Raymond Ibrahim: Land Dispute or Jihad? The Coptic Monastery Raid Revisited

Even though Dhimmi Watch admirably noted the recent attack on the Abu Fana Coptic monastery in Egypt, after just watching a graphic video detailing the affair on the Arabic satellite program Hiwar al-Haq“”which makes clear that the raid (ghazwa) was far from being motivated by a “land dispute,” as the Egyptian authorities insist””I figured I’d do a little translating and relaying, thereby giving readers more perspective on the matter:

For starters, Father Antonias, who was there, said that many “disparaging” words were hurled against Christianity by the Muslim assailants during their rampage, which, incidentally, included the destruction of altars and torching of Bibles. As the Bedouin terrorists were destroying the monastery, for instance, one monk reached for the cross, to which one of the Arab assailants mocked: “Hah! Let’s see if the cross saves you!” to which the stoic monk replied, “Truly, you do not know the power of the cross.”

The gravity of the situation is well demonstrated by the fact that Coptic Pope Shenouda, who, no doubt due to his delicate and precarious position””being the head of a Christian island in an Islamic ocean””often portrays Coptic-Muslim relations as being more amicable than not, said, “This is the first time they kidnap and torture monks. The issue is becoming critical” (from Sawt al-Muhajir, vol. 9, issue 60, p.2).

By indicating that this is the “first time” for Copts to be kidnapped and tortured, Pope Shenouda clearly means first time since the inception of the modern Egyptian state in 1952. Compared to what Copts, including their monks, who are supposedly “immune” from molestation in Islam, have experienced over the course of fourteen centuries of Islamic domination””such as having their tongues sliced off for talking in Coptic during the Mameluke era””what the Abu Fana monks experienced is, sad to say, child’s play.

But it seems that the good ol” days of Islam’s domineering face are back again, in full swing. While the Coptic pope was visiting one of the critically wounded monks in the Burg Mina hospital, the latter told him: “Sir, the situation is constantly getting worse.” Indeed, this is the 17th time this particular monastery gets attacked.
All in all, seventy Bedouins, armed with machine guns, assaulted the monastery, destroying and burning. One would normally add “plundering” to the list, but, considering the austere circumstances of any given Egyptian monastery, zeal for material booty””which one can rationalize motivated the Coptic jewelry store attacks which left four Copts dead days earlier””just as with the “land-dispute” pretense, could hardly have been a factor. No, it was simply hate for Christians. Read on.

The video report depicted numerous monks, bruised, burnt, and bloodied, with broken bones and punctured wounds. One monk was severely beaten on the head, another stabbed in the neck. Only parts of the video were shown, since, according to the broadcaster, the rest was “too disturbing” to air.

According to Dr. Nagib Gabriel, who testified at court, the following occurred to the three monks that were kidnapped and tortured over the course of twelve hours:

“One of the monks had his arm and legs broken. The other two were tied together with ropes, suspended from a tree, and severely beaten with hoses and sticks. Afterwards, they were placed””upside down and still tied together””on the back of a donkey and shoved off. The monks were further commanded to spit on the cross and proclaim the shahada [the profession of Muslim faith that “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet,” which, when uttered in front of Muslims, transform the speaker into a Muslim]””beaten every time they refused, and even threatened with death.”

Sound like a “land dispute” to you?

Incidentally, the Egyptian police took their sweet time arriving””a full three hours””even though the police station is a mere two kilometers from the monastery and was contacted immediately once the raid was launched. This, of course, is standard procedure for Egyptian security forces, whenever Copts are assaulted: to delay, thereby giving their coreligionists time to wreak havoc and slip away. Such protocol is not necessarily because the police are in cahoots with the terrorists, but because they don’t want to be placed in the awkward position of arresting and prosecuting fellow Muslims, a charge Egypt’s many Islamists would be quick to pounce on to further demonstrate the current regime’s “apostate” tendencies, in that it dares side with Christians against fellow Muslims, irrespective of whether or not the latter are guilty.

More amazingly, the Arab (read: “Muslim”) media continues to insist that this atrocious attack was for land. Be that is it may, let us hypothesize for a moment: what if the exact opposite had occurred? What if seventy armed Copts had stormed a mosque, ransacking and defiling it, torching Korans, kidnapping a number of Imams, torturing them and forcing them to spit on the Koran while saying that Jesus is the Son of God and their personal savior? Would the Arab media ever have portrayed such an imaginary scenario as being prompted over a “land dispute”? Even if it did, what would the average Muslim’s reaction (not to mention response) be?

A final telling anecdote: according to the Hiwar al-Haq episode, ex-Muslims reveal that when Christians living near Muslims die (or are killed), the latter have been heard to gleefully ejaculate: “May Allah keep decreasing them!” After hearing about the atrocities of the Abu Fana attack, far from being shocked, many Muslims were heard to say “May Allah burn them [monks, Christians””you know: non-Muslims] with fire!”

Reminds one of Muslims dancing in the streets after 9/11, no?

