Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Religious Freedom in Egypt

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Egypt is reputed to be the most liberal of all of the Arab nations in North Africa. Its friendship with the U.S. and its diplomatic relations with Israel lead many to believe that it is a moderate nation with an a political system comparable to ours. This is unfortunately far from the case. For Egypt's Coptic Christian minority, life in Egypt involves not only pervasive discrimination, but murder, rape and forced conversion as well. The harshest and most regressive interpretations of Islamic law are operative in daily life. Under Islamic law, Christians and Jews are supposed to have limited civil rights as "people of the book". Maimonides, the renowned author of "Guide For The Perplexed" was born to a Jewish family in Spain that was forcibly converted to Islam under a fanatical regime. The family migrated to Egypt, in search of greater freedom. There, Maimonides became a court physician, with a level of influence comparable to a cabinet minister.
As we see from studying the life of Maimonides, there are tolerant and intolerant manifestations of Islam and Christianity. Jewish history preserves well the memory of a Christianity that was as intolerant as is radical Islam today.
The extensive human rights violations of the Mubarak regime meet with predictable and deafening silence in the United Nations. Christians are persecuted today in the Middle East with as much vehemence as they were in the century of Christianity's founding. A leading Coptic clergyman and scholar of Christianity and Islam broadcasts to Egypt by satellite. Boutros Zakaria has a price on his head in Egypt for refutations of Islam that have won at least five hundred conversions of Muslims to Christianity. The fierceness with which radical Islam's enforcers go after converts from Islam can be literally compared to the conduct of border guards at the Berlin Wall. Both radical Islam and communism compensate for ideological bankruptcy with the force of arms.
The United Nations takes no effective action against Robert Mugabe, the butcher of Zimbabwe. The Congo bleeds as United Nations troops administer a reign of abuse and corruption in refugee camps under their control. China has veto power over any objections that might be voiced to its annexation of Tibet. As the plight of the so called Palestinians comprises the lion's share of the U.N.'s deliberations, those who suffer in Asia and Africa are treated like children of a lesser god.
Before communism fell, no one could imagine that it would ever topple. Now,it is as though it never was. There are new idolatries in our present age that seem as powerful as communism once was. The world thirsts for the word of G-d. There is a G-d in whose image humanity strive to fashion itself, and a god that people strive to make in their own image. Which one is which? By its fruit a tree is known.
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The top video is about persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt. The second video is about the behavior of Muslim missionaries Sphere: Related Content

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