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Sunday, March 06, 2011

Just Another Sunday

Peace, hope and the Jasmine revolution may have broken out in some ME countries, but what does this mean?

Thirty kilometers outside Cairo, it may not mean much peace and hope:
A mob of nearly four thousand Muslims has attacked Coptic homes this evening in the village of Soul, Atfif in Helwan Governorate, 30 kilometers from Cairo, and torched the Church of St. Mina and St. George. There are conflicting reports about the whereabouts of the Church pastor Father Yosha and three deacons who were at church; some say they died in the fire and some say they are being held captive by the Muslims inside the church.
This incident was triggered by a relationship between 40-year-old Copt Ashraf Iskander and a Muslim woman. Yesterday a "reconciliation" meeting was arranged between the relevant Coptic and Muslim families and together with the Muslim elders it was decided that Ashraf Iskander would have to leave the village because Muslims torched his house.

The father of the Muslim woman was killed by his cousin because he did not kill his daughter to preserve the family's honor, which led the woman's brother to avenge the death of his father by killing the cousin. The village Muslims blamed the Christians.
This is not really an isolated incident. As with other recent incidents, some Muslims are protecting the Copts from the mob. EIPR produced a report on the topic covering 2008-2010 growth in such incidents. I quote from their report:
60. The repeated closure of cases involving sectarian violence, the choice of reconciliation over prosecution (even in cases where this is illegal) and the acquittals issued for all such crimes have made impunity the rule in these crimes. As a result, sectarian violence and the ensuing losses had increased by late 2009 and early 2010. In short, assailants feel a sense of victory twice: once when they are able to carry out their criminal assaults against a weaker party and again when the state stands beside them and protects them from any punishment for their actions. By the same token, this impunity leaves victims feeling like strangers and second-class citizens in their own country. First they are attacked simply because they are Christians and then the state does not bring them justice; it does not even stand by as a neutral party, but chooses to stand with the assailants against them.
I have been following this story for some time, mostly through ME sources. It does remind me very much of the events leading up to Israel's birth as a state. In this case, I fear the Jasmine revolution will end with an ethnic cleansing of most of Egypt. A sold bulk of the population in many areas does not believe in human rights and democracy. A democratic revolution can only be as good as the culture behind it.

Egypt has had a Coptic and Jewish population for thousands of years, but the Jews are just about all gone and many of the Copts are fleeing as well.

Events in Pakistan proceed apace. First a Muslim governor (Punjab) who had spoken against the blasphemy law was assassinated in January; just a few days ago the sole Christian Pakistani minister was offed in Islamabad. In 2007, another Pakistani minister (female) was killed for refusing to wear the veil.

Many Muslims are very brave and do advocate reform. But they are not winning. Journalists, newspaper editors - Muslims who speak for reform (or even enforcement of their own laws) are killed, often with deep and broad popular support. As the pamphlets left around the car in which Bhatti was killed said:
"This is a lesson to the world of infidel crusaders and Jews, and their allies in the Muslim world," the pamphlet said, signed by the previously unknown group Movement of Taliban al Qaeda in Punjab. "Either you or us will live in this world."
And they really mean it!! In Tunisia, it seems likely that reform will win out. But not in Egypt, and not in Pakistan. These countries may be doomed to a retreat to darkness.

It's a good thing we have strict border enforcement
while the world burns.

Spork, the taste of irony on a rainy Sunday is not so wonderful.

Your point can hardly be disputed.
It's very out-of-fasion, especially in this multi-culti-crazed society, but all of this is an argument for a little good old-fashioned cultural imperialism. Actually a LOT of good old-fashioned cultural imperialism to stamp out things like honor killings and shame culture.

I greatly fear that there will be no peace until this is done, big-time, at great cost in life and treasure. And if it is the only way that can work, then it is the necessary way, and the longer we delay paying the price, the higher the price that must be paid.

But it will still cost less, in both blood and treasure, than Communism cost in the twentieth century. At least I hope it will.
Communism was a habit of thought. Habits of culture are far harder to stamp out.
I guess this is the place:


Not completely clear, because it's an ancient site with lots of stuff going on.

Do not lose hope. Bound to be lots of strange happenings in north Africa until authority is settled.
Sadly, the moderate-and-peaceful Muslims who WANT to modernize their religion keep running into the same brick wall: The Quran.

It's the Absolute Word of God/ Allah. It's perfect, inerrant, universally-applicable, and eternally-unchangeable. (Any attempt at changing it is --obviously!-- NOT "submission {to the will of Allah}", which is the very definition of the word "Islam". And that Perfect Book Authored By Allah is where you find the "slay the Unbeliever" verses, and the "I am made victorious by terror" boast of Islam's prophet.

There were peace-loving Muslims even back in Mohammed's day; he had to warn them "Fighting is prescribed for you, though you do not like it. Allah knows {what is best for you}, and you do not." In other words, violence is just one of those things a good, submissive-to-Allah Muslim has to accept as What Allah Wants From His People.
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