Prominent Editor in Egypt: 'I Accuse!'
On January 1, 2011, a hugely important terror attack took place in Egypt that you probably were not told about. A terrorist bomb went off at the al-Qiddissin (Saints) Church in Alexandria, Egypt, killing innocent civilians in the usual ruthless and bloodthirsty manner. The Western media hardly noticed, but the shock waves rippled through the Muslim and Christian Orthodox world.
The Coptic Church in Egypt traces its origins back to the Apostle Mark in A.D. 42. It is one of the earliest churches with a continuous history from the beginnings of Christianity, which rose several centuries before Mohammed and Islam. In Egypt, the Coptic Church has survived as a symbol of coexistence between the major institutions of Christianity and Islam. The Coptic Church is identified not only with Egypt as a country, but also with the other Orthodox Churches, including the Greek, Armenian, Bulgarian, and Russian Churches.
I Accuse the Host of MPs and Government Officials Who Cannot Help but [Bring] Their Own Personal Bigotries [into] Parliament"I am no Zola, but I too can accuse. And it's not the bloodthirsty criminals of Al-Qaeda or whatever other gang of hoodlums involved in the horror of Alexandria that I am concerned with."I accuse a government that seems to think that by outbidding the Islamists it will also outflank them."I accuse the host of MPs and government officials who cannot help but take their own personal bigotries along to the parliament, or to the multitude of government bodies, national and local, from which they exercise unchecked brutal, yet at the same time hopelessly inept, authority."I accuse those state bodies who believe that by bolstering the Salafi (reactionary Islamic) trend they are undermining the Muslim Brotherhood, and who like to occasionally play to bigoted anti-Coptic sentiments, presumably as an excellent distraction from other more serious issues of government."I Accuse the Millions of Supposedly Moderate Muslims Among Us... Who've Been Growing More and More Prejudiced"But most of all, I accuse the millions of supposedly moderate Muslims among us; those who've been growing more and more prejudiced, inclusive, and narrow-minded with every passing year."I accuse those among us who would rise up in fury over a decision to halt construction of a Muslim Center near ground zero in New York, but applaud the Egyptian police when they halt the construction of a staircase in a Coptic church in the Omranya district of Greater Cairo."I've been around, and I have heard you speak, in your offices, in your clubs, at your dinner parties: 'The Copts must be taught a lesson,' 'the Copts are growing more arrogant,' 'the Copts are holding secret conversions of Muslims', and in the same breath, 'the Copts are preventing Christian women from converting to Islam, kidnapping them, and locking them up in monasteries.'"I accuse you all, because in your bigoted blindness you cannot even see the violence that you are committing [against] logic and sheer common sense; [you cannot see that while] you accuse the whole world of using a double standard against us, [you are] wholly incapable of showing a minimum awareness of your own blatant double standard.""I Accuse the Liberal Intellectuals, Both Muslim and Christian"And finally, I accuse the liberal intellectuals, both Muslim and Christian who, whether complicit, afraid, or simply unwilling to do or say anything that may displease 'the masses', have stood aside, finding it sufficient to join in one futile chorus of denunciation... even as the massacres spread wider, and grow more horrifying."A few years ago I wrote in the Arabic daily Al-Hayat, commenting on a [an article by a] columnist in one of the Egyptian papers. The columnist, whose name I've since forgotten, lauded the patriotism of an Egyptian Copt who had written that he would rather be killed at the hands of his Muslim brethren than seek American intervention to save him."Addressing myself to the patriotic Copt, I asked him a simple question: where does his willingness for self-sacrifice for the sake of the nation stop? Giving his own life may be quite a noble, even [a] laudable endeavor, but is he also willing to give up the lives of his children, wife, mother? How many Egyptian Christians, I asked him, are you willing to sacrifice before you call [for] outside intervention? A million, two, three, all of them?"Our options, I said then and continue to say today, are not so [few]... that we are obliged to choose between having Egyptian Copts killed, individually or en masse, and running to Uncle Sam. Is it really so difficult to conceive of ourselves as rational human beings with a minimum of backbone, so as to act to determine our fate, the fate of our nation?"That, indeed, is the only option we have before us, and we better grasp it, before it's too late."