The prayers of faithful Christians in Nigeria were interrupted by bombs detonated by Islamic militants during worship services on Christmas Day — attacks that are becoming perennial in a nation that rests on one of the theological fault lines between Christianity and Islam.
As militant Islamists celebrate their decisive victory in the recent Egyptian election, Coptic Christians are bracing themselves for the next round of violence directed against them. A year which began with Muslim terrorists bombing a church in Alexandria, Egypt, during the Coptic Church’s celebration of Christmas on January 7 has now witnessed the rise of militant Islam to the point of having utter control of the goverment of that nation.
The Obama administration has flaunted its advocacy of the Islamist parties that have been gaining power since the Arab Spring overturned several governments in the Muslim world the past year, and that skewed perspective is contributing to a misrepresentation of the violence that is now taking place in post-Mubarak Egypt. In the words of Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J., left), President Obama “seems to have completely missed the point” of the massacre of Coptic Christians. “This is not a situation of equal power and equal responsibility for violence," he points out. "The Copts called on the military government to treat the Copts as equal citizens and protect their rights; the government itself turned on them with a massacre.”
The anti-Christian policy of the Egypt military rulers became even more readily apparent as they blamed Christian victims and “enemies of the revolution” for a series of violent clashes which left over two dozen people dead. In another tragic example of a military junta blaming its victims for its oppressive actions, Major General Adel Emara denied widespread reports of the military’s actions, which murdered dozens of Christians, According to one Associated Press report, Emara “tried to clear the military of any blame in the killings. He denied troops opened fire at protesters, claiming their weapons did not even have live ammunition. He said it was not in ‘the dictionary of the armed forces to run over bodies ... even when battling our enemy.’ "
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.”