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Coptic Kristallnacht

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/356099/coptic-kristallnacht-andrew-doran August 19, 2013 4:00 AM Coptic Kristallnacht The Muslim Brotherhood is
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 19, 2013
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      August 19, 2013 4:00 AM

      Coptic Kristallnacht

      The Muslim Brotherhood is terrorizing Egypt, and Christians are a
      particular target.
      By Andrew Doran

      The millions of Egyptians, Muslim and Christian, who took to the street
      in peaceful protest over a month ago understood well the consequences of
      crossing the Muslim Brotherhood. “So much violence, so many innocent
      people killed,” says Mina Thabet, an Egyptian human-rights activist who
      lives in Cairo. “The [Mohamed] Morsi supporters are armed and killing
      people in the streets. They are targeting Copts. But if the Muslim
      Brotherhood had remained in power, we would have the same violence and
      much more because he would use the institutions of the country, the army
      and the police, against us.”

      The Muslim Brotherhood is using violence to terrorize Egypt, claiming
      the lives of hundreds of Egyptians, many of whom were Christian. In the
      violence that erupted on Wednesday and Thursday, 32 churches were
      destroyed and 19 severely damaged, according to the Maspero Youth Union,
      a Christian human-rights organization. Scores of Christian homes,
      businesses, and automobiles were destroyed — all of this in roughly 24

      And yet, bizarrely, Western media have largely portrayed the Muslim
      Brotherhood as the victims of violence. Egypt’s moderates are not
      persuaded that the brutality of the Muslim Brotherhood’s partisan
      paramilitaries is a sign that the Morsi regime should have remained in
      power. “The violence would come one way or the other,” Thabet observes.
      “No, I have no regrets.”

      Many Egyptians believe that Morsi was on a path to radicalize Egypt’s
      government, judiciary, and military, and that if the Muslim Brotherhood
      had not been stopped, it might have been decades before the Islamist
      regime was dislodged. This has forced secular-leaning Egyptians to
      accept the lesser of two evils, martial law.

      “Even the military rule is better than Muslim Brotherhood rule because
      the Muslim Brotherhood is against humanity itself,” says Thabet. That
      the most secular, liberal-minded Egyptians prefer a military
      dictatorship to the Muslim Brotherhood is telling, though it must be
      added that they hope it is temporary.

      The military has been slow to respond to civilians’ desperate pleas for
      help. Even before this week’s violence, the Egyptian government was
      unable — or, perhaps more accurate, unwilling — to take basic steps to
      protect Egypt’s Christians or their churches, which are a particular
      target of the Muslim Brotherhood’s attacks. Still, Copts have no
      question which is the lesser of two evils.

      They also have a strong sense of betrayal by the West and America.
      Having struck a blow for freedom at considerable personal cost and in
      the face of significant odds, the millions of Egyptians who took part in
      the June 30 Revolution are confounded by the Western reaction. “I don’t
      know why the American media did this. It is terrible,” said Thabet. One
      liberal American missionary who has lived in Egypt for several decades
      was irate in an e-mail message. “Christians here are getting hit hard. .
      . . I am thoroughly [upset] at the hypocrisy of the EU and the U.S. What
      whores we have running the world. I can only say worse things about
      western news coverage in general.”

      They are angry that the peaceful, nonviolent protests, which set in
      motion events that led to the removal of Morsi, have been largely
      condemned in the West, while the Muslim Brotherhood, perpetrators of
      heinous acts of violence, have been portrayed as victims. “The Muslim
      Brotherhood is armed,” says Thabet. “We are not armed.” The violence of
      recent days seems to confirm that the Muslim Brotherhood was bent on
      violence all along and was not an organization that, as Robert Kagan
      recently asserted, “renounced violence and terrorism years ago.” In the
      aftermath of this week’s atrocities, Mr. Kagan ought to be force-fed his

      In 2011, Christians had been reluctant to see Hosni Mubarak removed.
      This prompted claims among the many 2011 revolutionaries that Christians
      were not invested in reform. In 2013, Christians stood with the rest of
      Egypt’s revolutionaries in a united front numbering upward of 20 to 30
      million. “Copts had a big role in this revolution, in the street like
      everyone else,” says Thabet. “Not like last time, when they say we were
      not there. The Christians fasted with the Muslims during Ramadan. It was
      very good. It brought unity.”

      The 2013 revolution had broader popular and institutional support,
      including from the military, the police, the judiciary, the Muslim
      clerics of Al Azhar Mosque, and the Coptic Orthodox Church. More to the
      point, the 2013 revolution was peaceful. The Muslim Brotherhood took to
      the streets in the revolution’s aftermath and inflicted violence,
      bloodshed, and terror on their countrymen. Christians have paid most
      heavily. Even before this week’s attacks, systematic violence against
      Egypt’s Christian community was escalating (a priest was murdered; a
      ten-year-old Coptic girl was shot and killed; a businessman was
      beheaded). Now scores of Christian homes, businesses, and churches have
      been destroyed.

      The Muslim Brotherhood’s systematic and coordinated attacks against
      Christians in Egypt are reminiscent of Kristallnacht in Germany in 1938,
      when Nazi paramilitaries systematically vandalized Jewish homes,
      businesses, and synagogues and murdered scores of Jews in a disturbing
      foreshadowing of the fate of European Jews over the next few years. It
      is no accident that many Jews, including Barry Rubin and Jeffrey
      Goldberg, have been quick to raise the alarums over the persecution of
      Christians: They recognize the dangerous signs. “They have hatred in
      their hearts,” says Thabet of the Brotherhood, echoing observations
      commonly made of the National Socialists in 20th-century Germany.

      When the Nazis sensed that the war was unwinnable, they put all of their
      organizational energies into the “final solution.” Though most Jews were
      defenseless non-combatants, the Nazis felt that they should not be left
      behind to stand over the grave of National Socialism. One senses that
      same hatred and desperation as the Muslim Brothers respond to the
      military’s crackdown by attacking defenseless Christians. We may be
      thankful that the Muslim Brothers lack the organizational skill of the
      Nazis, but it appears they lack none of their hate.

      Europe’s Jews did not have the good fortune to see their oppressors
      removed shortly after their rise to power — though such opportunities
      did exist. Then, as now, only token condemnations were uttered by
      Western governments as the fascists consolidated power. Western
      governments were then, as now, profoundly wrong.

      “You have fought to get democracy as you now have it,” says Thabet. “We
      are fighting for our own democracy. That is what you are seeing now.” If
      freedom and stability are restored to Egypt, it will be despite, not
      because of, the West.

      — Andrew Doran served on the executive secretariat of the U.S. National
      Commission for UNESCO at the U.S. Department of State. His views are his
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