Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Terheyden

8/7/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We are called to pray for - and stand in solidarity with- our Coptic Christian brethren

Much of the Coptic Christian community in Dahshur, Egypt went up in smoke last week as Muslims went on a rampage. This horrific incident is being seen as a test for President Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood. He said he would be the president of all Egyptians, or was that just a big lie, a ruse to gain power and Islamize Egypt?

Highlights

By Michael Terheyden

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/7/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Copts, Christian, persecution, Dahshur, Egypt, President Mursi, Michael Terheyden


KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - Much of the Coptic Christian community in the city of Dahshur went up in smoke last week. Dahshur is located about 40 kilometers south of Cairo, and it is known for its ancient pyramids. This incident is being reported as the worst since Muslim mobs clashed with the Copts in Imbaba, Giza over a year ago. It is also being seen as the first great test of the newly elected president of Egypt, Mohamed Mursi, and his Muslim Brotherhood.

The violence in Dahshur began on July 27 when a Coptic launderer, Sameh Samy accidentally burned the shirt of a Muslim client, Ahmad Ramadan. They agreed to settle the claim that evening, but Ramadan came back later that afternoon joined by 2000 to 3000 armed Muslims. Samy locked himself within his home. Both sides began fighting. They threw Molotov cocktails at each other. Samy threw one from the roof of his house, and it hit a passerby, 25-year-old Moaz Hasab-Allah, who incurred third-degree burns. This tragedy apparently quelled the fighting that day. Moaz was taken to a Cairo hospital where he died five days later on the morning of August 1.

According to reports his father said, "the whole village will avenge his death." He added, "destroying Coptic property is not enough and that Copt[s] have to 'pay for [his] son's death' with lives." Maariam Ragy, a Copt, said that a Muslim-Brotherhood cleric roamed the village after Moaz's death "vowing that the village church of St. George will be burned down, its pastor and all the entire Christian inhabitants killed and their homes torched after the burial of Moaz tonight." And so it went. Hundreds of Muslims began looting and burning Coptic businesses and homes after the burial.

Over 120 Coptic families were forced out of their homes, virtually the whole Coptic community in Dahshur. Father Takla, the priest of St. George's Church in Dahshur, believes about 100 homes were burned. He said, "Approximately 20 homes were spared due to their approximate location to the church which is heavily guarded by security forces." He also said, ". . . over 500 moderate village Muslims stopped the Salafist mob from storming the church, until security forces arrived and secured it.

The mob also attacked Samy, his father and his brother during the rampage. Both Samy and his father were injured in the attack. All three were later arrested and charged with murder and possession of explosives. Although five arrest warrants were issued for Muslims, none have been arrested.

People cannot live like this! Samy lives under constant fear that he is going to be attacked for the slightest mistake. There are no objective standards he can rely upon. He is subject to the impulses of his Muslim neighbors. He cannot reasonably count on his government to protect him or his property. He has no reasonable or effective recourse. He lives in a surreal world filled with lies, manipulation, betrayal, threats, and violence. Although violence must always be a last resort, we can understand his fear and his anger and his right to defend himself and his property.

This horrific incident is a test for the new president and the Muslim Brotherhood, of which President Mursi is a member. He said he would be the president of all Egyptians, including the Copts. Is Egypt's new government for the people and by the people, or is it all just a big lie, a ruse used by the Muslim Brotherhood to gain power and Islamize Egypt? Given their history, this seems to be a reasonable question.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been a radical organization since its inception. It was founded by Hasan al-Banna in1928 as an Islamist religious, political, and social movement. In his book, Faith, Reason, and the War against Jihadism, George Weigel writes that al-Banna believed "After cleansing the House of Islam, true Muslims would cleanse their territories of infidels and unbelievers. . . ." For al-Banna, "Islam was 'both a religion and a state,' such that the Qur'an and the sword were 'inseparable.'"

Al-Banna's vision did not change through the years. During the Second World War, the Muslim Brotherhood sided with the Nazis, and they supported terrorist activities in Palestine. They also assimilated the Nazi's views against the Jews and Western societies into their reform movement. The Muslim Brotherhood were also implicated in a failed plot to assassinate Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt's leader in 1965, and in the successful assassination of Nasser's successor, Anwar Sadat, in 1980.

Despite their rhetoric to the contrary, it does not seem that they have changed in recent years either. The Muslim Brotherhood's first choice as their presidential candidate, Ayman al-Zawahri, pledged to implement sharia law if elected; but sharia law discriminates against all non-Muslims. Furthermore, when there was no public response from President Mursi concerning the violence in Dahshur, the bishop of Giza, Theodosious, sent a delegation of priests to meet with the President, but he did not meet with the delegation.

Instead, he sent his official spokesman, Dr. Yasir Ali, who told the delegation that ". . . the [P]resident is closely following recent events in Dahshur. He has deployed the appropriate resources to execute justice and to apply the law regardless of religion. He reaffirmed his commitment to guard the rights of Egyptian citizens and to maintain a civil relationship between Muslims and Christians in Egypt."

However, Dr. Naguib Gabriel, the head of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organization, said that the Copts have been systematically persecuted since Mursi became president. He also said "that in the last ten days of the Muslim Ramadan fast, twelve incidents took place against the Copts, including the arrest of the six Copts in Dahshur, while no Muslim was arrested."