In closing, the Abu Fana monastery attack was as much about land as the attacks against Israel are. The only difference, the one that makes Israel and Jews so hated by the Islamic world, is that, while the Copts are under Islamic authority””that is, kept in a state of dhimmitude, suffering any number of injustices whenever the whim takes any given Muslim””the Jews, while also living in the heart of the Islamic world and deemed lowly dhimmis, are autonomous and thus a constant affront to the umma.

Here’s to the day the Copts achieve a similar autonomy in their ancient homeland: Egypt.

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  1. says

    “By indicating that this is the “first time” for Copts to be kidnapped and tortured, Pope Shenouda clearly means first time since the inception of the modern Egyptian state in 1952.”
    — from the article above

    The same mistake, understandable but still needing to be corrected, was made by Canon Andrew White, the Anglican cleric who is bravely ministering to the remaining Christians of Baghdad. He was interviewed by Scott Pelley on Sixty Minutes last night. He described with enough of the detail normally called “harrowing” for viewers unaware of the Muslim mistreatment of Christians (unless held in check by the iron rule of someone like Saddam Hussein, who protected them because they were no threat to him, while “the turbans” — the Shi’a fanatics — were) to learn a good deal.

    But he also said that never before in Iraq’s history had Christians suffered so. Is that true? In the long history of Iraq, we don’t know how a land, once full of Christians (and some Jews) became 98% Muslim? Do you think that, unnoted by the Muslims (they seldom bothered to include in chronicles such unimportant things as their massacres of non-Muslims; this to them was of little moment, and history itself mattered only insofar as it was Islamic history), there were massacres of Christians in the past, or do you think all those Christians found the theological argument for Islam so terribly appealing that, over time, they just converted?

    We know the answer not by appealing to the distant and often insufficiently recorded past. In 1933, when the British left Iraq, having extracted promises from the local Arab government that Great Britain had put in place that no harm would come to the Christians, about 100,000 Assyrians were slaughtered.

    Doesn’t that contradict Andrew White right there?

    But his larger point, or the larger point made by the show, even if it did not quote chapter and verse of Qur’an, or refer to the support for anti-Infidel violence in the Sunnah, at least gave viewers an understanding of what happens to non-Muslims when Muslims are freed from the constraints of a ruthless despot prepared, in some ways — the same despot, don’t forget, also killed hundreds of thousands of Kurds — to be, for his own reasons, a protector of the Christians or, more exactly, an enemy of those most likely to terrorize and kill the Christians.

    One question the Sixty Minutes report did not address is whether those terrorizing and murdering the Christians were acting as part of a group, or as individuals. The answer is: both. Muslim “insurgents” received funding from what they extracted or seized from the Christians. But also Muslim gangs and groups, criminally inclined, saw a good thing, and besides, attacks on Christians were justified, for the Muslims were merely helping themselves to the Jizyah that by right belonged to them.

    That is not the kind of thing reporting often gets into. A first step, however, was taken. And The Times, last week, used the word “Jizyah” in its own report on the fate of the Christians of Iraq, and just yesterday, mentioned in a report on young girls, aged 9 and 10, escaping from their much older “husbands” in Yemen, the story of Muhammad and little Aisha.


  2. says

    search results for ‘Copts’ “Egypt” “Site:jihadwatch.org”

    Provides pages and pages and then some more pages of Islamic ‘tolerance’ and towards Egypt’s Coptic population.

    As Mr. Fitzgerald frequently states:
    “Get real about Egypt”
    Why the jizya to Egypt?
    “Ten Good Reasons For Stopping the Jizyah to Egypt”


    Indeed, Raymond Ibrahim does us all a great service by illuminating the deception of Islamic tolerance toward Egypt’s indigenous Coptic communities. His characterization

    ex-Muslims reveal that when Christians living near Muslims die (or are killed), the latter have been heard to gleefully ejaculate: “May Allah keep decreasing them!”

    illustrates with clear candor the Muhammedan trait – deeply ingrained hatred of every kaffir in existence. Such are the oft’ demonstrated skills of Muhammedan bridge building toward tolerance.

  3. says

    When they run out of Christians to murder, then they will start killing ever more numbers of themselves. May Allah decrease their numbers, and that right soon.

  4. says

    Monks dedicate their lives to prayer and living a simple and humble life in union with God. What threat do they pose to Muslim society? Monks are the most peaceful people on earth.

    The Coptic Monks have been in Egypt longer than Islam came into existence. They have every right to remain there.

    Another great example of Muslim intolerance towards Christians in Egypt.


  5. says

    Here’s to the day the Copts achieve a similar autonomy in their ancient homeland: Egypt.

    Posted by Raymond at June 30, 2008 8:51 AM

    Ray (is it okay to call you that?)

    I’ll second that sentiment: in fact, here’s to the day that the Copts have the same control of Egypt that they had in 630AD.

  6. says

    Thank you very much Raymond. Marvellous. I did encounter a problem with the al-Haq link which didn’t work so I couldn’t view the footage, but your article was terrific. Thanks again.

