Tag archives: Egypt

Syria … and The Congo, Egypt, etc.

by Rob Schwarzwalder

September 11, 2013

Family Research Council is not a foreign policy organization, nor are American military or diplomatic affairs in the top tier of FRC’s bank of issues. However, we care deeply about global injustice, violence against the innocent, and the persecution of professing Christians in so many regions of the world. In light of the President’s remarks last evening about the brutality of the Assad regime against its own people, it is worth noting that what has taken place in Syria is by no means unique, in terms of evil or currency, in our fallen world:

The Congo: “Conflict and humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo have taken the lives of 5.4 million people since 1998 and continue to leave as many as 45,000 dead every month, according to a major International Rescue Committee study.”

Egypt: “The Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters have began forcing the roughly 15,000 Christian Copts of Dalga village in Egypt to pay a jizya tax as indicated in Koran 9:29, author and translator Raymond Ibrahim reported on Sunday. Jizya is the money, or tribute, ‘that conquered non-Muslims historically had to pay to their Islamic overlords “with willing submission and while feeling themselves subdued” to safeguard their existence,’ Mr. Ibrahim explained.”

North Korea: “Up to 20,000 North Korean prison camp inmates … of Camp No 22, one of Kim Jong-un’s most brutal labour camps, have disappeared according to a human rights group … There are fears that up to 20,000 may have been allowed to die of disease or starvation in the run-up to the closure of the camp at the end of last year. The suspicion has emerged from a newly-released report by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) detailing the situation in penal colonies as Kim Jong-un consolidated his power after taking over as leader from his father, Kim Jong-il who died in 2011.” Source: The Telegraph

Uganda: “For over two decades, the Government of Uganda engaged in an armed conflict with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda that led to the internal displacement of more than 2,000,000 Ugandans from their homes … The members of the Lord’s Resistance Army used brutal tactics in northern Uganda, including mutilating, abducting, and forcing individuals into sexual servitude and forcing a large number of children and youth in Uganda, estimated by the Survey for War Affected Youth to be over 66,000, to fight as part of the rebel force.” Source: GovTrack

These are only four examples. We cannot but be moved by the horror of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but we should not fail to recognize that great evil is done on an ongoing basis by terrorists, despots, and other brutes throughout the world.

That’s why so many Evangelical and Catholic ministries are reaching out to those in dire need in troubled places. FRC is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, whose “Servant Match” site can connect you with mercy ministries targeted toward the victims of violence and persecution. Catholic Relief Services works to “assist impoverished and disadvantaged people overseas, working in the spirit of Catholic social teaching to promote the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person.”

Whatever position one holds on U.S. military intervention in Syria, all of us can pray for victims of oppression and violence in that tortured land and in other countries in similar situations, and prayerfully partner with ministries that are actively helping them.

Paying Off Egypt’s Persecutors

by Robert Morrison

May 30, 2013

Earlier this year, The New York Times reported that Secretary of State John Kerry had signed off on $250 million of a projected $1 billion aid package for the new Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt. As the late Sen. Everett Dirksen said, “a billion here, a billion there. Pretty soon, you’re talking real money.” So perhaps it’s time to take a look at what American taxpayers are getting for their money.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Coptic Christian, originally from Egypt. He reports on a world too often overlooked by our increasingly secular media—the world of Christian persecution. In Egypt, it is a world of hurt. Ibrahim documents this and much more in his new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians. Here are some of his findings:

In November 2012, an Egyptian court decreed that eight Christians living in America—seven native Egyptians, and one American, Pastor Terry Jones—be sent to Egypt and executed in connection with the 16-minute YouTube Muhammad video. The prosecution offered no real evidence against the Christians, most of whom deny any involvement, and instead relied on inciting Muslims against the accused by replaying the video in the courtroom.

In September 2012, 27-year-old Copt Albert Saber was accused of posting clips of the Muhammad movie—which he had actually downloaded from a Muslim site, not YouTube. Muslims attacked and evicted him and his mother from their home; he was arrested and is currently awaiting a multi-year sentence.

In March 2012, Makram Diab, a 49-year-old Christian, was sentenced in a 10-minute show trial to six years in prison for “insulting Muhammad.” He had gotten into a religious argument with a Muslim colleague, who went on to protest that Diab had offended the prophet. The judge doubled the sentence to appease an angry mob, 2,500 strong, which had surrounded the courtroom demanding Diab’s death.

In August 2012, Bishoy Kamil, a Copt in his 20s who worked as a teacher, was arrested and given six years in prison for posting cartoons deemed insulting to Islam and its prophet on Facebook. Like Diab, he was given more than double the maximum penalty to appease mob calls for his death.

