Egypt: Salafists, Brotherhood Growing Fast

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Well, this is NOT a surprise for any of us who has been following the events in Egypt:

Muslim radicals are making headway towards turning Egypt into an Islamic republic, according to Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh.

The security situation in the Sinai Peninsula has deteriorated, with Islamists suspected of attacks like this one – a July 29 assault on an El Arish police station which left seven people dead. “If Egyptian authorities do not move quickly to crush the extremists and regain control, the Sinai Peninsula could soon become a separate Islamic emirate run by Salafis, Hamas and al-Qaida,” Abu Toameh writes in a column published by Hudson New York.

“The Facebook folks who triggered the anti-Mubarak revolution have been replaced by Salafis and Muslim Brotherhood supporters,” he adds. “It is only a matter of time before Egypt turns into an Islamic Republic that is aligned with Iran, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.”

Last week, hundreds of thousands of pro-Salafist demonstrators gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in a massive show of force. The Salafists have established a political party called Al-Nour, (“The Light”) to run in Egypt’s next elections.

Alarmed that the Salafists or the Brotherhood might prevail, Egypt’s ruling military council has yet to set an election date. But it will not be able to postpone it indefinitely, and many Egyptians appear sympathetic to the Islamists, Abu Toameh writes.

Abu Toameh contends that many Western analysts exaggerate the differences between the Salafists and the Brotherhood. Although they have doctrinal differences about the role of religion and politics, “both parties want to see an Islamic regime in Egypt – one where moderation and pragmatism are non-existent,” he writes.

via Salafists, Brotherhood Ascendant in Egypt :: The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Egypt: Clashes erupt outside court as Mubarak pleads “not guilty”

mubarak-trialConsidering the circumstances, I would tell Egyptians: “be careful what you ask for“.

Many Egyptians never believed it possible. On Wednesday, ex-President Hosni Mubarak went on trial at the Cairo Police Academy which once bore his name. In the opening session, the former ruler pleaded “not guilty.”

Mubarak denied charges of murder and corruption which could carry the death penalty.

“All these charges, I deny them completely,” Mubarak said from his stretcher in the court room, contesting charges of fraud and of the premeditated murder of anti-regime protesters who toppled his regime.

Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal as well his former interior minister Habib al-Adli and six former security aides, who are facing similar charges in the same trial, also pleaded not guilty.

As the session came to an end, the presiding judge adjourned the court until August 15. Judge Ahmed Rafaat ruled that Mubarak and his sons would be required to attend the next session.

In the meantime, the former strongman must be held in a hospital on the outskirts of Cairo where he could receive full medical treatment.

via Clashes erupt outside court as Egypt\’s Mubarak pleads \’not guilty\’ | World | Deutsche Welle | 03.08.2011.

Egypt: Islamists Flood Square in Cairo in Show of Strength

Well, this is not shocking at all if we consider what has been happening really:

Tens of thousands of Egyptian Islamists poured into Tahrir Square on Friday calling for a state bound by strict religious law and delivering a persuasive show of force in a turbulent country showing deep divisions and growing signs of polarization (…). “Islamic, Islamic,” went a popular chant. “Neither secular nor liberal.”

via Islamists Flood Square in Cairo in Show of Strength – Nuevo Digital Internacional.

More thanks to Legal Insurrection:

Mobs of ordinary Egyptians joined with soldiers to drive pro-democracy protesters from their encampment in Tahrir Square here Monday, showing how far the uprising’s early heroes have fallen in the eyes of the public.

Six months after young, liberal activists helped lead the popular movement that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, the hard core of these protesters was forcibly dispersed by the troops. Some Egyptians lined the street to applaud the army. Others ganged up on the activists as they retreated from the square that has come to symbolize the Arab Spring.

Squeezed between an assertive military and the country’s resurgent Islamist movement, many Internet-savvy, pro-democracy activists are finding it increasingly hard to remain relevant in a post-revolutionary Egypt that is struggling to overcome an economic crisis and restore law and order.

egypt muslim brotherhood tahrir

Photo from Ironic Surrealism.