It would appear that the Copts are being lied to by their leaders, but only time will tell for sure. In the meantime, let us pray that President Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood rise above their intolerant, radical past and become true democratic leaders and that justice and peace will flourish in Egypt. Let us also pray for all those who were victimized in Dahshur, especially young Moaz and Samy, and for those brave and good Muslims who helped their Coptic neighbors.  
 
 
-----

Michael Terheyden was born into a Catholic family, but that is not why he is a Catholic. He is a Catholic because he believes that truth is real, that it is beautiful and good, and that the fullness of truth is in the Catholic Church. However, he knows that God's grace operating throughout his life is the main reason he is a Catholic. He is greatly blessed to share his faith and his life with his beautiful wife, Dorothy. They have four grown children and three grandchildren.

-----

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Middle East

SOLD! In a unprecedented move of barbarity, the Islamic State authorizes rape of underage girls Watch

Image of Women captured by the Islamic State are put onto the slave market where they serve as a source of income for the state and as wives for fighters.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has released a new pamphlet that gives instructions on the taking of sex slaves, selling or giving them, and having sex with prepubescent girls, and has circulated the pamphlet among fighters in occupied Iraq. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Islamist State releases video that shows drone's eye-view of Kobane Watch

Image of The footage depicts the Kurdish half of Kobane, in a battle scene that has become a test of the efficacy of the U.S.-led air campaign to defeat ISIS.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Islamist State jihadists are keeping the propaganda war fresh and stylized: They've just released a video, easily available on YouTube which shows a drone's eye view of the beleaguered Syrian town of Kobane. By inference, they've portrayed the ongoing conflict ... continue reading


A world at war: Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram, united how much destruction could they cause? Watch

Image of Taliban fighters have waged a war of insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A study from the BBC and the London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) has revealed that in November alone, over 5,000 people died as a result of Islamic violence, or nearly seven every hour. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Islamic State BEHEADS four CHRISTIAN CHILDREN when they refused to renounce Christ and convert to ISLAM Watch

Image of A man breaks down in tears. Millions of men across the Middle East, from Israel and Palestine, to Syria and Iraq, know nothing but sorrow as conflict rages across the region, consuming their children.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State terrorists have beheaded four children who refused to convert to Islam according to the British Vicar of Baghdad, Canon Andrew White. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Canon Andrew White, Islamic State terrorists have beheaded a man's four ... continue reading


American hostage Luke Somers killed in rescue attempt in Yemen Watch

Image of Luke Somers, who was born in Britain but had American citizenship, was working as a translator for the National Dialogue Conference when he was kidnapped last September.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

A militant jihadist reportedly "relieving himself" spotted U.S. forces in Yemen - who altered his superiors, whereupon American journalist Luke Somers along with South African hostage Pierre Korkie were killed by al-Qaeda operatives. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Bad move: Netanyah's re-election plan may lead to political suicide Watch

Image of Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, may have just committed political suicide by calling for March elections.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new survey from the Jerusalem Post has found that a large majority of the Israeli population does not want Benjamin Netanyahu to be re-elected as prime minister. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The poll was conducted on December 3, just a day after Netanyahu ... continue reading


World War? The King of Jordan says the Islamic State is steering the world to it Watch

Image of King Abdullah of Jordan is warning that the world is on the brink of another world war, and the Islamic State is likely to cause it.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

King Abdullah of Jordan is a large critic of the actions of the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, and while in the United States to meet with President Obama, he spoke to "CBS This Morning" and called the battle against terrorism "our third world war." ... continue reading


Christian CHILDREN sold as sex slaves for as little as $40 in Islamic State slave markets Watch

Image of Christian women are enslaved to work in brothels and in homes as domestic servants.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians are being sold into slavery for as little as $40 and used as sex slaves and domestic laborers by the Islamic State. The shocking fact has emerged following the revelation of a publication advertising the prices for Christian women and children. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Gates of Hell Shake as Prophetic Pope Seeks the Blessing of a Humble Patriarch Watch

Image of I pray that this prophetic action of Pope Francis - humbly seeking the blessing of Patriarch Bartholomew - hastens the healing of the divisions which separate the Church of Jesus Christ. I believe it shook the gates of hell. May it now release the power of the Holy Spirit and unleash a new missionary age of the Church.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew embraced one another as brothers, and friends. Then, the successor of Peter bowed his head and sought a blessing from his brother in the Lord, Patriarch Bartholomew.  Like much of what ... continue reading


FOOD AID FOR CHRISTIANS CUT OFF - 1.7 million in jeopardy as UN and USA halt food shipments to Middle East Watch

Image of Caught in a crisis not of their making, children are the first to suffer in famine. Food aid has been cut off by the UN in an unprecedented decision because governments have not kept their pledges.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Due to a failure of the international community, a massive, unprecedented humanitarian crisis looms over the Middle East. The UN World Food Program announced on Dec. 1, that it would stop feeding refugees because it did not have enough money to supply them with food. ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 49:2, 8-10
2 Gather round, sons of Jacob, and listen; listen to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 72:3-4, 7-8, 17
3 Mountains and hills, bring peace to the people! ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 1:1-17
1 Roll of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 17th, 2014 Image

St. Olympias
December 17: Olympias born into a wealthy noble Constantinople family. She ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter