Christians in Egypt: accused and sentenced to extinction by Muslim Brotherhood
by I B Barsoum
The first preliminary presidential elections in Egypt have already ended. Copts (Egyptian Christians) were neutral during these elections and did not unite to support a specific candidate. Some Copts endorsed Hamdeen Sabbahi [i], others supported Ahmed Sahfik or Amr Mousa and many non-Islamic candidates [ii]. In the end, the elections yielded two candidates as forerunners for a final presidential race [iii]. One is an ex- army general; Ahmed Sahfik, and the other is the head of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) party; Mohammad Morsi. For these results, many Egyptian Muslims are blaming Copts for the rise of Shafik[iv].
However, it is hardly the case. Through history, any country with majority of Muslims had only two political options, either a military dictator or a religious-driven dictator. The same happened in Egyptian elections as exampled by the rise of Shafik and Morsi.
Now facing this dilemma, the Copts have to choose the lesser of two evils. The Copts learned from previous experience that living under secular (military) dictatorship regime is way much tolerated than living under a religious oppressive dictatorship. A religious guy like Morsi will impose Islamic Sharia Law, move the country to a Taliban-like form, and may force Al Jizya on all non-Muslims including Copts. For that, many Copts decided, or are still deciding, to vote for Shafik.
Most of the Copts know that Shafik used to be one of Mubarak generals, and some expect him to reverse the tides of January 25th revolution to a system like Mubarak’s regime. However, Copts are willing to take the risks. As one Coptic Christian put it, it is better to live under a regime that will allow burning of one church every year, than a regime which will help burning churches every week.
As seen so far, the political situation in Egypt is volatile. Copts choosing Shafik will not satisfy the MB. For this, MB has been building a public opinion through the media all-over Egypt to portray Morsi as the revolution-supporting man, while accusing Copts of being anti-revolution and traitors for supporting Shafik [v].
Recently, Morsi as the head of the MB ruling party threatened the Copts of using Sharia law to force them to convert to Islam if he becomes the new elected Egyptian president. If true, this will mark a new era in Egypt where Copts will be forced to convert or flee out of Egypt.
For the west, losing the internal religious balance that Copts help making in Egypt will be the first sign of creating havoc in the Middle East. Morsi as an Egyptian president has good ties to Iran and will try hard at building the Islamic Khilafat [vi].
Will the Copts suffer an organized extermination by Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood?
We all hope not!!