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August 20, 2013 9:45 am

Muslim Brotherhood Memo Encourages Burning Churches in Egypt

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A burning church in Egypt. Photo: IPT News.

A memo posted on the Facebook page of a local office of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism shows a clear call to incitement against Egypt’s Coptic Christian population, giving its blessing to the burning of churches.

Over 40 Coptic churches have been burned by Muslim Brotherhood supporters since the Egyptian police cleared demonstrators protesting the overthrow of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi last week. Brotherhood supporters also reportedly blocked the road between Cairo and Aswan in southern Egypt looking for Copts, taking seven Copts hostage Thursday. They were later released after a ransom of 150,000 Egyptian pounds, roughly $21,500, was paid.

Muslim Brotherhood rioters who torched St. George Cathdral in Sohag were heard screaming “Allahu Akbar!” as they carried out their deed.

Coptic leaders say the Muslim Brotherhood’s violent onslaught against Christians has been unprecedented.

“It never happened before in history that such a big number of churches were attacked on one day,” Bishop Thomas, a Coptic Orthodox bishop in Assiut told Al Jazeera. “We normally used to have attacks once a month or so.”

The memo’s discovery comes a week after leading Freedom and Justice Party politician Abdul Mawgoud Dardery appeared at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and said that Egypt was a model for Christian-Muslim relations.

“The Pope of the Church (Coptic Pope Tawadros II) took part in the ouster of the first elected Islamist president. The Pope of the Church charges Islamic Sharia with underdevelopment [and] stagnation,” the memo from the Freedom and Justice Party’s branch in Egypt’s Helwan Governorate, near Cairo, said amid other accusations. “After all of this do people wonder why they burn churches? Burning houses of worship is a crime.”

“And for the Church to adopt a war against Islam and Muslims is the worst crime. For every action is a reaction.”

The memo also attacked Pope Tawadros II for having supported the June 30 Tamarod demonstrations that led to the military’s toppling of Morsi.

The people was not alone among Egypt’s religious leaders in backing the military’s decision to topple Morsi. Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the highest clerical authority in Sunni Islam, also supported Morsi’s ouster.

The Brotherhood’s political arm also suggested Pope Tawadros was complicit in the deaths of the over 600 Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators, some of whom were armed with guns, after police cleared them from their encampments.

The phrase “war against Islam” has consistently been used by Islamic extremists to recruit terrorist fighters and to encourage terrorist attacks.

Al-Qaida leader Zayman al-Zawahiri, himself an Egyptian and former Brotherhood member, attacked Pope Tawadros and the Copts last week, blaming them for Morsi’s downfall.

Brotherhood supporters in the city of al-Saff have been drawing check marks on houses owned by Copts to mark them for arson.

Christians say the Muslim Brotherhood wants to see all of them exiled from Egypt, where they have lived for almost 2,000 years. Analysts suggest that the Brotherhood sees the Copts, who comprise between 10 and 20 percent of the population, as easy scapegoats in the Brotherhood’s attack on Egypt’s military rulers.

Islamists rationalize their attacks on the largely defenseless Coptic community, saying they are counterattacking the Copts for having allegedly endorsed the crackdown.

“When Pope Tawadros comes out after a massacre to thank the military and the police, then don’t accuse me of sectarianism,” Mamdouh Hamdi, a Brotherhood supporter, told the New York Times.

These actions increasingly support the conclusion that the Copts’ fear that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization and not the benign political force its defenders have made it out to be.

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  • Ron Reeves

    I agree with Miss.

    I am not going to take this in bed weeping.

    This is a war of ideas, and many Muslims leaders think they can win by killing, burning, raping (even their own children) for their cause they are wrong.

    I am at war with Islam, not these few radicals but the whole support group, the teachings and ideas of Islam with give birth to these radicals. Is there even one Islamic institution that fights this evil? I dont see any, if there are any let them fight this fight with us.

    We must fight with words, books to try and turn people away from Islam. To expose, and undermine Islamic institutions where ever we can. This is the war we must fight.

    I know this is exact opposite of what our governments stated position is, but I don’t blame many of the individuals they have had this programming their entire life and most cannot even think for themselves.

    We must educate and turn them away from this evil. They are weak minded sheep led to the slaughter by evil Islamic priests.

    If Islam does not change it violent ways it be utterly destroyed as a religion. We will be the ones who destroy it.

    • Alan Gold

      I agree with you that Islam is a primitive, violent religion bent on world domination, but your conclusion is wrong. Islam WILL conquer the globe because they pray five times a day, and observe the month of Ramadan and their mainstream belief of submission and suppression of arts and sciences is too powerful. And a higher birth rate. The west’s belief in political correctness and accomodation will allow Islam to get in and step by step take away our freedoms. Does Saudi Arabia accomodate ANY other religion or significant minority viewpoint? Does Bangladesh? Afghanistan? Iran? Iraq? etc.

      • K

        This isn’t how Islam works, if you actually read the Qur’an you would know what Islam is about, please do your research. These people are as bad as the US Army officers involved in Al Ghuraib in Afghan, judging is easy, actually searching for facts is hard. This is media anyway, we all know media manipulates people to think otherwise.

  • Miss

    You aren’t surprised, are you? Everything these islamic radicals pray or do – it has to be against the Christian (and Jewish) people. This hateful guys do not even try to hide their hate, they even announce the murder and are very proud of it. You can say,they are no liars. Because every “order” from Allah is written in the Koran and it’s not allowed to be in doubt about this “only true words”.
    It is our handling with this “religion” that makes problems in our civilized lives. Koran and Sharia should be forbidden. The are the roots of 90% evil in the world’s fights- so what to do?
    (refreshed English ;-))

  • Susana

    where they have lived for almost 2,000 years”

    WRONG. COPTICS have been living in EGYPT for more than 5000 years, they are the TRUE PHARAON descendants.

  • ismael

    for not to condemn anti coup and to seek sympathy
    in ONTV CHRISTIAN coptic CHANNEL joseh ayoub bishop Pastor of the Mar Girgis Church: said : baltajia( criminals force security supporters) burned churches, and muslims defended us

    Christians and seculars kill Muslims(morsi supporters) egypt:egypte
    israel encourages killing morsi supporters and democracy

  • Why is this never published in the mainstream press? I can understand the BBC and the Guardian as they are both Muslim apologists who can see no wrong in the “religion of peace” and therefore I can only imagine it must be fear after the violence and destruction of Danish experience as a result of publishing the cartoons of the paedophile.