"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Anti-Christian Violence in Egypt

After 9/11 we were repeatedly lectured about the fear of a backlash against American Muslims.   No such backlash ever occurred, and the expectation of a backlash by some in the mainstream media showed a distinct lack of understanding of American Christianity and Americans generally.  We just don't do those kinds of things. 

Not so in Egypt, apparently, where sectarian violence (the nice way of saying "Muslims killing Christians") is on the increase:
Idealism might be waning as Egyptians confront the worst outbreak of religious violence since Hosni Mubarak was swept out of power Feb. 11. The deaths of 13 people in clashes in Cairo between Muslims and Christians late Tuesday have prompted calls for religious tolerance and raised the prospect of a deepening sectarian divide after a post-revolution honeymoon period.

Street battles broke out after Coptic Christians set up roadblocks in major arteries to protest the destruction of one of their churches. Security is scant in this metropolis of 18 million, where the military-controlled government is still groping to find a way to tamp down crime with no functioning police force.

Although clashes between Muslims and Christians are not new in Egypt, they often take place far from the capital. That the overnight violence continued for hours near the heart of Cairo is bound to add to concerns among Christians that weeks of tumult in Egypt have left them particularly vulnerable in a country that is overwhelmingly Muslim.

The prospect that political Islamists might gain strength in Egypt is seen among Copts as particularly worrying, after three decades in which many had come to regard Mubarak's secular regime as a kind of protector.
When will President Obama speak out forcefully on behalf of persecuted Christian minorities in the Middle East?  I'm not holding my breath.

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