Egypt: Muslim Attack on Christians Provoked By Installation of Church Bell

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An exchange of harsh words on July 25 between Ruth, a Christian woman, and Gassem Fouad, a Muslim man who had parked his tricycle in front of her home, escalated into assault by the man on Ruth and other Christian villagers, and the arrest of one Copt. After Ruth, who is 5 months pregnant, was assaulted, a Muslim mob waited for Coptic farmers to return from the fields, where they were intercepted and beaten with iron rods and pipes.

Security forces managed to contain the situation.

Six Christians, including Ruth and her sister-in-law Hannan, were hospitalized with concussions, head injuries and broken limbs. No Muslim was injured.

None of the Muslim perpetrators was arrested.

Ruth’s husband, Kirillos Daniel, was accused of possessing a weapon — a rifle found thrown where the Christians were attacked, and is under detention.

In an interview on CTV Coptic TV, Father Estephanos Shehata, of the Samalout Coptic dioceses, said “The real reason behind this assault was the church bell, which has greatly angered the Muslims in the village.” He said the dilapidated church in the village of Ezbet Jacob Bebawi, outside Samalout, north of Minya, was given permission to renovate and this was completed last week, and the church bell was reinstalled.

via Muslim Attack on Christians in Egypt Provoked By Installation of Church Bell.

Egypt: The chaos in ruling military council helping Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis

Hosni Mubarak 2003

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Ongoing clashes between young supporters of the revolution and security forces are undermining the Egyptian military’s hold over the country as critics from all directions accuse the ruling Supreme Council of failing to manage the situation ahead of next November’s elections.

Yesterday, Major General Mohamed al-Assar, Egypt’s assistant defence minister and a top-ranking member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, met important international figures at a meeting in Washington. He reassured his interlocutors that the Egyptian military was not planning to set up another dictatorship.

According to Fr Greiche, spokesman of the Egyptian Catholic Church, the military is facing internal chaos and is incapable of running the country after the fall of Mubarak.

Clashes between demonstrators and police on Sunday in Abbasseya, in Cairo, left 298 people injured. Pro-democracy groups were outraged; they accuse the police of using knife and stick-wielding thugs to provoke the clashes in order to arrest demonstrators.

For the clergyman, the military is losing control of the situation. “The Supreme Council includes 17 top generals with different opinions and ideas what to do. This is leading to chaos,” he said. This has eroded the military’s credibility.

AsiaNews.it.

Arab world: Poll show USA’s less popular under Obama

The attitude of the Arab world to the United States is much worse now with Obama than was with Bush at the end of his term. A survey by Zogby International for the Arab American Institute Foundation shows that there has been a great decline from the favorable attitude toward the United States between 2008 and 2011. In particular, the attitude towards the US has plummetted from 26 to 12 percent in Morocco, from 9 to 5 percent in Egypt, from 16 to 10 percent in Jordan and from 22 to 12 percent in UAE.

Nihil Obstat.

Translation by T&P.

“The U.S. May Be Handing Egypt Over to the Muslim Brotherhood Just Like It Handed Post-Saddam Iraq over to Iran”

(Islam_Is_The_Solution.jpg) arabic logo to mus...

Arabic Logo of the Muslim Brotherhood. Image via Wikipedia

Other things he actually says in the interview

“When the Egyptians cried: ‘The people want to change the regime,’ they did not mean the specific regime, but the system as a whole – to change the system of values ruling Egyptian society, transforming it into a society that rewards capabilities, from a traditional to a modern society, from what happened on February 2 – the so-called ‘Battle of the Camel,’ when [Mubarak supporters] stormed Tahrir Square on camels and donkeys, and a battle ensued between the camel and Facebook…
“The Egyptian must choose which path they want to take – whether to take the path of the camel, and return to the world of the camels, or whether to embark on the train of global modernism, and to become part of the world of Facebook. This is not a symbolic thing. It was the reality in Tahrir Square – a confrontation between the Facebook youth, and people who ride camels and try to establish a bullying state once again. Continue reading

Egyptian Shaykh: ‘We Still Kill Him, Even If He Repents!’

Whoever insults the Prophet (PBUH), if he later comes and apologizes, and kisses the shoes (of the ruler), and says, “I want all Muslims, every one, to return and strike me with the soles of their feet”—does the ruler have the right to accept this?

I bring up this question, as it was asked of me. The answer is that it is not permissible for anyone to accept this. Then what do we do with him? We kill him! But he told you that he repented. We still kill him, even if he repents!

