In the previous article I have mentioned that in the two months of December 1999 and January 2000, both Copts and Muslims were preparing to celebrate their holidays.
Copts were fasting to celebrate their Christmas on January 7th, as per their tradition. Muslims, on the other hand, were fasting their month of Ramadan.
Westerners generally fast prior to their holy feasts, so it is easy to comprehend that the pious Copts were also fasting.
In order to clarify what Ramadan is, I am quoting a few sentences from Wikipedia "Ramadan is a Muslim religious observance that takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar; the month in which the Koran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed.
It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims do not eat or drink anything from true dawn until sunset. Fasting is meant to teach the person patience, sacrifice and humility. Ramadan is a time to fast for the sake of Allah, and to offer more prayers than usual. During Ramadan, Muslims ask for forgiveness for their past sins, pray for guidance and help in refraining from everyday evils, and try to purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds".
On January 2nd 2000, during that holy month, Muslims in a small town in Egypt, called El-Kosheh, finished massacring twenty-one Copts, just in time to return home and break their fast!!!!
Another question which arises how it was possible that a police guard would break into a house and kill a citizen for no reason whatsoever? As a matter of fact, according to the dead man’s son Antar, his father was a friend of that police guard. How could a policeman point his gun, which was given to him by the government for the protection of citizens, towards a harmless one?
or against a man who used his own body as a shield to protect his own son from that man, as per my last episode? This guard broke into this house filled with hatred, and ready to do anything to follow certain teachings.
The tragedy of El-Kosheh is the outcome of centuries of Arab occupation and oppression of the Copts. However, since the last fifty years the situation is getting worse with every day.
Ever since the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, when officers managed through their coup d’etat to usurp power, we perceive their plans from the very first day to dissolve the traits of the old Egyptian civilization, and destroy the Coptic identity.
Nasser put this plan deviously, in order to avoid any opposite reaction. Sadat’s was more open and clear, while with the present president, Copts together with the rest of the Egyptian, are getting to see the results.
When Nasser nationalized the majority of the Egyptian companies and confiscated land from its wealthy owners, people thought that he was applying the socialist system in order to help the poor. In reality, it was Nasser’s plan to destroy the Coptic and Jewish economy. The church’s trust lands, which used to support the poor, were seized by the Ministry of Islamic affairs. None of the Islamic properties were touched!!!
The land which was distributed among the farmers had to paid for to the government, and not as was said at the time that they were given for free.
Sadat took the same course but encouraged violence against the Copts. Sadat used his ties to the Muslim brotherhood to protect his throne. Sadat’s era was marked as the beginning of open discrimination against the Copts. For the first time in Egyptian modern history, Copts saw their Pope banned and sent to a monastery, bishops and priests were arrested, churches were burnt and Copts’ businesses were destroyed and looted.
The worst aggression took place in 1981 when eighty-one Copts were massacred in Cairo. In spite of all that, Sadat was painting a picture of himself outside of Egypt as "man o peace"!!! He was even able to share 50% of the Nobel Peace Prize !!!!
In Sadat’s era Copts and Egyptian intellectuals started to notice a shift in how law enforcement were acting. In fact, it’s obvious that their duty switched from serving citizens to oppressing them, in particular the Copts.
Mubarak’s regime followed the same path. In the previous articles we reported on how law enforcement force acted shamefully in 1998 and in 2000.
The same picture repeated itself numerous times. From Sadat’s time until today, the Egyptian authorities follow the same scenario when the Copts, their churches, businesses, homes or even their own lives are attacked.
– Usually law enforcement authorities knew in advance, the when, where and what is planned, as Egypt is under emergency law since the assassination of former president Sadat. Furthermore, no one can believe that thousands of people can plan something together without the knowledge of the secret services agents.
– Once the attack starts, no matter how close or far a police station is from the scene, no one gets immediate response. Such issue is not limited to the police, but also to ambulance and fire brigade vehicles, as they all disappear. Should the fire brigade eventually appear, their vehicles usually arrive empty or missing something or another, so the fire would burn everything down, before anything could be done.
– When everything is already over, the law enforcement forces arrive in big numbers.
– Officials arrive and start with their typical releases, like for example: a mad man attacked the church and had to be taken to the psychiatric unit, Christians are praying without permission, or a Church built without authorization. The latest was that monks are using machine guns, or robbing land from for Arabs, as was in the case of Abu Fana Monastery last May.
– If any arrests are made, Copts have to be rounded up also, in order for the government to use them as a bargaining point. Usually, Coptic leaders are called in and asked to deny that Muslims were involved in the attack, in order for the arrested Copts to be released.
The situation in the courts of law does not change than what was previously reported. Anyhow, in a few days time the Egyptian appeal court will be looking into the case which was filed against the Minister of Interior, for the compensation of the victims of El-Kosheh.
It will be interesting to watch how the Egyptian court will act, and if the judges will follow the slogan of "Law is equal for every one", which is displayed in all their court rooms???
This will be our next topic.