In April 2012, Gamal Abdu Massud, a teenage Christian student, was sentenced to three years on accusations that he had posted a Muhammad cartoon on his Facebook account, which had only some 135 friends.  Apparently the wrong “friend” saw it, for it was not long before local Muslims rioted, burning the Coptic teenager’s house as well as the homes of five other Christians.

In June 2011, another Christian woman, Naima Wahib Habil, newly hired as director of a junior high school for girls, was sentenced to two years imprisonment on the accusation that she had torn a copy of the Koran in front of her students. The rumor inspired mob riots and calls for her death.

Note the dates of the legal persecutions and prosecutions of Christians in Egypt. Every one of them has occurred since the much-hailed “Arab Spring.”

President Obama’s own role in this pattern of persecution is by no means that of an innocent bystander. He went to Egypt’s Cairo University in June 2009, to deliver his “New Beginning” speech to what he then called “the Muslim world.” Right from the start, we knew there could be no place for Christians in that world he so designated.

President Obama referred to the Muslim scriptures as “the Holy Koran,” something no previous U.S. President had done there.  He also said that the Mideast was “the region where Islam was first revealed.” That was a theological term freighted with meaning. It must mean, at minimum, that Islam has superseded Christianity and Judaism.

In that seat of Muslim learning, in that hotbed of Muslim Brotherhood underground activity, the forces of upheaval took Mr. Obama’s words at face value: They would find a new friend in the White House.

They soon did. Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, who had at least maintained a thirty-year “cold peace” with Israel and who had not given official sanction to the persecution of Egypt’s ten percent Christian minority, was soon swept away.

The “Arab Spring” would bring democracy and human rights to Egypt. The Obama administration welcomed the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. And paid them generously out of money we must borrow from China.   John Brennan, the current Director of the CIA, referred to the Muslim Brotherhood as “largely secular.” That is true only if you discount its origins, its teachings, its history, and its practices.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt began almost at the same time as Germany’s National Socialists and shared with that “Nazi” movement a strong commitment to dominate all of society. They also shared with the Nazis a fanatical judenhass—hatred of the Jews. Like the Nazis, they use electoral politics to achieve their ends because they couple open appeals for votes with the threat of violence if they don’t get what they want.

Not all the reactions to Islamist persecution have been those of outraged Western critics, however. Even in the midst of violence and hatred by the jihadists, some Christians are speaking truth to power.

Abraham Kuruvilla is an American of Indian descent. He brings his gentle manner to bear in this thoughtful essay. Abraham is a graduate of University of Virginia and recently returned from a two-year course of study in Defence and National Security at the University of Madras. Abraham’s column—“Amidst Jihadist Hatred, Something New”— is well worth reading.

Still, we as American citizens and taxpayers can use our rights just as Paul did with the Roman rulers. We can speak out and protest our tax monies being used to fund such murderous mistreatment of our fellow Christians in Egypt. 

Who Paid for Egypt’s Gold Braid?

by Robert Morrison

July 13, 2012

Many of the Inside-the-Beltway pundits are not whistling past the Egyptian graveyard, perhaps, but they are whistling past the Pyramids.

They are placing great hopes in the Egyptian military. And they’re placing our money in the pockets of the Egyptian generals, too. $1.2 billion every year for the past thirty years has gone to bribe the Egyptian military to stay in line. Under Hosni Mubarak, staying in line meant not invading, or threatening to invade Israel. And not hosting Islamist extremists who might spur more terrorism against the U.S. and the West.

Since the fall of Mubarak, the Egyptian military has been a bulwark, we are told, against Islamist extremism. Except, of course, when they are Islamist extremists. The liberal Christian Science Monitor reported last fall that Egyptian armored personnel carriers had plowed into Coptic Christians peacefully protesting in Cairo. Twenty-four Christians were killed by the weapons we American taxpayers supplied to the Egyptian military. Has there been any action taken against the killers? Ask the Sphinx. Coptic spokesmen in the U.S. say the standard figure of 8 million Christians in Egypt is itself Islamist propaganda. They claim 18 million adherents. If so, that is twice as many Christians to be endangered by the new regime in Cairo.

The Mideast Jordan Times carries an interesting story about the uneasy relationship between newly installed President Mohammed Morsi and the Egyptian military. Morsi is the Muslim Brotherhood’s successful candidate for president. This would be the same Muslim Brotherhood that pledged not to field a candidate for president. Morsi is in a struggle with the Egyptian military because the generals dissolved the newly elected parliament. Parliamentary elections yielded an Islamist majority, including the Muslim Brotherhood bloc as its largest faction. This is the same Muslim Brotherhood that said it would not field candidates for the parliament.