He said all of this in the context of the current controversy in Egypt with the Christian businessman Naguib Sawiris, a billionaire and founder of the Free Egyptians Party. Late last month Sawiris tweeted a picture of Mickey Mouse wearing a Muslim beard and jilbab, and Minnie Mouse wearing a niqab, which was considered to be mocking Islam. Al-Huwayni did not say explicitly that Sawiris should be killed for mocking Islam, but did say that all of his companies should be boycotted, even if he only owns 10% share in the company.

via Egyptian Shaykh: ‘We Still Kill Him, Even If He Repents!’.

Egypt: What Kind of Revolution?

The Coptic Cross

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Equally disturbing, noted the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, “violence targeting Coptic Orthodox Christians remained high.” But the Mubarak government rarely punished the attackers. Indeed, International Christian Concern noted that it was common for the government to arrest “Coptic victims alongside the perpetrators of the violence.”

Even when the Copts did not end up behind bars, they did not receive justice. State explained that the Mubarak government sponsored “informal reconciliation sessions” which “generally prevented the criminal prosecution of perpetrators of crimes against Copts, precluded their recourse to the judicial system for restitution, and contributed to a climate of impunity that encouraged further assaults.”

No surprise, failing to exact a penalty for murder and mayhem has led to more murder and mayhem — or what the Hudson Institute‘s Nina Shea called “pogroms and acts of terror.” The failure to punish the perpetrators, complained the Commission, “continued to foster a climate of impunity, making further violence likely.” Even more emphatic was Dina Guiguis of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who told a recent congressional hearing that “the Egyptian regime is fully responsible for creating the fertile ground on which pernicious and egregious sectarian violence has become routine.”

Unfortunately, those who hoped the Egyptian revolution would better protect Christians and other religious minorities have been disappointed. To the contrary, violent attacks on Copts have been increasing.

As of last month 24 Christians had been killed, more than 200 had been injured, and three churches had been destroyed. Muslim mobs have beset Coptic churches, businesses, and homes. Well-armed thugs also attacked Christians who were protesting against the forgoing attacks.

No surprise, then, that few perpetrators have been arrested, let alone imprisoned. Noted Paul Marshall of the Hudson Institute: “as under Mubarak, the authorities’ refusal to punish attacks on Christians has led to more attacks.” The army even assaulted two Coptic monasteries, supposedly to enforce discriminatory zoning laws (which prohibited walls erected for protection from attacks).

via The American Spectator : What Kind of Revolution?. via Catholic Culture.org.

Egypt: Muslims threaten to kill priest in Egypt

More peaceful guys:

Coptic cross modified
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The Assyrian International News Agency reports a Coptic priest in the same region was threatened late last week by a mob of Muslims that surrounded the church of St. George.

Father George Thabet was serving the morning mass when hundreds of Muslims, some armed, surrounded the church vowing to kill him.

Eye-witnesses reported the Muslims chanted, “We will kill the priest, we will kill him and no one will prevent us..” One Muslim said they would “…cut him to pieces.”

Security forces arrived and escorted Father George in a police car to the Coptic Diocese in Minya. Youth from the church remained to defend the building from the Muslims.

via The Voice of the Martyrs Canada: Muslims threaten to kill priest in Egypt.

Egypt: Christian Girls Kidnapped and ‘Sold’

Two teenage Coptic girls, cousins, were recently kidnapped and then “sold” in Minya, Egypt—the same region where a Coptic church was recently attacked and desecrated. I tried to find this story in English-language media and, as expected, found nothing, except for one report in Al-Masry Al-Youm titled “Clashes between police and Coptic protesters in Minya”—as if that’s the important story (as usual, the media prefers headlines portraying harried Christian minorities as equally culpable as their Muslim persecutors, thereby justifying use of the preferred phrase, “sectarian strife“).

At the end of the Al-Masry Al-Youm report, we get a trailing sentence alluding to “claims” that two Christian girls “were abducted by Muslims and forced to convert to Islam” as the reason why Copts were demonstrating and clashing with the police in the first place.

… The two girls, Christine Azat (aged 16) and Nancy Magdi (aged 14) were on their way to church Sunday, June 12, when they were seized. Their abductors demanded $200,000 Egyptian pounds for their release. The people of the region quickly put their savings together and came up with the ransom money; but when they tried to give it to the kidnappers, they rejected it, saying they had already “sold” the girls off to another group which requires $12 million Egyptian pounds to return them.

via Egypt: Christian Girls Kidnapped and ‘Sold’ | FrontPage Magazine.

