Islamists Accuse Egypt’s Christians of… Radical Islam
The Hudson Institute exposes the lies fed to the Muslim masses in Egypt, which have led to escalating anti-Christian fervor.
By Raymond Ibrahim
10/28/2010 Egypt (Hudson Institute) – The persecution of Egypt’s Coptic minority is taking an ironic, and dangerous, turn: Islamist leaders are now projecting the worst traits of radical Islam onto Egypt’s Christians. A psychological phenomenon first described by Sigmund Freud, “projection,” is defined as “the attribution of one’s own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people.” As such, consider the following excerpt from this recent report:
In the last month various fundamentalist groups held ten demonstrations [in Egypt], each after coming out of mosques following Friday prayers, against the 86-year-old ailing Coptic Pontiff, in which he was accused of being a US agent, an abductor and torturer of female Muslim converts from Christianity, of stockpiling weapons in monasteries and churches to carry out war against Muslims, and of plans to divide Egypt to create a Coptic State.
All of these accusations are as inapplicable to the Coptic Church as they are applicable to Islamists. Let us first examine the context of these charges:
“Abducting and torturing female Muslim converts from Christianity.” Context: The wife of a Coptic priest, Camelia Shehata, was reportedly kidnapped by Islamists, but then returned to her family. In response, Islamist leaders began saying that she had willingly run away and converted to Islam, and, in fact, has been “re-kidnapped” by the Coptic Church, which has trapped her in a monastery where she is being “tortured” and “re-indoctrinated” to Christianity.
In fact, the opposite scenario — kidnapping Christian women and forcing them to convert to Islam — is a well documented and a notorious phenomenon in Egypt. So now the Coptic Church is being accused of behaving identically — not just kidnapping, but torturing, brainwashing, and forcing women to convert. Moreover, the fact that Camelia has appeared on video fervently affirming her Christian faith and denying that she ever converted to Islam has been ignored, no doubt because Islam’s ingrained notion of taqiyya, or dissimulation, is also being projected onto the Copts. Finally, Muslims’ own sharia law mandates that Muslim women who try to leave the faith must be incarcerated and tormented until they return to Islam, such as in the recent case of Nagla Imam.
“Stockpiling weapons in monasteries and churches to carry out war against Muslims.” Context: On September 15, leading Islamic figure Dr. Muhammad Salim al-Awwa appeared on Al Jazeera, and, in a wild tirade, accused the Copts of “stocking arms and ammunition in their churches and monasteries”— imported from Israel, no less, as “Israel is in the heart of the Coptic Cause” — and “preparing to wage war against Muslims.” He warned that if nothing is done, the “country will burn,” inciting Muslims to “counteract the strength of the [Coptic] Church.” Awwa further charged that Egypt’s security forces cannot enter the monasteries to investigate for weapons (an amazing assertion, considering that Coptic monasteries are not only at the mercy of the state, but easy prey to Islamist attacks, with monks tortured and crucifixes spat on).
Needless to say, such charges are unjustified: in a nation and society where Islam is supreme; where sharia law (which mandates subjugation for non-Muslims via Koran 9:29) is part of the Constitution; where Copts have been conditioned over centuries to be happy just being left alone — is it reasonable to believe that these selfsame, downtrodden Christians, who make up 12%-15% of the population, are planning a violent takeover of Egypt? It is easy to see, however, why such charges resonate with Muslims; after all, Islamists are constantly arming and stockpiling weapons — a Koranic charge — including in mosques, as they prepare to violently seize power across the nations, with Egypt being an especially coveted target. Ironically, Awwa himself ceded that “Muslims are arrested every day [in Egypt] for extremism and the possession of arms.”
While anti-Copt sentiment is as old as the Muslim conquest of Egypt, this recent batch of false accusations is making Muslims more irate and paranoid, and foretells greater harm for Egypt’s beleaguered Christians. According to sharia’s dhimmi pact, the necessary condition for Copts to be tolerated is that they live as subordinate, second-class “citizens.” The Islamist psyche — and Egypt is increasingly Islamicizing — expects this.
Yet these recent charges portray the Copts as violent antagonists bent on war and conquest. If the Muslim popular mind accepts this new interpretation, far from subjugated dhimmis, or even co-equals, the Copts will be perceived as little better than infidel terrorists, and treated accordingly: that is, barbarously.