Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Egypt: Terrified Christians flee homes following blasphemy accusations

"Coptic Christian homes have been attacked and families forced to flee from a village in Egypt after reports that Islam was insulted on Facebook."

Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch directs his introductory comments to this report as a warning to comfortable Christians in the West who oppose "provoking" Muslims through cartoons of Muhammad or other means. But as I wrote here recently,
"Christians themselves in the Islamic world — by their very being, by their very presence — are all the provocation Muslims need to slaughter them. No cartoons required."

Egypt: Terrified Christians flee homes following blasphemy accusations
Jihad Watch — June 8, 2015

The comfortable, suburban Christians who are sitting in their armchairs and tut-tutting at us for being so uncharitable as to hold a Muhammad cartoon contest should take careful note of this. Islamic law asserts authority over non-Muslims. To send the signal that we will submit to Sharia blasphemy laws regarding drawing Muhammad, even if we are doing so out of a misguided sense of “respect,” will only embolden Islamic supremacists to make more demands. The endpoint of these demands is shown in this incident in Egypt. These comfortable, suburban Christians in the West are ensuring a future of harassment, persecution, violence and bloodshed for their children and children’s children.

More on this story. “Terrified Coptic Christians flee from their homes following blasphemy accusations,” by Oge Okonkwo, Pulse, June 3, 2015:
Coptic Christian homes have been attacked and families forced to flee from a village in Egypt after reports that Islam was insulted on Facebook. 
But some Muslims in the Beni Suef governorate in Egypt tried to protect Copts from villagers angered over alleged “insults to Islam”.
Christian Today reports that Ayman Youssef Tawfiq, from Kafr Darwish in Al-Fashn, denies he posted cartoons on Facebook that were insulting to the Prophet Muhammad. 
Nevertheless, Coptic homes in his village have been stoned and attacked with Molotov cocktails. A car has been destroyed and several homes set on fire. 
Reports say meetings were even held in the village in an attempt to resolve the crisis, but this merely led to Youssef and four of his relatives’ families being driven out of town. After this, a further 10 Coptic homes were burned down. 
The Coptic newspaper Al-Watani reported that among those who defended the Coptic homes from the attackers were a number of Muslim youths. Police also intervened promptly. 
Ishak Ibrahim, a researcher on religion at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, told Daily News Egypt: “Ayman is an illiterate person who usually lives in Jordan who was accused of sharing the picture by locals at his village in Beni Suef when he returned. At first, a case was filed against him and the people in the village wanted to charge him with a fine. They later changed their minds and decided they wanted him to leave. Ayman has three brothers, each with a family, and elderly parents in their 70s and 80s living in the village. All of them were made to leave the village.” 
He said local officials had authorised the decision to drive the families out of the village. 
“There were two meetings, one at a police station and the second in the Mayor’s house, attended by local Christians and Muslims,” he said. 
The Mayor, Ahmed Maher, is reported to have told the families that the police could not guarantee their safety if they decided to stay. 
Ibrahim continued: “The violations of people who express their religious opinions and the persecution of minorities is ongoing in Egypt. It increases when individuals are accused of insulting religion, as usually the trials in these cases are not fair. 
“The charges for insulting religion are very vague and do not define which acts can be considered insulting or not. For instance if an imam said that all Christians are kuffar, would this be considered insulting? Anyone who openly calls for violence and hatred should be the only ones charged.”