Here is yet another story illustrating how the rise of Islamic groups in post-revolutionary Egypt is making the country more dangerous for non-Muslims. Reality has run contrary to the politically correct article of faith that Islam is tolerant of other religions in line with the Western understanding of the concept of religious tolerance, and thus an increased role for Islam in society could only increase that “tolerance.”
What is increasing is the demand that “tolerance” only apply within Sharia’s narrow terms and deplorable conditions, whereby non-Muslims are subjugated and “feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29).
“Attacks on Christians: Can Egypt Deal With Extremist Mobs?” by Abigail Hauslohner for Time, June 12 (thanks to Thomas Pellow):
On the night of March 8 Yasser Makram was on his way home from work, his pick-up truck full of garbage as he turned up the winding dirt road on the edge of Egypt’s capital, to approach his home in the crowded Cairo slum known popularly as Garbage City. As he inched around a curve, he saw a swarm of people running towards the truck in his rearview mirror. “I didn’t know what was happening,” he says. But before he could consider the possibilities, the mob had pulled him from the truck. “They demanded to know if I was Christian.”
Makram’s hospital report says the 27-year-old suffered “nerve damage” and “multiple deep wounds and fractures” that night. A long, sinister scar “” a knife wound “” now cuts across his face, ear to ear. And it will be at least a year before he can drive his garbage truck again. The mob stabbed him in the chest and beat him with pipes, breaking an arm and one of his ribs, before stripping him naked and dragging him, semi-conscious, up a dark and dusty road to the foot of the Citadel, a medieval Islamic fort.
Three months later, no one has been charged with the crime, the police apparently having shown no interest in filing a report while Makram was hospitalized. And Makram has no idea who his attackers were. But he remembers their response to the strangers who finally intervened to help him: “This is a Christian son of a bitch,” they said. “We’re going to kill him.”
Rising sectarianism has been one of the ugliest challenges to emerge since President Hosni Mubarak’s downfall in February. The attack on Makram came as part of the first big wave (a second came in May) of religious violence that has exploited the country’s post-revolution security vacuum. Days before, a church was destroyed in a village south of Cairo, after clashes erupted over a Muslim-Christian romantic relationship. The ensuing tensions sparked more days of Christian protest in and around Cairo, which erupted into clashes again on March 9, killing more than a dozen people.
Various political parties, including the popular Muslim Brotherhood, condemned the violence. The transitional government rebuilt the church. And in Tahrir Square, liberals and moderates briefly revived popular slogans for national unity in an effort to drown out the uncomfortable new voice of the minority Salafist Muslims “” strict adherents to a conservative, purist sect of Islam “” who have gathered strength since the revolution.
As usual, the term of choice is “sectarian” violence, implying a reciprocity that is not there.
And yet, sectarian violence has continued to fester “” fueling protests that blocked the instatement of a Christian governor in Egypt’s south in April; and sparking a fresh round of clashes in May that destroyed another church and left 12 people dead. “No, the problem is not solved,” says one Christian activist, Fady Phillip, even as he watched last week’s re-opening of the second desecrated church. “We need whoever provoked the people to do it to be arrested. If they’re free without punishment, what’s to stop it from happening again.”…