"People, we have a major problem on our hands"
A recent episode of the popular Egyptian TV program, “Cairo Today,” reveals how bad the situation has gotten for the Christian Copts of Egypt. The Muslim host, Amr Adib, a very famous TV personality, not just in Egypt but across the Arab world—not to mention vocal critic and nemesis of Fr. Zakaria Botros—in a very honest moment, expressed the severity of the situation.
Among other things, Adib confirmed that Coptic persecutions are more than what the media portrays, i.e., “sectarian conflicts”; that this is a “major problem” and society in its entirety needs to get involved; that this is not a superficial issue, but rather a deep-seated one, festering in the hearts; that weekly mosque sermons exacerbate the situation and lead directly to Coptic persecutions; and that media bosses warn TV hosts to stay clear of this topic.
Regarding this latter point, Amr is to be commended; for, whereas he, a (perhaps nominal) Muslim, spoke truthfully about this, some dhimmi Copts do the exact opposite when on the media.
Due to the importance of this episode, I deemed it relevant enough for translation, which follows (thanks to Victor and Reda for sending me the Cairo Today link).
By way of context, Adib began his tirade after discussing a recent residential quarrel, wherein Copts living in a building wanted the sole Muslim to leave, he refused, and eventually a quarrel erupted leaving the latter dead (for the record, the opposite is the norm). After reporting on this, Adib went on to say:
After this occurrence and during the Friday prayers [khutba], a large group of people [Muslims] came out of the mosque chanting “we will kill them” – and, by the way, this kind of thing happens very often in Alexandria, people erupt out of the mosque slandering and attacking Copts.Sure enough, only recently, Muslims gunned down two Copts as they were exiting church after Easter service.
Of course, as usual, the same explanations were given—“this was a sectarian conflict, we Muslims and Copts are one people, one nation, we will stand next to each other, these are minor issues,” and so on and so forth.
Now, if you [the viewers, i.e., Egyptians] plan on continuing this way, we have a problem; I mean, if we in Egypt, continue dismissing these occurrences, then we have a major problem on our hands. However, if we want to take this seriously, and examine what’s really going on inside people, what the deal is, then that’s something else.
We’ve spoken about this issue a 100 times, and every time things smooth over; however, the time is nearing when things won’t pass over. I beg you, this is a very important matter; it’s not just about reconciling Gergis with Muhammad [i.e., reconciling any specific Christian to any specific Muslim]. What’s going on internally is something else; the schools, mosques, churches, media, and all of us must get involved—we must figure out what the deal is, what the trigger button is, what makes people go insane.
In other words, what would get an entire mosque to storm out screaming “they will die”? They have nothing to do with this; these mosque people were there to pray. Why are they involving themselves in a residential dispute?
On the other hand, our Christian brethren, what’s it to them that he was the only Muslim in the building, why did they want him to get out?
Anyway, this one passed – but what about the one before it, the one before that, the one that’s to come, and the one after that? What are you going to do?
If you plan on continuing this way, without seriously considering this issue, we have a major problem! I say this because I want to satisfy my conscience, for truly, I am daily torn to pieces when I hear of such things.
People, we are only kidding ourselves; there is a major problem; it must be treated; we must expose its roots. Postponing problems never fixes anything:
There’s a nation called America that is about to collapse. Why? Because it keeps postponing its economic problems until one day everything will come crashing down.
This goes back to the days of Sadat—we kept postponing, minimizing the importance of these clashes, saying they’re minor; then movies would be made portraying Christians and Muslims as best friends. This talk is simply not true. There’s something going on inside Pope Shenouda; there’s something going on inside Sheikh al Azhar.
Open up your hearts and tell us what’s going on! They warn us in this job [media], telling us not to talk about this issue. However, I—because I love this country—have a feeling that what happened in Karmuz is not the last we’ve heard of this, and this isn’t good.
I tell my Muslim brethren, guys, you’re the majority, you’re the ones who must hold off, be patient, lead by example. Our brethren the Copts, because they are the minority, have feelings of insecurity and fear.
Take any Copt to the side, away from the camera, and talk to him. He’ll tell you – “they don’t hire us, this happens to us, in the buses this occurs to us, in these areas they do this to us, we can’t build churches,” and so forth.
We’ve all memorized these complaints by heart; we all know what the Copts’ problems are….
People, we all know what’s going on, we need to openly discuss this, not postpone; it needs to be addressed seriously by all the relevant people to figure out how to solve this problem, how to reform the lessons in Muslim schools, in the Friday preaching in mosques.
Yesterday, I heard the khutba next door [Friday sermon], and the imam of the mosque was an animal; he was saying the worst things about Christians! And, of course, everyone sitting there was simply chanting la illah illa alla [There is no god but Allah, i.e., indicating assent].
I just wanted to go grab him by his throat! Who does he think he is? Does he know more than the prophet, or Abu Bakr, or Omar, or Amr? No, he’s a criminal; I just wanted to grab him by his throat, this man who is inciting the world to tear itself to pieces.
Little does Amr understand, but the sad fact is, yes, this imam knows as much as the aforementioned "pious" Muslims who usurped the Coptic nation and turned its people into subdued dhimmis—hence the festering problem, what is inside the hearts of Pope Shenouda and the Sheikh of Azhar: fear and hesitancy in the former, intolerance and a sense of superiority in the latter.