Thursday, January 19, 2006

Muslim Youth Attack Copts in a Village Near Luxor

At least 14 people were wounded when Muslim youth attacked Copts in the village of Udaysaat near the southern town of Luxor, about 500 km (300 miles) south of Cairo.

Copts were turning a house into a church in the region, which "provoked the Muslim youth" according to local residents, the Muslim youth set fire to the building materials as well as surrounding buildings in an attempt to stop Copts from building the church.

Police forces rushed to the scene and arrested 10 youth in addition to the house owners.

The Egyptian government restricts the building of churches; sometimes it takes over 20 years to get a presidential permit to build a new church. A recent presidential decree delegated local authorities to issue permits of renovating churches yet the decree failed to address the issue of building new churches in many locations throughout the country where Christians are deprived from their right of worship in a church.

According to the statistics published by the Egyptian Census Department in the "Al Osboa newspaper", there are 1950 churches in Egypt (for an estimated 10-12 million Coptic Christians of different denominations , i.e. a church for every 6153 Christians) and 920611 mosques, i.e. a mosque for every 67 Muslims.


At 9:46 AM , Anonymous Meriam said...

If this happend to Muslims anywhere, you would've seen Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, ACLU, etc. on top of the story. Where are these organizations now? do they only care about the human rights of Muslims? Why are they so biased when it comes to violations of the human rights of Christians?

At 11:56 AM , Blogger Egypeter said...

That is an excellent question Meriam. Is there no concept of Justice in Egypt?? The pigs that commited this crime should be PUNISHED!!!! Is there anyone in Egypt that defends the rights of civillians...Lord knows it isn't the SSI or the police!

I'll say it again..these animals need to be brought to JUSTICE!!

1 Church per 6153 Christians...
1 Mosque per 67 Muslims...

Think about that one.

Please pray with me for these Copts and that they simply be allowed to worship freely.

At 5:47 PM , Blogger wa7da_masrya said...

well i am sorry this happen
but plz don't be angry and don't judge we still don't know exactly what's the story
as an egyptian before being moslem i am totaly against any presendential permission to build a church it shoule be the same for church or mosque or for a jewish place ,also i am aginst violence and disrespect whena it comes from musilims or christian ,egypt is egypt for egyptians regardless of religions , actually we are all persecuted and opressed in Egypt.

At 5:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

BBC confirms your were so accurate

At 5:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 5:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't tell why the link is not being posted the right way

add this after :middle_east/

At 6:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing is clear; there is no law and order in Egypt. If the 'youth' knew that they will be punished, they might have reacted differently. On the other hand, building a church should be allowed as we allow Muslim to build a mosque in the West. In my town, the number of Muslims is very small, yet, they asked for a Mosque and they got what they want. The money for building the Mosque came from wealthy Saudi, and again no one complained.
When a culture becomes so immature and evil to allow certain group to call another group names such as ‘dog Christians’ and other degrading labeling such that, the whole values of that culture deteriorates. It is no more the ‘dog Christians’ that are hurt, but also the decent and normal Muslims as well. Human values are fundamental component of any civilized society. If Muslims allow these name calling to continue, nothing will be hurt other than the religion of Islam itself. In a global world, word travel to the end of the earth.

At 8:05 PM , Blogger Egypeter said...

Dear Masrya - Thank you for your kind words! The evil acts commited by some zealot/fanatical muslims DOES NOT reflect on ALL Egyptian muslims. I have Muslim friends that I love dearly! Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that do not think in a tolerant way like yourself and that is what hurts the relationship between Christians and Muslims in Egypt.

I only wish and pray that one day Egyptians will behave in a more loving and tolerant way towards each other...I don't think that's asking too much, do you?

At 1:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not condone the actions of this particular group of Muslim youth.

A question comes to mind, if the US decides to invade Egypt, akin Iraq, part of their crusade known as the "War on Terror", where do the Christians of Egypt stand?

At 10:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll write about this on my blog.

The more exposure these acts get, the better. We have a powerful weapon in the internet. Let's use it.

All the best to you. We will be praying for you and hoping that things get better.

At 10:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point; the Copts already answered that question more than thousand of year ago when they stood by their Muslims countrymen against the foreign crusaders (they are not ‘Salebian; cross-raiders as you call them in Arabic). Historically, the number of the converted to Islam Copts was much less than that of the Christian Copts. But our ancestors (Christian and Muslims) were much wiser than our immature and uncivilized Egyptians of today.
And while 95% of all American are Christians, America is not called a Christian country. In fact minorities such as Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic are allowed to do things that the majority Christians is not allowed, such as praying in school and celebrating certain customs.
Imagine the following scenario, Ben Laden takes control of Saudi Arabia and decides to invade Egypt in order to expand the religion of Islam, what do you think most Egyptians would do?

