It should not take the special perception of an intellectual, researcher, or expert to realise that the actions of not-an-insignificant portion of Egypt’s Muslims are governed by horrendous
It should not take the special perception of an intellectual, researcher, or expert to realise that the actions of not-an-insignificant portion of Egypt’s Muslims are governed by horrendous fanaticism and ignorance. Anyone who requires evidence need only look at the recent attack against the Copts of the small Giza town of Dahshur. An individual fight, between a Muslim whose shirt was damaged and the Coptic laundry-owner where the shirt was damaged, escalated into a fierce attack against the town Copts. One Muslim lost his life; all 110 Coptic families were forced to leave town upon order from the local security authorities who feared matters would way get out of hand to ensure the Copts’ safety. And sure enough, the Copts did save their skin, but for three full days, the Dahshur Muslims made it their business to loot and ruin the homes and businesses of the Copts in town.
It is no secret that many attacks against Copts are the outcome of individual disputes, neither is it a secret that the fights are made to escalate into fully fledged conflict by Muslims who are no party to the dispute. They simply volunteer to stand by their fellow Muslims against Copts who are also no party to the problem. I can find no words to describe the situation other than that it amounts to unjustified, collective penalty against Copts.
In Dahshur, the matter was compounded by the security order that the Copts must, for their own safety leave. Can this be a case of security deficiency, or uncontainable fanaticism? Will the culprits who killed, looted, and burned be caught? Will it be possible for the Copts to go back to their homes and businesses? And if so, who will help them rebuild these homes or restart their businesses from scratch? Or will it be impossible for them to go back, and it should be good-by forever to ‘previous’ prosperous lives? Will they be obliged to relocate, with the all the pain, hardship and alienation such a move involves? Nothing short of a comprehensive solution can put an end to the Dahshur crisis and ensure that no similar event occurs again.
The Interior Ministry is denying there is any “forced eviction” of Copts. It is talking about “conciliation” between the Dahshur Muslims and Copts, and a Coptic homecoming. But, seven days after the violence first erupted, there was no talk about any culprit caught. Nether was there any official talk about bringing about justice or about indemnity or compensation for the Coptic losses.
The only official talk we heard was Giza governor Ali Abdel-Rahman insisting that all was “stable and well-secured” in Dahshur and, a full week into the violence, President Mursi saying he was following the matter and that the law should be enforced.
As is now all-too-familiar, activists, moderates, media persons and politicians are rushing to denounce the Dahshur violence, and place the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the deficient security service. Very few people stop to contemplate why Muslims attack Copts and loot and burn their homes, churches, or property for reasons that may border on the trivial. So much for citizenship rights in Egypt.
5 August 2012