Det egyptiske valg:

Kristne frygter for fremtiden

 
 
Kristne samlet til messe i Kairo. De ser selv i stigende grad deres egen fremtid i Egypten som usikker på grund af islamisternes valgsejr.

KAIRO (21.06.2012): Man skal aldrig blive overrasket, når noget er forsinket her i Egypten, for det er næsten alting. Det ville være mere opsigtsvækkende, hvis det ikke var. Men nogle forsinkelser er bare mere problematiske end andre.

I dag skulle præsidentvalgets officielle resultat have været præsenteret for offentligheden, men den centrale valgkommission har meddelt, at det bliver forsinket nogle dage, fordi der er indgivet så mange protester og politianmeldelser imod dele af valghandlingen, at det tager tid, at rede trådene ud. For eksempel er der mange forlydender om at kristne koptere i Øvre Egypten er blevet truet af deres muslimske naboer til ikke at stemme. Det er almindelig kendt, at de egyptiske kristne er bekymrede for deres situation, hvis Det muslimske Broderskab kommer til magten, og derfor sandsynligvis ville stemme på Broderskabets rivaliserende præsidentkandidat Ahmad Shafik.

Kopterne var ikke store, begejstrede tilhængere af Hosni Mubaraks regime, som de ofte kritiserede for ikke at beskytte dem imod overgreb fra landets muslimske flertal, men da alternativet til Mubarak pludselig blev Det muslimske Broderskab, blev det for mange kristne et spørgsmål om at flytte fra asken til ilden. Selvom kopterne er meget stolte egyptere – de anser sig selv for at nedstamme fra de oprindelige årtusindgamle faraoniske egyptere, mens araberne først ankom med den muslimske invasion midt i 600-tallet - så frygter de nu, at de er ved at blive reduceret til tålte, anden klasses borgere i deres eget hjemland.

Når man her i landet interviewer muslimske egyptere om situationen, så vil de næsten alle enstemmigt afvise, at der er nogen som helst form for diskrimination af den kristne befolkning.

”Vi er alle sammen egyptere, vi er alle sammen brødre”, vil svaret ofte lyde. "Der er overhovedet ingen forskel på os."

 
 
Islamisternes valgsejr opfattes som en trussel for fremtiden, set med mange egyptiske kristne kopteres øjne.
Nogenlunde det samme vil mange kristne koptere sige, hvis interviewet bliver lavet i al offentlighed, men kommer man ind i deres private hjem, bliver deres beretninger ofte helt anderledes, og de giver frit løb for den frygt, mange af dem er tynget af.

Mange – ikke alle – har personlig følt diskriminationen eller er direkte blevet fysisk angrebet eller truet, og alle har hørt historier om det fra familie og venner, som selv har oplevet det, så det er en frygt og trussel, der vejer tungt hos mange egyptiske kristne.

En stor del af kopterne er fattige og har ikke mulighed for at slippe væk. Men så godt som alle mine kristne venner taler om at rejse. Alle der på den ene eller anden måde har mulighed for at opnå at få et pas eller en opholds- og arbejdstilladelse fra et andet land, har sørget for at få papirerne bragt i orden. Mange flytter en del af deres penge ud af Egypten, så de ikke går tabt, hvis de pludselig føler behovet for at rejse.

Der er også mange, der siger at de vil blive. Nogle for at kæmpe for det, de mener, er deres førstefødselsret, andre fordi gamle forældre eller andre i familien ikke kan rejse, og de føler et ansvar for ikke at overlade dem til sig selv. Men alene det, at disse ting diskuteres, vendes og drejes i absolut alvor, viser, hvor presset mange kristne egyptere føler sig.

 

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Raymond Ibrahim’s artikel herunder behandler nogle af disse samme emner. Hvis du klikker på artiklens oprindelige link, og læser den på Middle East Forum’s hjemmeside, er der i artiklen links videre til nogle af kilderne til dens oplysninger.

 


 

 

 
 
After the first round of the presidential elections, Islamists denounced the Christians, bemoaning that it was the Copts who were responsible for the secularist candidate Ahmed Shafiq's good showing.


Egypt:
Islamists vs. Copts

An Animosity That Seeks Any Excuse to Attack

 

By Raymond Ibrahim
Gatestone Institute
June 20, 2012

As Egypt's presidential elections come to a close, with the Brotherhood claiming presidential victory, the future of Egypt's indigenous Christians, the Copts, looks bleak.


