Egypt: Christians made scapegoats for Morsi’s ouster

August 12, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

Egypt, August 07, 2013: Christian communities are continuing to bear the brunt of angry protests by supporters of ousted president Mohammad Morsi, with more than 20 people being injured and property destroyed in attacks on four Minya villages.

Christians are being blamed for the protests that led to Morsi's removal

Christians are being blamed for the protests that led to Morsi's removal

On Thursday (1 August), Christian residents in Nazlet Abid were attacked and their cars destroyed as they were travelling to and from work. They were consequently forced to suspend work at the white brick factories where most of the villagers are employed.

That night Morsi supporters threw stones at the homes of Christians and churches in Delga during a protest march.

Elsewhere, in Beni-Ahmed village, Christian-owned property was also targeted, prompting the residents to flee. Several homes and businesses, including two supermarkets, a pharmacy, a kiosk and a coffee shop, as well as a number of vehicles were torched on Saturday evening.

The violence spread to the nearby village of Reeda, where a church was attacked, causing severe damage to its facade.

Christians have been targeted by Morsi supporters since his removal from office by the military on 3 July following protests by millions of disaffected Egyptians.

The minority group, who comprise around ten per cent of the population, are being scapegoated by the Muslim Brotherhood for their defeat. A recent article on the organisation’s website called “The Military Republic of Tawadros” (Pope Tawadros is the leader of the Coptic Church) urges its followers to believe that the country’s Christians “openly and secretly led the process of opposition to the Islamic stream and this stream’s rise to power”.

Given the Christians’ limited numerical strength and lack of influence in the country generally, this is a highly implausible argument, but it has proven effective in stirring up the Brotherhood rank and file as it taps into the pre-existing contempt in which they hold non-Muslims. Blaming the uprising against Morsi on Christians also enables the Brotherhood to avoid having to admit that many Egyptian Muslims were also opposed to the Islamist regime.

Even if every Christian in the country, including children, had signed the petition organised by the opposition Tamarod (“Rebel”) movement calling for Morsi to go, they would still have been significantly outnumbered by Muslim signatures; more than 22 million people put their name to the campaign, and there are only around eight million Christians in Egypt.

Nabil Sharaf el-Din, an Egyptian political writer, denounced recent threats made against Christians by Brotherhood leader Mohamed el-Beltagy:

Why does he speak about [Christians] specifically and not all of the Egyptian people who rejected their rule?

The risk to Christians, particularly in Minya governorate, where a number of churches have come under attack, is so great that services are being broadcast on the internet so that people can participate at home rather than endanger themselves by going to the buildings.

Death threats have forced Pope Tawadros to go into hiding.

– barnabas team

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Comments are closed.