Should I expect a worldwide condemnation of this? :mad:

Found here.

Egypt: famous journalist summoned due to her articles before military prosecutor

Shaded relief map of Egypt.

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Democracy in Egypt?

Rasha Azab of the independent weekly al-Fagr and the weekly’s editor-in-chief, Adel Hammouda, were told Saturday to appear before the military prosecutor.

Azab wrote about a meeting between members of Egypt’s military council and a group of activists, in which they discussed allegations of torture and abuse in post-uprising Egypt. In March, Azab was briefly detained and beaten by the military.

Related:

Egypt: Christians fleeing from Eritrea face horrible suffering

Eritreans who have fled one of the world’s most repressive regimes are facing unimaginable suffering once they arrive in Egypt, where an estimated 200 have fallen into the hands of human traffickers.

“They are in great danger from their government, which is one of the most severe persecutors of Christians in the world, and if they flee in the hope of a better life elsewhere, they face imprisonment, kidnap, torture, rape, beatings and even death,” said Patrick Sookhdeo, the international director of the Barnabas Fund, which provides aid to persecuted Christians. In addition, some refugees have reportedly had their organs harvested.

Read here.

Both Pope Benedict and Christian Solidarity Worldwide have both of them denounced this problem. I hope other international organizations also denounce it the sooner the better.

Egypt: War against Copts

“When they were beating me, they kept saying: ‘We won’t leave any Christians in this country,’” Mr. Mitri recalled in a recent interview, two months after the March attack. Blood dripped through a plastic tube from his unhealed wound to a plastic container. “Here, there is a war against the Copts,” he said.

His attackers, who were never arrested or prosecuted, follow the ultrafundamentalist Salafi strain of Islam that promotes an austere, Saudi-inspired worldview. Before President Hosni Mubarak was toppled on Feb. 11, the Salafis mostly confined themselves to preaching. Since then, they’ve entered the political arena, drawing crowds and swaying government decisions. Salafi militants also have blocked roads, burned churches and killed Copts.

The Salafi vigilantes who brutalized Mr. Mitri later ignited a bigger controversy that is still playing out here in Qena, an upper Nile governorate of three million people—almost one-third of them Copts. In April, Egypt’s new government appointed a Christian to be Qena’s new governor, replacing another Christian who had held the post under Mr. Mubarak. The Salafis responded by demanding a Muslim governor and organizing mass protests, showcasing the movement’s new political influence.

Angry crowds left the mosques and converged outside the governor’s headquarters for a sit-in. Qena’s revolutionary coalition split. Some liberal Muslims, such as Mr. Yasin, were offended by bigoted slogans and left. Others, including Muslim Brotherhood youths, stayed.

Hala Helmy Botros, a Coptic blogger active in the uprising against Mr. Mubarak, was stunned to see a former comrade-in-arms with a poster that read: “I am against sectarianism—but I refuse a Copt as governor!” Other protesters screamed: “Islamic, Islamic—we want a Muslim, not an infidel.”

More here.

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood’s party has been authorized

Logo Muslim Brotherhood

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The real result of the “Arab spring” is not more democracy, but more islamization:

The Committee on Political Affairs of Egypt on Monday authorized the founding of Freedom and Justice Party, created by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, so that it can now engage in political activities.

“Freedom and Justice Party is officially recognized today because it meets all requirements of the New Parties’ Act, ” says a statement from the Committee. Its secretary general, Mohamed Saad al Katatny, launched last May 17 to obtain the necessary documents legalizing the formation.

Al-Qaeda: Al-Zawahiri speaks about Lybia

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SITE said Zawahiri split his lecture into three distinct parts, addressing in turn the uprisings in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia.

“I want to direct the attention of our Muslim brothers in Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and the rest of the Muslim countries, that if the Americans and the NATO forces enter Libya then their neighbors in Egypt and Tunisia and Algeria and the rest of the Muslim countries should rise up and fight both the mercenaries of Kadhafi and the rest of NATO,” he said, according to SITE.