  7. says

    Egypt has now received some $65 billion in aid from the American government. It has yet to fulfill a single one of its obligations under the Camp David Accords, all of which were, unlike Israel’s obligations, not tangible, but in the realm of encouraging friendly relations. Instead, Egypt has become a worold center of antisemitism.

    And it is also a center of anti-Americanism, because the American government is not admired, and there is certainly no gratitude, for the vast amounts of aid lavished on Egypt, because that aid is seen as propping up a thieving and vicious government. In any case, no Infidel government should be giving aid to Egypt’s Arab and Muslim rulers. The Copts inside Egypt cannot speak their minds; those outside, as they become more accustomed to Western freedom, can — like Maronites — choose to exercise that freedom, and cease having to play the role of apologists, as in Egypt they have sometimes had to do. The Copts may use Arabic, may have Arab names, but they are not Arabs, much as the Arabs have tried to convince them, and others — the Assyrians in Iraq, the Maronites in Lebanon — who use Arabic or have over the centuries taken on Arabic names, that they are Arabs.

    It no longer is going to work. Especially not in the outside world where there is growing understanding of, based on knowledge of, the Total Belief-System of Islam, and what that means, in the end, for non-Muslims in Muslim-ruled countries, and for non-Muslims in lands in which large numbers of Muslims have been allowed to settle, without consideration of the ideology that they bring in, undeclared, in their mental baggage.

  8. says

    Many thanks, Raymond, for your report on this atrocity and your cogent commentary.

    Will the United Nations, in the person of its Special Rapporteur “on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance” Doudou UN Special Rapporteur “on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance” Doudou Diène, address the plight of the Copts? That, I take leave to doubt: after all, Mr. Diène has far more pressing duties to attend to — to wit, laying the propaganda groundwork for next April’s “Durban II” conference in Geneva, at which “Islamophobia” will be at the forefront of the agenda.

    Mr. Diène’s religious affiliation has been carefully omitted from all three of the thumbnail biographies I could find of him on the Web (at the sites of his own UN office, the Organization of American States, and the ACLU), but as he hails from Senegal, a country with a 95 percent Muslim population whose national motto is “Un Peuple, Un But, Une Foi” (“One People, One Goal, One Faith”), it may plausibly be surmised that the Abu Fana monastery’s attackers were his co-religionists — and that his silence in the face of this outrage reflects Muhammad’s dictum in Qur’an 48:29:

    Muhammad is the Messenger of God, and those with him are hard against the unbelievers, merciful one to another.

  9. says

    On the main page of jihadwatch, down to the left, there is a list of links.

    Newcomers to this site, curious kafir (non-Muslims) should click on the link entitled ‘sons of apes and pigs’, and scroll down, for a detailed Copts’-eye-view of this latest massive assault by Muslims upon defenceless and peaceful Copts in Egypt. You will need a strong stomach.

    If you then check out Bat Yeor, ‘The dhimmi’, and ‘The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam’, and look for ‘Copts’ and ‘Egypt’ in the index, you’ll find an historical overview of oppression – by Muslims, of Jews and of Christians in Egypt throughout the entire period of Muslim rule – that reads like a Shoah in slow motion. It is full of murder and mayhem, as well as mean-minded petty cruelties of the sort that remind one of nasty small boys who pull the wings of flies for fun.

    There’s also an article by Bat Yeor in Mr Spencer’s anthology, ‘The Myth of Islamic Tolerance': it’s chapter 13, ‘A Christian Minority: The Copts in Egypt’.

    To any Australians reading this today (1st July) – there is going to be, this coming weekend, a demonstration by Australian Copts, in Sydney, calling attention to the atrocious persecution they are currently suffering in Egypt. If you scroll down from the top of the Sons of Apes and Pigs page, until you come to an article with the headline ‘sweeping demonstrations’, you will find the relevant details.

    They invite all people of good will to join them, as follows:

    “We welcome all who want to join us in our common fight against islamic terrorism.

    “Sydney Australia: Saturday, July 5, 2008. Rallying point at the Museum Station at 11 AM.”

    If I were still living in Sydney, I would be there – wearing a cross around my neck. But I think ALL decent Sydneysiders who support freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and human rights generally (and, for that matter, the land rights and human rights of indigenous peoples – the Copts are the aboriginal indigenous people of Egypt) should be at that demonstration to support the Copts.

    If any non-Muslim Australian counter-jihadist reading this is a Sydney resident, or will be in Sydney on that day, I beg you: be there. This is one small chance to DO something; to stand up and be counted, and to let the Copts of Egypt know that they are not alone.

  10. says

    “As the Bedouin terrorists were destroying the monastery, for instance, one monk reached for the cross, to which one of the Arab assailants mocked: “Hah! Let’s see if the cross saves you!” to which the stoic monk replied, “Truly, you do not know the power of the cross.””

    These monks really are on another level. It’s not surprising, the old saying that normal Christians look up to monks as examples of conduct, but monks look to angels.