As the Islamists wage their war against Egyptians for rejecting the rule of the Muslim Brothers, Copts—forever the easy prey—come in for more than their fair share of violence
I do not normally talk specifically about Copts, and I do not call for special protection or treatment for them. However, when they are targeted by criminals who issue threats of physical elimination, this must stop. Such declarations indicate a determination to take revenge on Copts, as if the Copts were the easy prey with no one to stand up for them.
The West supports the MB
John Kerry, President Obama and Anne Patterson have been strongly defending the armed Muslim Brothers (MB) despite the unending atrocities they commit and their persistence in attempting to violently impose their will upon the vast majority of Egyptians who have rejected Islamist rule. The MB are wreaking havoc with the peace of Egypt, and are especially targeting the Copts with their culture of hate, casting them in the light of the enemies of Islam and Islamist rule, and the one responsible for the overthrow of this rule.
Yet it appears that the US sees the armed, terrorist MB as more worthy of defence than the unarmed Copts targeted on a daily basis by the Islamists. It looks as though the Americans perceive what is going on in Egypt now as a Western movie where it is perfectly normal to see outlaw activity and guns in the street in broad daylight. How would Mr Kerry feel if masked men roamed Washington’s streets with their firearms? How would the US administration react to this?
If the Americans are doing nothing to defend the Copts, is the European Union (EU) doing anything? The EU is a submissive follower of US policy, and does not rise against it unless it threatens the EU’s economic and financial interest. Then, and only then, the EU metamorphoses into a monster, protecting its multinational organisations. This, however, does not extend to Copts.
Do Arab States defend Copts? Since when did any of them do as much as lift a finger for a persecuted Copt in Egypt, his homeland, where historically he is the authentic inhabitant?
What do the Copts do?
Do Copts defend themselves? In Church they are taught: “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also (Matt 5:39). If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles (Matt 5:41). But I tell you: love your enemies, bless them that curse you, and pray for those who persecute you (Matt 5:44).”
Although the message of Christ is noble and sublime, I will strongly and forcefully say it does not apply in the face of the MB who thrive on assaulting the truth itself, not merely individuals. Had the matter been restricted to individual incidents of assault waged by an armed religious group on some Copts, it would not have been that grave. However the matter concerns the indiscriminate attack of Copts in their entirety, only because they are Copts. Why are the Copts in particular chosen for this collective revenge? Why are the millions of Muslims who go against this satanic group not targeted? How do human rights fit into all this?
Choice for revenge
We should confront all forms of violence very firmly. Mr Obama and his followers, who are still supporting the MB, should see that our security forces only arrest criminals and those using arms to terrorise defenceless citizens. Egypt does not target the peaceful opposition who use legitimate means, including their pens, to freely and peacefully express political opinion.
Let us look at the facts. The US declared war on Iraq because it ‘thought’ that Iraq owned weapons of mass destruction. It was on a ‘hunch’ that they declared war that claimed the lives of innocent people. The flagrant error in estimation of the US administration displayed how foolish that administration was. Now, as though history is being revisited, the foolish US administration finds its kind in the MB regime in Egypt, which is also claiming so many innocent lives for their own ends. The US thus offers its custodianship to a group of criminals and terrorists while overlooking the will of the millions of Egyptians. Birds of a feather flock together.
Dr Wagdi Thabet Ghobrial is Professor of Constitutional Law and Public Freedoms at La Rochelle University in France
7 August 2013