Egypt

The MB on CiF

It’s par for the course, I suppose, that the CiF should be hosting Muhammad al-Baltaji, of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. He complains:

Mosques were attacked to flush out protesters seeking refuge inside them, while evidence is emerging that some churches were torched in an attempt to implicate the Muslim Brotherhood and allied Islamists and thus justify the crackdown on them.

But the piece linked to did not seem to offer any evidence at all to support al-Bataji’s claim.  Nick Nipclose offers some more pertinent evidence on this issue:

The Muslim Brotherhood leadership issued a statement declaring that: “the Pope of the Church sends a memo to the current commission to cancel the articles of Sharia. After all this people ask why they burn the churches. And for the Church to declare war against Islam and Muslims is the worst offense. For every action there is a reaction.”

Away from CiF, I found this piece on US responses to events in Egypt interesting, and this was a welcome contrast to al-Baltaji’s evasions.

For example, in an editorial in the New York Times, a former minister in the Morsi government attempts to describe the situation in Egypt as follows: “this is a battle between those who envision a pluralistic Egypt in which the individual has dignity and power changes hands at the ballot box and those who support a militarized state in which government is imposed on the people by force”.

While there may be some justification for the second half of this charge, our polling makes clear that the vast majority of Egyptians simply do not believe that the Morsi government ever envisioned “a pluralistic Egypt in which the individual has dignity”. What they saw taking place during the one year in which Morsi was in power was the exact opposite. The millions who signed petitions and who demonstrated calling for Morsi to step down were frightened that the President and his party were consolidating an absolutist and intolerant regime. What they hoped for was a real chance for a tolerant, pluralistic government. This majority opinion still holds true and is waiting in the wings for its aspirations to be realized.

What Egyptians have seen both before and since the military action has only reinforced their fears about the Brotherhood’s intent. First, there was the incitement against Egypt’s small Shi’a Muslim community that resulted in the brutal hanging of several members of this group. And in recent days there has been the all-out assault on Egypt’s Christians. At last count 50 churches have been attacked, with at least 19 burned and other ransacked. Christian businesses have been looted and individuals have been attacked, as well.

I’ll note, because there has been some debate here in the past as to whether or not she is an apologist for the Muslim Brotherhood, that this piece was hosted on Sheila Musaji’s blog.

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