Jihad Watch Advisory Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald explores some of the implications of the suspicions, widespread among Copts in America, that the Armanious murders were religiously motivated:
If this turns out to be a crime with not the slightest connection to Muslims or to Islam (and one would have to find out more about the prison experiences of McDonald and Sanchez), this should not be allowed to obscure, much less erase, the most instructive aspect of the case for innocent Infidels: the immediate suspicions felt by Copts in Jersey City, and wherever Copts are — or were — free to speak their mind. From New Jersey to California, many were convinced that it was a crime by Muslims. Was that a crazy idea, or a perfectly reasonable idea, given the long experience Copts have had at the receiving end of Muslim “tolerance” and “peace”?
Should this crime not be what many Copts reasonably thought it appeared to be, a crime based on the desire of some local Muslims to punish uppity Christian Copts who too eagerly defended and promoted their faith, there will be transparent attempts by Muslim organizations to convince us all that Muslims are almost always blameless when they are charged, that the climate of “hysteria” has reached a “fever pitch,” that unless any and every suspicion that falls on a Muslim is subsequently proven in a court of law, however difficult it is to meet the burden of proof, whatever the prosecutorial bumbling, that results in the the throwing out of evidence because of the way it was obtained or the refusal by the prosecution to admit certain evidence for fear of revealing sources then, we are supposed to believe, our suspicions based on what we can read every day about the plots and the schemes foiled, or those khutbas that whip people up to commit certain acts, or the videotapes, are all silly, paranoid, utterly without foundation.
There has been no miscarriage of justice here, and any suspicions that have arisen have arisen because of statements by Copts, who have reason to react to such events as they in fact did. No need need be deflected from a second of study of the theory and practice of Islam. If Western governments were to list not just the acts of terrorism that have been committed by Muslims, but also a complete list of all the acts of terrorism, the plots and the schemes, that have been disrupted at some stage in the discussion or planning, that list would not be short. Indeed, such a list should be circulated, published, so that the publics everywhere are well aware of the extent of the problem of terrorism as an instrument of Jihad — just as they need to become aware of all the other instruments of Jihad-conquest, including economic warfare, propaganda, and demographic conquest from within.
If these murders end up being the work of people who seemed not to be Muslims, that still does not rule out a Muslim connection. In Holland, the man who killed Pim Fortuyn was describedan “animal-rights activist”; he was also weak-minded and susceptible to suggestion, and someone made a suggestion that helped direct his mania at Pim Fortuyn, not because Pim Fortuyn had anything to do with animal rights, but because this man had become convinced that Pim Fortuyn was harming the “most vulnerable” members of society –in his view, these were the Muslim immigrants. At the moment, in Holland the “most vulnerable” are in fact the Dutch themselves; Geert Wilders, the most outspoken political figure who has warned about Muslim infiltration, moves constantly form army base to army base, and has six bodyguards; Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a member of the Dutch parliament, needs several bodyguards at all time. Surely this means something. And surely the fact that apostates from Islam, such as Ibn Warraq and Ali Sina (at www.secularislam.org and www.faithfreedom.org) use aliases is also telling.
The understandable suspicions of Copts may have led people to believe certain rumors; one still does not know to what extent these stories were invented and believed, or are elaborations upon worries. But what lay behind them was not some vicious prejudice, but reasonable suspicions based on centuries of Coptic experience of mistreatment. Here is just one Copt’s testimony, taken from a March 1 posting at Jihadwatch:
“Copts are not only persecuted but are also terrorised in all aspects of life. When the State cancels from the history books in schools 7 centuries of Coptic history is that not religious terrorism?
When Sheikh Shaarawy insults Jesus Christ and Christians on state television and is , almost immediately, decorated by the President with the highest honour isn`t that despicable from the religious standpoint? When Coptic students are forced to study the Koran in schools, but not their own religion, is that not religious persecution and terrorism?
When Moslem students refuse to shake hands with their Coptic fellow students, stating that they cannot greet infidels, is that not religious persecution and terrorism?
When Government institutions and private companies refuse to employ Copts and some of them even announce in the press that Copts should abstain from applying is that not a blunt and humiliating persecution? When priests and monks are killed on the streets for no reason is that not religious terrorism and persecution?
When minor Coptic girls are subjected to humiliation, kidnapping and rape and forced to the Islamic religion is that not undeniably persecution and creating terror in the minds of such young girls?
When Copts, praying in Church on Sunday are killed by Moslem fanatics, (Abou-Korkas) is this not a flagrant religious persecution and terrorism? Must Coptic worshippers be forced to go to Church in fear and with their gun?
Is the attacking of churches, monasteries and houses for handicapped children by the Army not an awful and inhuman terror for such peaceful people? Is that not an insult to a civilised country?
