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 September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Middle East

NO COMMUNION for first time in 2,000 years... Watch

Image of Iraqi Christians receive communion in the Kurdish city of Arbil. Sunday was the first time in 2,000 years no communion was offered in Nineveh, because no Christians remain.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Last Sunday there was no communion in Nineveh for the first time in 2,000 years. The Islamic State has finished Christianity in Iraq, having killed and forcing to flee the nation's population of over 200,000 Christians. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ancient ... continue reading


More than 3,000 Europeans fighting for ISIS, anti-terrorism chief says Watch

Image of Seizing large parts of Iraq and Syria in recent months, Islamic State - or known as IS, ISIS and ISIL, has had active troops from the European continent within its ranks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The number of Europeans joining Islamist fighters in Syria and Iraq has risen to more than 3,000, the European Union's Anti-Terrorism Chief Gilles de Kerchove has told TV reporters. Even worse, De Kerchove warned that Western air strikes would increase the risk ... continue reading


ISIS executioner in Foley beheading identified - but not made public Watch

Image of ISIS has beheaded James Foley, American journalist Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines, gruesomely showing their killings in videos posted online.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

FBI Director James Comey says that the United States believes it has identified the ISIS militant in the video showing American journalist James Foley's killing - but did not publicly identify the man. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The reason this is so ... continue reading


URGENT email from Iraq asks Christians to pray for ISIS victims in Queragosh -- but is it a hoax? Watch

Image of Christians in Iraq are subject to intense persecution and hardship. They remain at risk and in need of emergency aid.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An email was forwarded to the editorial staff of Catholic Online, requesting urgent prayers for the people of Queragosh, who were being slaughtered by terrorists from the Islamic State. In investigating the matter, the editorial team quickly established the email is a ... continue reading


U.S. mission in Syria determined to be 'a matter of years,' Rear Admiral John Kirby says Watch

Image of Calling the torture and killing of Sameera Al-Nuiamy savage and cowardly, U.N. special representative for Iraq Nickolay Mladenov says that the Iraqi government and the international community must do all they can to ensure those responsible for her death are brought to justice.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The airstrikes against Islamic State strongholds in Syria will likely drag on for several years, according to Rear Admiral John Kirby. As airstrikes continue to pummel used by the terror group to help fund its operations, Kirby pulled no punches with his ... continue reading


Refineries used by Islamic State targeted in airstrikes Watch

Image of Fighter jets from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates flew alongside U.S. aircraft during the operation, hitting 12 locations. Initial reports say that the strikes were successful.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Mobile oil refineries in eastern Syria were pounded by U.S.-led warplanes this week in an attempt to hit Islamic State "in the pocketbook." The refineries have been fueling IS' terror brigade. According to Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby, the airstrikes were aimed ... continue reading


Bin Laden son-in-law sentenced to life in prison Watch

Image of Convicted in March on conspiracy charges, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith answered Osama bin Laden's request in the hours after the attacks to speak on the widely circulated videos used to recruit new followers willing to go on suicide missions.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was sentenced to life in prison for acting as al-Qaeda's spokesman after the September 11 terror attacks. Before sentencing, Abu Ghaith said through an interpreter that he "would not come here today and seek ... continue reading


Khorasan terror group made up of 'well-seasoned' members of al-Qaeda Watch

Image of The Khorasan, from Afghanistan and Pakistan have

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria not only targeted member of the Islamic State, but also other terrorist groups such as al-Nusra and the Khorasan. The latter group is comprised mostly of well-seasoned veterans of al-Qaeda. Many officials find the Khorasan group to ... continue reading


Strikes against Islamic State aimed at giving allies time to prepare for fight Watch

Image of Lt. General William Mayville, discussing the U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon's spokesman, told reporters that recent airstrikes carried out against targets and militants of the Islamic State have so far been a success in hindering the terrorist group. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Our initial ... continue reading


Terrorist leader 'the Turk' killed in U.S. airstrikes in Syria Watch

Image of U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria have apparently killed the terrorist leader known as

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria have apparently killed the terrorist leader known as "the Turk."  A photograph of the corpse of Abu Yousef al-Turki has been posted online. Al-Turki was the leader of the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front. LOS ANGELES, CA ... 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, Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
1 In the end it was Job who broke the silence and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8
2 may my prayer reach your presence, hear my cry for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:51-56
51 Now it happened that as the time drew near for him ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 30th, 2014 Image

St. Jerome
September 30: St. Jerome, who was born Eusebius Hieronymous Sophronius, was ... 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