Egypt Muslims' Deep Desire to Get along with non-Muslims
19 Sep, 2007
On Friday November 7, 2003, approximately 500 radical Egyptian Muslims armed with sticks, knives, benzene and kerosene attacked the homes and businesses of Coptic Christians in the village of Gerza-Ayiat-Giza. People were beaten; buildings were torched. Injured Copts were afraid to leave their homes to seek medical treatment for fear of what might happen to their children. It was a night of terror yet the Police did not investigate. No one was arrested and no complaints were filed against the miscreants because it was ‘not allowed.’
* A house of deep desire.
Violence against Coptic Christians is not unusual in Egypt. Should one be alarmed? Not at all says Michael Yoder. “Egypt is a good example of a place where Christians and Muslims have gotten along for centuries.” How does Michael know? He’s been to Egypt. He was with a group of teachers that toured Egypt to learn more about Islam. There were 12 of them so they can’t be called the Magnificent Seven but they could be called the Potemkin12. Yoder plans to use the insights he gained to develop a class in world religions. (Potemkin must be smiling in his grave) Yoder teaches Spanish and History at Northside Urban Pathways Charter School, Pittsburgh, PA. “We generally think of Muslims as radicals or extremists, and I would like to present a case of moderate Islam that has a deep desire to get along with Christians and Jews,” he says.
That’s what Rodney King wanted. Can’t we all get along? Of course, down deep we all have this desire. James Buchanan, the 15th President of the United States thought this deep desire to get along would save the Union. It was his belief that down deep Jeff Davis and Edmund Ruffin wanted in the worst way to get along with the Yankees and the commercial agents and the hordes of German and Irish immigrants flooding New York and Boston and Louisiana. “Why, shucks—the average moderate Sothron would gladly belly up to a bar with any down-to-earth, fair-minded Yankee dirt farmer and swap yarns and talk politics and religion as if they knew what they was a-talkin’ ‘bout. That is we’uns’ deepest desire.
It was the extremists—the Abolitionists, the New England Bible Thumpers, the Garrisons and the Welds that was the cause of all the trouble. Why a Kentucky Colonel couldn’t take a coffle of slaves to an auction block in Washington DC without some rightwing bluenose religious bigot raising an eyebrow. Buchanan felt the extension of slavery into the territories would solve the country’s problems. By then he was up to his neck in deep desire. All Jeff Davis and Edmund Ruffin wanted was the same property rights as other Americans. Why couldn’t the Abolitionists understand that?
It’s what Islam wants—no more, no less—to take their slaves, ah, their women, into the territories, the dar al-Harb, build a few mosques, tax the dhimmis. There is nothing wrong with that. It is the way it has always been. It is as moderate as Islam gets.
Eric Tuten of Slippery Rock University, another member of the Potemkin 12, was as enthusiastic as Yoder. Many Muslims and Islamic scholars had informed him that they were opposed to the radicalism espoused by a ‘handful’ of their religious leaders. That is well and good but why do they always whisper? Could they not speak a little louder? Those in opposition to slavery in the antebellum South attacked the evils of the peculiar institution with courage and eloquence: Cassius Marcellus Clay, James G. Birney and General David Hunter to name a few. If anyone had invented the Hard Hand of War, it was Hunter.
What has Egypt to offer in the way of Cassius Marcellus Clay, Birney or Hunter? Just how deep is their deep desire? Will it take an artesian well to get there? One could mention Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ehsan Jami and Ali Sina, but they are not Egyptians and are no longer Muslims—they are ex-Muslims. Wasn’t it Ralph Waldo Emerson who said he would have to leave the Church in order to serve God?
A few days ago, the US Ambassador to Egypt, Francis J. Ricciardone, protested the arrest of two Christian activists, Adel Fawzy Faltas and Peter Ezzat Mounir of the Middle East Christian Association on charges of insulting Islam and jeopardizing state security. Those are very serious charges—they could get fifteen years in jail! Fifteen years—that is a long time! A single day in any Arab State jail would make a hundred years in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Arizona tent city seem like a weekend with Rosie O’Donnell at the Waldorf.
On March 9 of this year—one does not need to go back too far—two Coptic Christians were gunned down in front of their home in Imbabah, Cairo. No one was arrested because someone accused one of the Copts of carrying a gun. No weapon was found.
On February 22, 2007, Muslims ‘fanatics’ raided a Coptic Christian village in Armant, Qina Province, Egypt. Houses and businesses were torched and destroyed. Yes, there is this deep desire—but for what? These are not isolated incidents—the list goes on. Yet gullibility springs eternal.
Fran Leap of Seton Hall University, one of the Potemkin 12, was deeply impressed—that word again; deeply—with the fervor with which Muslims practice their religion. Maybe she missed something. “To see, for instance,” she said, “the young man at the Internet café pick up his prayer rug and quietly and unobtrusively slip out the door and attend to his midday prayer and return five (or) ten minutes later was very inspiring.” If she had said this about the late Jerry Falwell she would have been run out of Seton Hall.
Five or ten minutes of praying time—that would be fine if the young man had been searching the Internet for something innocuous, like the life cycle of the anopheles mosquito or how many calories there are per square inch of Big Mac but not if he had been sneaking deep desire peeks at Vava Voom’s hot bod; than a half hour would not have been enough. The Potemkin 12 might as well have been visiting a collective farm in the Soviet Union of the 1930s such was their gullibility.
Kuwait recently suspended the licenses of 50 Internet cafes for providing what is only allowed a Muslim in Allah’s Great Whorehouse in the Sky. Some Internet cafes have been offering sexual services in closed booths. The Mullahs have been screaming. Of course, they blame it on America. According to data gathered by Google, seven of the top ten countries searching for ‘sex’ on the Internet are—guess what—Muslims countries. Egypt is second. Oh, yes, there is a deep desire out there.
Was Fran Leap aware of what actually goes on inside an Internet café? Was Yoder? Was Tuten? And if they were, did they or would they have cared? The chances are, no. There is this deep desire on the part of groups like the Potemkin 12 to find something good in Islam, something superior to the West to take home and wave in the faces of their fellow Americans. Their role as teachers is to help students understand that Islam is much more than the extremist interpretations some are willing to put forward. Like James Buchanan, they believe an extension of slavery into the territories will solve America’s problems. What they believe down deep—who knows?
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Denis Schulz was prospective convert to Islam (read his testimony: How I Almost Became a Muslim?) before changing his mind after the 9/11. He actively writes on the threats of Islam and terrorism.