Copts Out in Egypt
Al Arabiya has reproduced a self-explanatory statement issued by The Coptic Orthodox Church General Council, with the unanimous approval of all of the council's 20 members, opting
...to withdraw from the constitutional assembly... as it found it was pointless for the church to be represented following the comments made by the national forces about the way the assembly was formed," the state news agency said, quoting a church
Even Al Arabiya conceded (in a caption to the image accompanying the story), albeit with significant understatement,
Coptic Christians, who form Egypt's biggest minority group, have long had a difficult relationship with the country's overwhelmingly Muslim majority.
Beginning with the brutal jihad conquests of Egypt's indigenous Copts in the 7th century, the effects of mainstream Islam upon its Egyptian Muslim votaries, have caused the inexorable attrition of the Coptic population. Thus by the mid 14th century, this indigenous, pre-Islamic Christian majority was reduced to a permanent, vulnerable minority by the usual pattern of Islamization-massacre, destruction and pillage of religious sites, forced or coerced conversion, and expropriation.
Theodore Roosevelt penned the remarkably prescient words, below, in a 1911 letter to his long-time correspondent and friend, Sir George Otto Trevelyan, reflecting upon Roosevelt's post-Presidency visit to Cairo and Khartoum, the previous year. Roosevelt's concerns about the recrudescence of "old-style Moslem rule," i.e., a Sharia not re-shaped or constrained by Western law, may now be fully realized a century later following the removal of Egyptian President Mubarak, and the electoral ascendancy of vox populi, mainstream Egyptian Islamic parties.
From "Theodore Roosevelt And His Time Shown In His Own Letters," Vol. II, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920:
Perhaps what the French are now doing in Algiers, what the English are now doing in Egypt and the Sudan, will in the end result in failure, and the culture they have planted wither away, just as the Græco-Roman culture which flourished in the same lands-a couple of thousand years ago afterwards vanished. [p. 186]...
The real strength of the Nationalist movement in Egypt, however, lay not with these Levantines of the café but with the mass of practically unchanged bigoted Moslems to whom the movement meant driving out the foreigner, plundering and slaying the local Christian, and a return to all the violence and corruption which festered under the old-style Moslem rule, whether Asiatic or African. [p. 189]
(Hat tip TROP)