The War on Copts in Egypt: Its Origins

There is a war on Copts in Egypt. It is unmistakable and state military and religious institutions are guilty in sponsoring and launching the war. It was no coincidence that the chief of Al-Azhar (a former puppet of Mubarak and his ruling party) was on an official visit to Saudi Arabia during the week of killing the Copts in the streets of Cairo.

The official statement about the visit by Al-Azhar chief and his meeting with Wahhabi clerics of the House of Saud was blatantly sectarian and spoke about protecting Sunnis, as if the majority of the world’s Muslims are under attack in the region from Muslim sects and non-Muslims. The meeting in Saudi Arabia is an example of the fanatical religious movement that leads and sponsors the industries of religious and sectarian hate in the region. But it is not only the Egyptian government which squarely bears the responsibility for the savage attacks on Copts on the streets, and for sponsoring the blatant sectarian agitation that filled Egyptian state airwaves.

The US and Saudi Arabia are also responsible. It is fair to say that the US was party to the Saudi-directed campaign of global religious fanaticism – in two stages. The first phase was during the Cold War when Saudi Arabia, in partnership with the US, unleashed international religious forces to undermine the cause of communism and leftism in general. The movement that produced Bin Laden and his terrorist organization was mid-wived by Saudi Arabia and the US during the war in Afghanistan. The goal was to defeat communism at any price, even if the regimes that followed were much worse than what prevailed under communism, especially if one cares about women’s rights. It can be argued for instance that the Soviet-supported regime in Kabul was far more reformist and enlightened than the reactionary regime that the US installed in Kabul in 2001.

The second wave of global fanaticism was unleashed by Saudi Arabia after the 2003 invasion of Iraq and with the full support of Israel and the US. The US wanted to divert the attention of Arabs from Israel and its crimes and demonized Iran, promoting it as the only danger to Arabs (only Muslims because non-Muslims don’t figure in US calculations and certainly not in the calculations of the Wahhabi clerics). Israel was not to be seen as the enemy, or so wanted the American government, and Saudi Arabia was more than happy to oblige.

But to facilitate the rise of the second wave of fanaticism, characterized by an intense sectarian anti-Shi`ite campaign (which comes naturally to Wahhabi rulers and clerics) came at a price: it required the services of the specialists in sectarian agitation and mobilization; and these are the sectarian fanatics who are now unleashed throughout the region.

Sadat was the leader who unleashed the religious fanatics in Egypt: they were needed for the war on Nasserists and leftists. The US was more than pleased with the performance during the Cold War, until they wound up killing Sadat. Unlike Nasser who truly avoided any sectarian talk in Egypt and who vehemently fought any sectarian or even religious political movements, Sadat was blatantly sectarian and publicly insulted the Copts Pope.

The new military regime in Egypt seems to be playing the game of Sadat: with encouragement from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the regime seems to be unleashing fanatical fundamentalists and Salafites: these are the beneficiaries of Arab oil largesse. These are the army of the war on Copts throughout the country, and they were visible in the attacks (not clashes) in Egypt last week. The US is now reviewing its policy towards Muslim fundamentalists and seems to be concluding that just as they were useful clients during the Cold War, they may be useful in the new era of Arab uprisings. The raising of the portrait of Bin Laden in Tripoli by a movement supported by the US and Western governments is a manifestation of the other side of US endorsement of Saudi sectarian policies in the region.

The Copts and all Egyptians have the right to be angry and to insist on accountability. The Military Council is a continuation of the Sadat-Mubarak regime in different uniform.

Comments

Assad abu Khalil is one of the rare voices that can actually defend the Palestinians when he gets invited to a western TV-Show do to his philosophical skills(which is of course the reason that he did n`t get invited). I respect him in this regard. Especially since i had several opportunities to listen to so called secular palestinian defenders in german Universities which get regularly beaten up intellectually by the zionist counterparts. I mean they could n`t even speak the german language properly. But they even lacked simple logic. So i had to step in once in a while and tried to defend the palestinian cause even as i did n`t know any palestinian historical facts i did a much better job than this logic illitarate intellectuals. It was an embarrassment. At the end of the day they did and do more harm than good to the palestinian cause. And they don`t even realizes this.