President Obama has just invited Mohammed Morsi to visit the U.S. Why not? After all, President Obama visited Morsi’s home base—Al Azhar University—in June 2009. That center of Muslim Brotherhood radicalism was the place Mr. Obama chose to offer his olive branch to what he termed the “Muslim world.” Can anyone imagine the row if this self-proclaimed Christian leader had addressed a speech to Christendom? He’d have been accused of being a Crusader (that’s a bad thing among Islamists). Despite its reputation as a scorpions’ nest of Islamist activity, the president chose Al Azhar to signal a turnabout in U.S. policy toward Muslim majority countries.

Turnabout there has surely been. Since Mr. Obama’s entry into office, Christians have been slaughtered throughout the Bloody Crescent with hardly a peep from the U.S. State Department or the White House. Nigerian human rights activist Emmanuel Ogebe recently reported that more Christians have been killed by Islamist Boko Haram than NATO troops have been killed in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of thousands of Christians have fled Iraq. They’ve fled into Syria, of all places. Operation Iraqi Freedom has not protected them. In fact, their lot has been made much worse since the Bush administration toppled Saddam Hussein and allowed, in fact, required a new Iraqi constitution containing a repugnancy clause. State Department advisers insisted upon this clause. It says that notwithstanding anything else in the new constitution, nothing shall be done by the Iraq government that is “repugnant” to Islam. Well, among the things repugnant to Islam is saying “Jesus is Lord.” That will get you killed.

It did get a young Tunisian Christian killed. Recently, Egyptian TV showed the horror of a young convert from Islam to Christianity being beheaded. The Egyptian new anchor, to his credit, cried out: “Is this what we want here?” And he asked the anguished question: “How will these people govern?”

Sadly, the answers are in the broadcast. Yes, it is what the Egyptian voters want in Egypt. Fully 84% of Egyptians have told pollsters that apostates from Islam should be killed. They just voted for it. How will the new Islamists govern? By publicly cutting off the heads of their opponents. Simple enough.

Morsi has publicly called for repudiating the 30-year Treaty with Israel. Morsi’s Islamist cohorts are publicly calling for the destruction of Egypt’s Sphinx and Pyramids. And yet, there are credulous Americans who place their trust in Egypt’s military.

Check out that photograph in the Jordan Times. Look at the ridiculous gold braid on that military academy graduate. Watch the Egyptian military goose-stepping on parade. (I offer this as a simple rule-of-thumb: wherever the military goose-steps, the regime is bad. Nazi Germany, USSR, North Korea, Iran, and now Egypt.)

But remember the war record of this Egyptian military. They were pounded by the much smaller Israeli Army in every war since 1948. They celebrate their greatest achievement as a military in their sneak attack on Israel in 1973. They launched that attack on Yom Kippur, the opening of Jews’ High Holy Days. The reason the Egyptian military was defeated then, too. But it considers that war their best showing simply because in 1973, their soldiers fought and did not run away.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wrote about the tens of thousands of Egyptian prisoners he captured in one of Israel’s many wars.

The officers threw away their gold epaulets and all indicators of rank. To separate the sheep (enlisted) from the goats (officers), Sharon ordered his prisoners to pull down their pants. Officers, he knew, wore fine silk underpants. Enlisted grunts had to make do with coarse, cheap, scratchy cotton drawers. Sharon marched the defeated Egyptian army, minus their pants, home to Cairo.

The Egyptian military does not always run away. When they plow their armored vehicles into unarmed Christians, they don’t run away. And they don’t get disciplined, either.

Our pundits who look to the Egyptian military to restrain Mohammed Morsi and his Islamist backers are not unlike those very credulous folks who thought the German army would restrain that ridiculous new Chancellor with the toothbrush mustache. Within a year, Hitler had brought the German high command to heel. Mohammed Morsi will put a ring in his generals’ noses.

The Muslim Brotherhood is not an offshoot of Nazism, but it arose in the same era and its founders viewed Hitler’s Judenhass—hatred of the Jews—as a spiritual bond between their movements. Nazism collapsed under Allied and Soviet bombardment. The Muslim Brotherhood survived World War II and has now triumphed in the Arab world’s largest country. The Christians there and throughout the Mideast are in the gravest jeopardy.

Should U.S. taxpayers subsidize this new regime? Should we continue to pay for their gold braid?