Sunday, September 22, 2013

NPR Interview on Coptic Christian persecution by Islam

No, you won't find much truth here, just the usual deflections and confusion on the part of NPR when it comes to identifying the real source of the violence against Copts in Egypt.  Oh, they appear to try, but it for naught.

From PBS September 20

In Egypt, Coptic Christians Become Target for Attack in Times of National Stress
(...)MARGARET WARNER: Human rights investigators say, though some Muslim Brotherhood members were involved in last month's rampage against Christian churches, it wasn't a campaign that appeared to have been directed by the leadership. But that's not the view of much of the public, as we found in the Shubra district of Cairo, with a big Coptic population.

A local Muslim landlord, Mona Gharib, had no question who was behind it.

Do you really think it's the Brotherhood themselves or do you think it's the extreme Islamists?

MONA GHARIB, landlord (through interpreter): It was the Brotherhood, because they wanted to bring back Morsi, but he's never coming back.

MARGARET WARNER: She introduced us to a Coptic shopkeeper, who insisted there's no ill feeling between ordinary Christians and Muslims here.

MAN (through interpreter): Muslims and Christians, we are one hand. And any external attempt to divide us will never happen.

MARGARET WARNER: Who do you think is trying to divide you?

MAN (through interpreter): The Muslim Brotherhood, they are not Muslims. They are terrorists and their actions are not Islamic. Even if all the churches are burned, we will pray in the mosques. We all worship the same God.

MARGARET WARNER: And when she took us to the Church of the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael, the pastor, Father Raphael Ramzy, struck the same theme.

Have there been any threats against this church?

FATHER RAPHAEL RAMZY, Church of the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael (through interpreter): No, because our Muslim brethren protect us here; we are like a big family. Far away from the Muslim Brotherhood, we are a family.

MARGARET WARNER: The accusation that the Brotherhood was behind the church attacks is an insidious lie, insists Amr Darrag, a former minister in Morsi's government and a top official in the Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party.

AMR DARRAG, Freedom and Justice Party: The attacks on the churches in Minya (INAUDIBLE) were done by thugs who are historically related to the security forces. And he actually called -- many times, he called the security forces to come and help in protecting the churches, but they declined.

MARGARET WARNER: So the Brotherhood was completely uninvolved in these attacks on churches?

AMR DARRAG: One hundred percent, definitely. This is an old technique that has always been used, unfortunately, by the -- some parts of the security forces to put a wedge between Muslims and Christians in the country and show the world that there is a problem.

MARGARET WARNER: So that leaves the question why? Why do Coptic Christians become targets in times of national stress? Some see political motives behind the latest attacks. Morsi had accused Christians of being among his chief opponents. And when General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced he'd deposed Morsi, he was flanked by civil and religious figures, including the Coptic pope.

But Mona Zulficar, a prominent corporate lawyer, a Muslim who also fights for women's and minority rights, thinks the animosity goes deeper than that, among the ranks of Islamic fundamentalists.

MONA ZULFICAR, Egyptian Constitutional Committee: There is a part of the extremist view looks at the non-Muslims as infidels, and this is not true Islam. I mean, I must underline this. This is a malicious, abusive interpretation that has no foundation in the holy Koran.

Uh, Mona, what say you about these two Qur'anic passages?
(5-17) "They have certainly disbelieved who say that Allah is Christ, the son of Mary. Say, "Then who could prevent Allah at all if He had intended to destroy Christ, the son of Mary, or his mother or everyone on the earth?" And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them. He creates what He wills, and Allah is over all things competent." 
(5-72) " They have certainly disbelieved who say, " Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who associates others with Allah - Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers."

There is more, read it all

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