Copts, however, did not mimic their Muslim counterparts’ reactions when “offended” (or just in general) — including rioting, attacking Copts, churches, monks, and abducting young Coptic girls, forcing them to convert.”Muslim scholar’s novel angers Coptic Church,” by Ramadan al Sherbini for Gulf News, August 10:
Cairo: Since published last month, Azazel, a novel by professor of Islamic philosophy Yousuf Zidan has been panned by Coptic clerics as unfair and offensive to Christianity.
“Zaidan’s book seeks to persuade readers that the Azazel story is true and was found in ancient scrolls written in Syrianic and Aramiyan languages,” Bishop Abdul Massih Bassiut, a theology scholar, told Gulf News.
Azazel refers to the chief of goat-demons to whom most primitive Semitic tribes offered sacrifices. The controversial novel is set in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria in the fourth century when the city experienced a turbulent era of shifting from polytheism to Christianity.
“The author tries to Islamise Christian beliefs and takes the side of heretics,” added Bishop Bassiut.
He has disclosed that two Church lawyers are examining the book at the request of Pope Shenouda III, the top Coptic cleric, before deciding on the next move.
“We will not demand the book be banned or take the author to court. But there will be a rebuttal of the fallacies mentioned in the book,” added Bassiut.
In other words, Copts will not riot and destroy, but simply, through logic, address the book’s fallacies, showing where it errs. Would that only Muslims did the same thing! Whenever someone points out those “problematic” verses or hadiths, instead of retaliating with rage and violence — not to mention accusations of “Islamophobia” — if only Islam’s ulema would simply respond and show how we infidels are “misunderstanding” what their texts plainly declare.