Delegates sat neatly arrayed in stiff-backed pews in the high-ceilinged Faculty Room and attended lavish luncheons, receptions, and garden parties in the shade of bright fall foliage.

According to the published proceedings, the conference was the fortuitous result of the fact that a number of celebrated personages from the Middle East were visiting the country. During the summer of 1953 there happened to be an unusually large number of distinguished Muslim scholars in the United States, the document notes. But the participants didn’t just happen to have crossed the Atlantic. The colloquium was organized by the U.S. government, which funded it, tapped participants it considered useful or promising, and bundled them off to New Jersey. Conference organizers had visited Cairo, Bahrain, Baghdad, Beirut, New Delhi, and other cities to scout for participants. Footing the bill to the tune of $25,000, plus additional expenses for transporting attendees from the Middle East was the International Information Administration (IIA), a branch of the State Department that had its roots in the U.S. intelligence community; supplementary funding was sought from U.S. airlines and from Aramco, the U.S. oil consortium in Saudi Arabia. Like many of the participants, Ramadan, a hard-edged ideologue and not a scholar, was visiting the conference as an all-expenses-paid guest.

A now-declassified IIA document labeled Confidential Security Information sums up the purpose of the project: On the surface, the conference looks like an exercise in pure learning. This in effect is the impression desired. The true goal, the memo notes, was to bring together persons exerting great influence in formulating Muslim opinion in fields such as education, science, law and philosophy and inevitably, therefore, on politics. Among the various results expected from the colloquium are the impetus and direction that may be given to the Renaissance movement within Islam itself. At the time, the United States was just beginning to feel its way around the Middle East, and American orientalists and academics were debating the extent to which political Islam might serve as a tool for American influence in the region.

For an organization established as a secret society, with a paramilitary arm that was responsible for assassinations and violence, to be characterized as a harbinger of a rebirth of Islam may seem odd. But such a view was entirely in character with U.S. policy at a time when virtually anyone who opposed communism was viewed as a potential ally. Whenever I interviewed CIA and State Department officials who served in the Middle East between World War II and the fall of the Soviet Union, they would repeat, almost like a catechism, that Islam was seen as a barrier both to Soviet expansion and to the spread of Marxist ideology among the masses. We thought of Islam as a counterweight to communism, says Talcott Seelye, an American diplomat who, while serving in Jordan in the early 1950s, paid a visit to Said Ramadan. We saw it as a moderate force, and a positive one. Indeed, adds Hermann Eilts, another veteran U.S. diplomat who was stationed in Saudi Arabia in the late ’40s, American officials in Cairo had regular meetings with Ramadan’s then-boss, Muslim Brotherhood leader Hassan al-Banna, and found him perfectly empathetic.

Over the four decades after Ramadan’s visit to the Oval Office, the Muslim Brotherhood would become the organizational sponsor for generation after generation of Islamist groups from Saudi Arabia to Syria, Geneva to Lahore and Ramadan, its chief international organizer, would turn up, Zeliglike, as an operative in virtually every manifestation of radical political Islam. The hardcore Islamists of Pakistan (see Among the Allies, page 44), whose acolytes created the Taliban in Afghanistan and who have provided succor to Al Qaeda since the 1990s, modeled their organization on the Brotherhood. The regime of the ayatollahs in Iran grew out of a secret society called the Devotees of Islam, a Brotherhood affiliate whose leader in the 1950s was the mentor of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organization, began as an official branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. The radical-right Egyptian Islamic Jihad and allied groups, whose members assassinated President Anwar Sadat of Egypt in 1981 and which merged with Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda in the 1990s, grew out of the Brotherhood in the 1970s. And some of the Afghan leaders who spearheaded the anti-Soviet jihad that was run by the CIA in the 1980s, and who helped bin Laden build the network of Arab Afghans that was Al Qaeda’s forerunner, were Brotherhood members.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Ramadan is the ideological grandfather of Osama bin Laden. But Ramadan, the Muslim Brotherhood, and their Islamist allies might never have been able to plant the seeds that sprouted into Al Qaeda had they not been treated as U.S. allies during the Cold War and had they not received both overt and covert support from Washington; Ramadan himself, documents suggest, was recruited as an asset by the CIA.

The United States and its partners in nations like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan didn’t create radical political Islam, whose theological forebears in the Middle East can be traced back to the eighth century. But consider, for a moment, an analogy with a movement closer to home. In America, Christian fundamentalism dates back at least to the 1840s, and right-wing evangelicals were an inchoate force throughout the 20th century. Yet until the emergence of the Moral Majority, the Christian Coalition, and such leaders as Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye, and Pat Robertson in the late 1970s, the religious right had no true political leaders and very little real-world impact. Similarly, the Islamic right did not arise as a true political movement until the emergence of Banna, Ramadan, and their co-thinkers. By tolerating, and in some cases aiding, the development of these early activists, the United States helped give radical Islamism the structure and leadership that turned it into a global political hurricane.

At 10:31 PM , Blogger KAOSKTRL said...

Bad news
EGYPT: Coptic Orthodox leader killed as Muslim set fire to Christian church

Sunday, 22 January 2006, 4 hours, 11 minutes and 44 seconds ago.

By ANDnetwork Journalist

One Christian has died and at least 11 Egyptians were reportedly injured yesterday morning when Muslims clashed with security police and set fire to a Christian community center in Upper Egypt.$StorySummary$0.$DirectLink$2&sp=l13524

At 1:21 AM , Anonymous Egyptian Christian said...

I don't see anything here related to the descimination,
the story is a typical misuse of power widely spread in egypt by police forces against everybody, christians or muslims or even sudaneese

At 10:26 AM , Blogger xavier said...

You have a disaporia, start asking for money and support. Each time a Copt or other minority is harrased, give them money to help them through the rough times. As for support- have the U.S. cut off all money from the Camp David accords and bring to the west's attention the Copt's plight. Most don't know just how tough it is for the Copts and would murmur against the evil treatment they recieve.

self defense is never wrong in the face of oppression. God's grace won't be lost but enhanced.


At 12:31 PM , Blogger Egypeter said...

Xavier - The Copts do have a very active and involved diaspora that gives as much as they can to Copts in Egypt. Of course, we can always do more but I think the Coptic diaspora is doing what they can.

As far as resistance goes, just like meriam said, Copts are living among millions and not thousands of Bin Ladens. If there was a popular uprising the Christians would probably just be slaughtered in the streets...which has happened many times before during the last 1400 years. We need the support of clear-minded Muslims to help speak out against these atrocities...

What eemc said is excellent though. Copts need to take advantage of the information age and the growing globalism which exposes the crimes that happen in Egypt almost instantly. Copts should also be very open and public about every single hate crime commited against them in the name of Islam.


At 11:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 5:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work » » »


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