Zawahiri stated Al-Qaeda’s backing for the ousted Tunisian and Egyptian presidents and also accused the Egyptian government of “separation from Islam” and “subservience to the West,” the monitoring group said.

The video was the fifth installment in Egyptian-born Zawahiri’s series titled “A Message of Hope and Glad Tidings to Our People in Egypt.”

More here.

Egypt: Christians begin to flee the country

They are insisting on leaving Egypt because the risks of staying here are too great,” Naguib Gabriel, a Coptic human rights lawyer, told Egypt Daily News. “Many Christians are afraid of the future because of the fanatics in the mosques.”

At least 20 Christians have been killed in sectarian violence with Muslims since Mubarak‘s ouster. And groups like the Muslim Brotherhood have been taking an increasingly visible role in forming Egypt’s next government.

In fact, a Coptic church in Soul has been rebuilt with the Army’s help, but the Copts are complaining the inactivity of the authorities to prosecute the perpetrators of the fire that destroyed it. Meanwhile, 17 Christians arrested during the protests continue in prison.

Via.

Sinai: Two Orthodox deacons killed by Bedouin human traffickers

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has received reports that two Orthodox deacons were murdered by people traffickers in the Sinai Desert on 11 December.

The two deacons were singled out for punishment because their captors believed they were instrumental in alerting human rights NGOs of the plight of over 250 refugees and asylum seekers from Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia who have been imprisoned for over a month in degrading conditions by Bedouin people traffickers in the Sinai Desert. The traffickers are demanding payment of up to US$8,000 per person for their release despite charging them US$2,000 for passage to Israel.

The deacons were among 100 Eritrean refugees who had been separated from the group on 10 December. Prior to the move, the traffickers tore up the refugees’ religious materials and assaulted them severely for failing to make the ransom payments. Agenzia Habeshia also reports that others in the group were beaten, tortured and forced to drink their own urine after being denied water. There are also reports of organ harvesting and of some pregnant women being forced to undergo abortions.

via Press releases – Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

Found here.

Background.

Egypt: House Converted Into Mosque Overnight In Egypt to Prevent Church Services

In an effort to end any hope of the Coptic Christians using the Church of St. Mary and St. Michaels in Talbiya for prayer services, the Giza Governorate converted overnight a house facing the church into a mosque.The new so-called “Ekhlass” mosque was converted secretly Thursday evening when a cloth sign was hastily hung outside a 4 story house. It was used on Friday morning, when over 3000 Muslims prayed there, despite the presence of a large mosque on the other side of the bridge, not far from the new mosque. It was reported that the owner of the house, which is still under construction, donated it.

Of course the new mosque did not have to get a building license, local council or state security permission, as is the case with churches,” said Coptic activist Mark Ebeid.

Due to the minimum distance required by law between a church and a mosque, Copts view this conversion of the house into a new mosque “as a trick on the part of the government to make the completion and use of St. Mary’s Church an impossibility.”

We are devastated,” said a local Copt. “This church cost the poor people 7 million Egyptian pounds, which we collected by having to go without a lot in our homes, and there comes the governor and state security, angry because we built a dome and destroy it, kill our children, leave others maimed and the rest in prison for a very long time.”

Church building in Egypt is still partly governed by the Haayoni Decree of 1856, when Egypt was under Ottoman rule. After gaining independence in 1922, Egypt abolished all laws except for the Hamayouni Decree, which required the permission of the king or the president to build a church. In addition, in 1934 the Interior Minister, Al-Ezaby Pacha, issued a decree that stipulated 10 conditions that must be met prior to issuance of a presidential decree permitting the construction of a church. The conditions include the requirement that the distance between a church and a mosque be not less than 100 meters and the approval of the neighboring Muslim community. Additional considerations or conditions are the number of Christians in the area and whether or not the proposed church is near the Nile, public utility or a railway.

via House Converted Into Mosque Overnight In Egypt to Prevent Church Services.

Absolutely shameful. Of course, this happens without a word from major MSM or communication broadcasting companies, which of course, would shout Islamophobia at any moment. And what about Christianphobia?

Background:
Egypt: Islamists lay siege against Coptic church in Giza, 1 Christian killed.
Egypt: Security Used Live Ammunition on Christian Coptic Protesters, 4 Killed.
Egypt: Wounded Christians from Talbiya attack, mistreated at state hospitals