At 12:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The word Crusade is derived from the Spanish word "La Crosada" meaning the "The Cross" which translates in Arabic to "Saleeb", hence, the Crusaders then and now are "Saleebiyeen"

America may not be officially a Christian country, but when, according to you, 95% of it's inhabatitants are Christian, it would be safe to assume the Army will be 95% Christian.

As for your scenario, it is a little unreliastic and entirely baseless, on the other hand, the hypothetical US invasion of Egypt, I think we've already seen their handy work in Afghanistan and Iraq.

You have to admit, there is some doubt, considering what your Michael Munir is doing in the US.

At 1:21 PM , Blogger Egypeter said...

Anonymous - I want you to look up the history of Egypt because I'm not sure that you know it. First of all, the Copts of Egypt during the Crusades in the 11th century were the biggest victims of that campaign. There is no debating this FACT. You see, when the Muslims saw the Crusaders, with the sign of the cross on their shields, they wrongly assumed that the Copts would join their cause so they took out their hatred of the Crusaders on the Copts because they naturally assumed they would side with the them...which was never the intention of the Copts for they were Egyptians. And on the other hand, the Crusaders viewed the Copts as heretics and not true believers of Christianity after the the schism in 451 at the Council of Chalcedon. Per usual, the poor Copts were persecuted from both sides. Read "Introduction to the Coptic Orthodox Church" by Abouna Tadros Malaty and that should enlighten you a little bit.

"As for your scenario, it is a little unreliastic and entirely baseless"

But your scenario of America invading Egypt is legitmate and realistic?...huh???
This sounds like a typical Egyptian conspiracy theory...I've heard a million of them. My personal favorite is the Israel and Bush bombed the WTC. A close second is when the Ekhwan say the Holocaust didn't happen. Don't believe the garbage that you hear on the streets from uneducated illiterate Egyptians that have no clue what they're talking about. Simply read.

God Bless Michael Meunier. You see, for the last 1400 years Copts have been asking the Egyptian government to grant them BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS...what have the Copts received in return?? Their blood being spilled on the streets (again in Luxor). So PLEASE don't tell me that Egypt can handle its own domestic affairs...IT CAN'T. I applaud anyone who brings light to the international community of the plight of the indigenous Christians of Egypt.


At 4:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If America wants to invade the Middle East, none could be able to stop them. There is no country, nation or empire in the history of mankind is as strong as America. And when it comes to barbarism, there is none to compare to it if it chose to do so. America is not a barbaric nation, the Middle East is.
America is the one who is pushing for change in the Middle East. In fact, it is America which is a supporter for the Muslim Brotherhood in the latest election in Egypt and before them the Mojahedden in Afghanistan. It is America which is standing against the election fraud in Egypt. It is America who liberated Kosovo from the Serbian nationalist. It is America and Israel who supported Hammas against the PLO. It is America who is pushing Europe to take Turkey into the European Union. It is America who is against Russia when it comes to Chechnya Muslims.
None is as stupid as the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt except the Coptic radicals who thinks that America will ever care about them.
America is in bed with Islam and Saudi, face it all.

At 11:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The person who is asking what will the Copts do if America invaded Egypt, let me remind you of your unpatriotic history:
You and all your cronies, the offspring of mosques would welcome any invador if he comes in the name of yr Islam. You still do not consider Amro Ibn Al A'as an invador , you don't consider the Memlukes, the Ayobids, the Otomans, etc as invadors..just because they were Muslims. so you need to shut up because you have a despicable history. Go clean yr shit before you open your mouth against the Copts. Egypt is named after the Copts and those who betray Egypt are of your own kind.

ابلع جزمة قديمة لانكم رحبتم بكل المحتلين لا لشئ الا لكونهم مسلمين

At 8:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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 12:28 PM , Blogger Jan Van E said...

I don't believe this sad incident has anything to do with religion.

Young people in the middle east are deprived from a lot of things; proper education, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of choice... They face a future with little or no perspectives for a better life.

In the first place, this is the responsibility of their leaders, be it corrupt dictators who are backed by foreign countries or reactionists who abuse religion to promote hate and violence.

In many cases the backing foreign countries are Western European nations or the US, but also China and Russia have tight relationships with Middle Eastern dictators.

Apart from China, all these nations have, or better, are associated with Christian backgrounds and this is used as a symbol by the reactionists.

At 12:38 PM , Blogger Jan Van E said...

Sorry, I hadn't finished :)

I think that the young attackers projected their frustrations and aggression on the only target that was "acceptable" within their mindframe.

While protesting for their own civil rights and freedom is brutally oppressed by their regimes, the need to express their anger is channeled towards the symbol of that same oppression: Christianity.

Not that it is excusable.

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