Earlier, after the first presidential elections of May 23-24, any number of Islamists denounced them, bemoaning that it was the Copts who were responsible for the secularist candidate Ahmed Shafiq's good showing.

 
 
If Egypt's government does go Islamist—and early presidential elections indicate it is—fears of persecution on a grand scale become legitimate precisely because of the Copts' large numbers.

Even though Shafiq is a "remnant" of the Mubarak regime, which Copts suffered under, he is widely seen as the much lesser of two evils. As one Copt put it: "What did they want us to do? Whoever says that supporting Shafiq is a crime against the 25 January Revolution, we ask him to advise us whom to vote for? The sea is in front of us and the Islamists are behind us."


Regardless, Abu Ismail, the Salafi presidential candidate who was disqualified, expressed "great disappointment" in "our Coptic brethren," saying that "I do not understand why the Copts so adamantly voted for Ahmed Shafiq," portraying it as some sort of conspiracy between the Copts, the old regime, and even Israel: "Exactly what relationship and benefit do the Copts have with the old regime?"


Tarek al-Zomor, a prominent figure of the Gama'a al-Islamiyya—the terrorist organization that slaughtered some 60 European tourists during the Luxor Massacre—"demanded an apology from the Copts" for voting for Shafiq, threatening that "this was a fatal error."


To an extent, of course, Islamist attacks on Copts were due less to Coptic votes for Shafiq, and had more to do with the usual animosity for Christians—an animosity that seems to seek any excuse to attack them. By virtue of their greater numbers, many more Muslims did in fact vote for Shafiq than did Christians; even the Islamic Sufi Council of Egypt expressed its support for Shafiq instead of for the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate who advocates Islamic Sharia law.

 
 
Islam forbids Muslims from smiling to infidels—except whenever Muslims need to win them over.

Realizing that threats—with which Copts are well acquainted—would not prevent Christians from voting for the secular candidate, in a campaign that borders on the comical if not absurd, Islamists began imploring the Copts to vote for the Brotherhood's Morsi—who some say vows to return the Copts to bondage. Islamist kingpin Yusuf al-Qaradawi himself called on politically-active Muslims to go and meet with the Copts and "explain to them" how they have nothing to fear from an Islamist president, and convincing them that "Shafiq will be of no use to you."


Most adamant was popular TV personality Muhammad Hassan, a cleric who appeared several times assuring Copts that they have "nothing to fear from the application of Sharia," which he portrayed as the best guarantor for their safety and freedom. A day before the elections, Hassan implored the Copts "to elect Sharia and vote for Dr. Muhammad Morsi, promising them peace and security, and that they would live in prosperity under Sharia law."


Sheikh Muhammad Hassan is, incidentally, the same cleric who says Islam forbids Muslims from smiling to infidels—except whenever Muslims need to win them over. One week before he began beseeching Copts to vote for Sharia, he was in Saudi Arabia making disparaging comments about "those who say Allah has a son," the Koran's condemnatory language for

 
 
Christians feel pressured from all sides: The sea is in front of us and the Islamists are behind us.
Christians.


What does all this mean? For long, the various Egyptian regimes and Islamist organizations have downplayed the numbers and significance of the nation's Christians, the Copts, sometimes saying they amount to as few as 5% of the total population—a statistic which many Western resources quote without hesitation. Others, however—some pointing to the Coptic Orthodox Church's birth and death registry—say Egypt's Copts amount to up to 20% of the total population. Based on the Islamist response to the first presidential elections, such a figure may not be so farfetched.


Either way, Copts constitute the largest Christian bloc in the Middle East—a circumstance that has other implications. As seen during the presidential elections, large numbers of Christians may help stave off, or balance out, the Islamization of Egypt.

 
 
Islamist attacks on Copts were due less to Coptic votes for Shafiq, and had more to do with the usual animosity for Christians—an animosity that seems to seek any excuse to attack them.

But if Egypt's government does go Islamist—and early presidential elections indicate it is—fears of persecution on a grand scale become legitimate precisely because of the Copts' large numbers, which will work against them under an Islamist regime : millions of powerless Christians will be seen as troublesome and unwelcome infidel enemies, now not just by "extremists," but by the government as well—which, as history teaches (e.g., millions of Christian Armenians under Muslim Turks) is often the first step to genocide.


Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.


http://www.meforum.org/3268/egypt-islamists-vs-copts

 
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