The ongoing assault on the Christian churches of Egypt in the aftermath of that nation’s "democratic" revolution continues to demonstrate that the rising leadership has a very different vision for a post-Mubarak nation than that which was presented to the West earlier this year.
In the latest display of the intolerance of Islam, Muslims in Egypt are trying to block the reopening of a Coptic church until the church’s dome and cross have been removed.
Recent developments in Egyptian politics are revealing that not only Islamic militants are gaining power in the new regime: Communists are also preparing for a more active role in the new Egypt.
According to Links — International Journal of Socialist Renewal, five self-identified "Communist" and "Socialist" parties in Egypt recently merged into a united front, and are becoming increasingly bold. Links author Mohamed El Hebeishy explains:
Islamic atrocities continue to be perpetrated against the Egyptian Christians, but the Western media often misreport such crimes as if they were the result of “communal clashes.”
One of the most recent incidents in the persecution of the churches of Egypt was the attack on churches in Imbaba, a suburb of Cairo. According to an Agenzia Fides news article, the violence was allegedly perpetrated by members of the Salafi movement ("Salafi" meaning "following the forefathers of Islam"), and involved attacks on Roman Catholic and Coptic churches:
In Nigeria’s contested presidential election, President Goodluck Jonathan has been reelected, and the reelection of a candidate from the Christian region of southern Nigeria is being received by Muslims in the north with rioting, arson, and murder.
The headline of a Washington Post story on the post-election violence — “Mobs overwhelm police in northern Nigeria after vote, leaving behind charred corpses and fear” — well summarizes the chaos which has erupted in the Muslim states of Nigeria. The story continues, “...[o]fficers recovered 31 corpses from the city of Kaduna alone Tuesday, with more likely yet to be found, the commissioner said. Police arrested more than 300 people during the rioting, but many citizens remained inside their homes as police and military helicopters flew overhead and soldiers filled the streets."
Islamic extremists are continuing to press their advantage in the new, post-Mubarak Egypt, and are now demanding that one of the few Christians serving in the government be removed — or else.
Emad Shehata Michael, a Coptic Christian, is the newly appointed governor of Qena. The act of appointing a Copt as governor was hardly an innovation; according to the Associated Press, his predecessor “was actually a Christian and a former police general as well, but he was appointed by Mubarak and was much reviled for his incompetence, security background, and close ties to the regime, enabling the Salafis to draw on local dissatisfaction in their current campaign.”
Even as the Obama administration brings the might of the United States armed forces to the aid of Libyan rebels linked to al-Qaeda, the State Department is ignoring the plight of Ethiopian Christians who have come under attack by Muslim radicals. As reported previously for The New American, dozens of churches were destroyed in riots which erupted in the Oromia region early March after it was alleged that Christians had "desecrated" a Koran.
An attack by militant Muslims which has thus far destroyed at least a dozen churches may signal an expansion in anti-Christian violence in Ethiopia as the next front in the recent escalation of the Jihad’s war against Christianity.
Although the Coptic Church in Egypt has suffered varying degrees of persecution for centuries, events in the past few months appear to indicate that the plight of the Christian minority is growing worse as Islamic extremism is on the rise in a nation torn by revolution. While the protests that overthrew the Mubarak regime were given worldwide attention, the violence that is being perpetrated against Christians in the aftermath of these recent events is not receiving a similar level of concern.