But when it comes to islamic movements Asad is not fair at all. He is blinded by his romantic views of the left from his childhood. He never refers to the Hama Massacre in which according to haitham al malih 45000 got killed. I just read in his blog about the turkish military killing Kurds in Iraq. But he did n`t mentiion the zionist involvement in there training or Assad`s dirty Hands in the Explosions in Ankara. Btw. Where was and is the secular leftist role in Turkey when it comes to the palestinian Question. Where is the international left in general. Well it is with zionist Kibitzes as the american right stands with the zionist Settlers. When it comes to the Taliban he never mentions the invasions Afghanistan had to swollow by progressive Societies like Britain, Russia, Soviet Union and recently the USA and the mental Disorder in the whole society as a result. What is with the war on muslim minorities in general which get as less covarage as the palestinians. Like Kashmir for example. What about the copts that have called for Netanjahu to rescue them or the ones that plead the Americans for a Green Card to escape the muslim barbarians. Or the new academic "Islam Bashing" profession in Europe and the secular arab involvement in it. Oh no. True secularistt would never do that.

As'ad's statement on Afghanistan was polite understatement.

Cf this for the government supported by the Soviets: http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/51/104.html . The foreign money and weapons and even the introduction of foreign forces to destabilize Afghanistan was originally Pakistani and American, not Russian.

One could fill a library with the reactionary components of the regime the US established, but perhaps this will do: Applying the "law" that apostates who converted from Islam to other faiths should face the death penalty was proposed by Mullah Omar but not implemented. This under the Taliban. So when did it go into force? In 2006 and in 2011 - After the US allegedly drove the Taliban out and created their version of a good state in Afghanistan.

I agree Asaad with most of what you said, but I want to bring to your notice one thing. the tensions between muslims and christians in Egypt began in the 1970s after the ascendance of Anwar Sadat and the Pope Shnuda. The pope Shnuda, based on his background, is also a religious fanatic who is trying since he got to the papacy to create a Copt people in Egypt. The egyptian church is trying since then to isolate the copts from the muslims and to be the mediator between the copts and the state. Most of the copts today talk about muslims as the sons of arab invaders and they should be sent back to Saudi arabia and to bring back egypt to its people and this not the talk of a minority inside the copts. The egyptian church took in 1970s the decision to mimmick the maronite church.

Dont forget now the attacks by salafis in lybia on Sufi shrines destroying and digging some out. I dont get, it is ok to allign yourself with non believers as they so call say and accept their errors in killing your own, yet you can't stomach your own whose beliefs differences are as a width of a hair compared to the similarities. Libya will turn bloodier than Iraq if this continues. What a sham and shame.

"...Egypt and who vehemently fought any sectarian or even religious political movements" So tell me. How exactly he had fought the islamic movements. Just ask the prisoners of him. there treatment and killing lead to the radicalisation of the whole movement .After the islamic movements throughout the region fought against the western forces the secularist came in and declared victory with the promise of progress and success and the destruction of Israel. and the key to that was of course the uncle Tom doctrine. Who has fought the zionist from the early beginning. I bet if Hizbollah would win against the zionist secularist would step in again and declare victory.

" It can be argued for instance that the Soviet-supported regime in Kabul was far more reformist and enlightened than the reactionary regime that the US installed in Kabul in 2001."

So you argue that soviet imperialism is ok. Tell that to chechnya. What about all the Baath dictatorial regimes. What about the Gulags in the soviet union itself.

If you know how to read the reference to" the soviet supported regime in Kabul" does not in any way imply that Russian Imperialism was in any way benign when compared to Western Imperialism vis a vis Afghanistan (or for that matter anywhere). The writer is making a specific comparison based on factual evidence. Both the Soviet supported and the American enabled Taliban regime were oppresive and despicable but the fact remains that the communist administration was relatively more open (specially in regards to women). I have read quite a few articles by mr. Kalihl and there has not been a single indication of any support for the ex Soviet Empire but only revolutionary scorn!!!!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><img><h1><h2><h3><h4><h5><h6><blockquote><span><aside>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

^ Back to Top