Serious provocations to “sectarian violence” — i.e., jihad. “Egyptian Coptic Church Accused of Stockpiling Weapons,” by Mary Abdelmassih for AINA, September 21 (thanks to all who sent this in):
(AINA) — A new wave of defamation by Islamists against Coptic Pope Shenouda III and the Coptic Church is seen by many observers as a serious provocation to sectarian violence against the Copts, and the possibility of Egypt being dragged into civil war.
On September 15, Qatar-owned Al-Jezirah TV broadcast a program called Without Limits, presented by moderator Ahmad Mansour, who hosted the Islamist Dr. Selim el-Awah, former Secretary-General of the World Council of Muslim Scholars, which has stunned and enraged Copts inside and outside of Egypt. “El-Awah is simply threatening Copts that the forthcoming chaos after Mubarak dies will see mass violence against the Copts,” says Magdy Khalil, Coptic activist and head of Middle East Freedom Forum.
The program alleged the Church has its own militia and hides weapons and ammunition in monasteries and churches, preparing for a war “against the Muslims.” el-Awah said that “Israel is in the heart of the Coptic Cause,” and the Church gets weapons from Israel. He cited as evidence an incident in mid-August, in which the son of a priest in Port Said, Mr. Joseph El-Gabalawy, was falsely accused of importing weapons from Israel. Although he was cleared of charges and released, as the imported goods were children’s fireworks from China and did not belong to him, he is still detained by State Security.
The television program also charged the Church of concealing Muslim converts to Christianity, besides abducting and torturing Christian converts to Islam. Out of the thousands of Christian woman who converted to Islam, willingly or unwillingly, el-Awah mentioned only two wives of priests whom he claimed converted to Islam and consequently were imprisoned in monasteries, Wafa Constantine and Mary Abdallah. Speaking on the latest crisis over Camelia Shehata, about whom Muslims fabricated rumors of her conversion to Islam, he said that she never converted to Islam and was handed over by State Security to her two married sisters (AINA 11-1-2015).
The nearly two-hour program went on to accuse the Coptic Church of being a “State within the Egyptian State,” allegedly taking advantage of the weakness of the present regime, behaving as if it is above the law. The Church was also accused of making an “inheritance” deal with the regime to support President Mubarak’s son in succeeding his father as president in exchange for benefits.
Selim el-Awah said that ever since Pope Shenouda came out of detention, having been banished to a desert monastery by the late President Sadat in 1981 and released by President Mubarak in 1982, there has been “scientific preparation” to demand the division of Egypt into a Muslim State and a Coptic secular State”
He warned that if the status of the Church remains as such, the “country will burn” and called on Muslims to go out in demonstrations as the “only answer left to counteract the strength of the Church.” He said “If they go out to the streets, who can control them?”
“For the first time since the establishment of the State of Israel,” says Magdy Khalil, “someone has accused the Coptic Church of stockpiling weapons from Israel as a prelude to waging war on Muslims, claiming that Israel is at the heart of the Coptic issue.” […]
A Muslim demonstration is called for Friday September 24, in Alexandria demanding the disposal of Pope Shenouda III.
Khalil recollects similar circumstances taking place at the end of the seventies when rumors circulated about a plan by Pope Shenouda to establish a Coptic state in the Upper Egyptian Province of Assiut, and about the storage of weapons in monasteries, “those rumors were justifications for a series of attacks against the Copts over decades,” he said.
He believes that this dangerous talk by Dr. el-Awah is an introduction to the destruction of the Copts in the event of a the outbreak of chaos in Egypt after Mubarak’s death. “It will not be like what happened in the seventies, but it could evolve to become like the Armenian genocide that occurred in Turkey in 1915,” said Khalil.