Is not all of the above a massive insult to a supposedly civilised country in the 21st century?
The Coptic cause is undeniably important to each one of us – SO LET US LOOK AT THE HISTORY and in doing so briefly we can identify 5 distinct phases:
PHASE 1 – lasting from the arrival of St Mark in Alexandria in the 1st century AD until the end of an extremely difficult and painful era during which the Copts faced brutal persecution. During this period the Copts willingly offered their souls in defence of their faith and this dreadful era lasted for almost 300 years.
PHASE 2 – a further 300 years during which Egypt was fully Coptic and, apart from the Roman occupation, this period was probably the best time in the history of the Copts.
PHASE 3 – lasted from 640 AD to the beginning of the 20th century. During this long epoch the Copts enjoyed highs and endured lows in a way similar to many minorities worldwide.
PHASE 4 – with the flourishing of the Egyptian National Movement from 1919 the Copts were extremely patriotic and were accordingly rewarded with a complete integration in the national political and public fabric. A wonderful era but one which lasted for only 30 years or so.
PHASE 5 – from 1952 the Copts started to face a new and uncomfortable reality with the increase of the Moslem Brothers culture in all layers of life. This reality continued to worsen and was mainly driven by two factors:
Â· the overall deterioration in all of the standards, sectors and segments of the Egyptian society, and
Â· the most detrimental and pervasive impact of the Petrodollar which allowed the Saudis to invade the Egyptian mind and in parallel spread their interpretation of Islam to all countries thus invading and purchasing minds and consciences to their evil Wahabite understandings.
Now let us have a detailed look at the last 50 years or so and here I give to you, from my perspective, some examples of how the Egyptian Copts were robbed of their rights and degraded and marginalized to become third class citizens.
Nationally and internationally it is known that the Soldiers` Revolution of 1952 took place with the support from The Moslem Brothers. Indeed from the first day they aimed at persecuting the Copts in accordance with their own Islamic principles.
Two weeks after the start of the revolution [the 1952 revolution of Colonel Nasser and fellow officers, who desposed King Farouk] my friend and business customer – Pilot Captain Hasan Ezzat – advised me to emigrate because of the Islamic and fundamentalist character of the revolution. He believed that the plan was clearly aimed at persecuting and humiliating the Copts.
In his book “On the road to Liberty” which was published only 2 weeks after the start of the revolution he confessed participating with Anwar Sadat in the killing of Amin Othman and Major Selim Zaki.
In 1955 Ali Pasha el Shamsy warned of the forthcoming persecution of the Copts and feared that they would be banned from senior positions – even though he defined the Copts as “the salt and fertiliser of the Egyptian soil”. His warnings were ignored and his predictions materialised. Even now I`m not sure that the Government are aware that they effectively destroyed Egypt and dragged it into the deep pit of ill-repute where we are now.
Even Prince Talal bin Abdel-Aziz and Mr Khaled al Faisal warned strongly against driving the Christians from the Middle East with the consequent “Brain Drain” and exodus of talent and commitment. This appears to have been another warning in vain.”
All of this helps to explain why Copts have believed in a Muslim connection to these murders.
Copts should not be expected to forget about living as dhimmis, slowly asphyxiated by the much less numerous Arab Muslim invaders (and many of those Egyptian “Arabs”who now persecute the Copts are themselves descendants of Copts who, forcibly or under the pressure of dhimmitude, converted). Should the destruction of Coptic businesses, of the kind that routinely took place after the rabble-rousing speeches of Hassan al-Banna (as on November 2, 1945), founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and grandfather (“he was my grandfather”) of Tariq Ramadan, be forgotten? Should all the events allused to above be ignored by Copts in the United States or elsewhere? And note, please, that long before the Western press anointed him as Saint Sadat, the Egyptian plotter had been jailed by the British for pro-Nazi activities during World War II, and was involved in the murder of Copts (during his rule, Pope Shenouda went into self-imposed exile in the desert, the only way the Coptic popes have to express their outrage at the persecution of Copts that is permitted, or often encouraged by authorities and the press, in Egypt).
The fears and suspicions of Copts were reasonable. And the reasonableness of those fears and that suspicion are diminished by this case, which is still very much up in the air.
If the reaction of Egyptian-born Copts was telling, so too was that of Egyptian and other Muslims. Islamic websites contained no outpouring of sympathy but rather glee. If Muslims had believed that no Muslims could have committed such acts, then they would have been vocal, up and down the land, denouncing suspicion. But they did not, and that is because they knew such a thing was hardly out of the question, given the attitudes that Islam inculcates.
These observations remain true, no matter who committed the crime, or for what motive. Mea culpas by anyone who thought there must be something to these stories originating with Copts — and much investigation into McDonald and Sanchez remains to be done — are, given all this, unnecessary.