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Coptic Christians fear the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

Coptic Christians fear the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

Lee Jay Walker

The Modern Tokyo Times

Christians suffer persecution in Egypt.

Christians suffer persecution in Egypt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is clearly hoping to install an Islamic state on the rubbles of the Hosni Mubarak regime.  The mass media in the West may focus on genuine factors behind current events in Egypt and some Egyptians may speak about democracy and liberty.  However, it is abundantly clear that Islamists in the Muslim Brotherhood desire an Islamic state and given their past history and ongoing political intrigues, then it is reasonable to expect an Islamic grab for power.

This raises serious questions for many in Egypt but the purpose of this article is to focus on the minority Christian community which is between eight to twelve million according to different statistics.  After all, the reality of the demise of Saddam Hussein in Iraq led to the complete marginalization and persecution of the Christian community and Christian numbers in Iraq have dropped dramatically because of constant persecution.

Therefore, despite the anti-Christian nature of the Mubarak regime the Christian community is faced with “the authoritarian leader they know” against “the devil leadership” which may take power in Egypt?

It is clear that the Coptic Christian community faces many genuine concerns because they suffer institutional discrimination in Egypt under Mubarak.  However, given the reality that democracy is not a flourishing concept within the majority of Muslim dominated nations then the worst must be feared.  This applies to an Islamic state under the Muslim Brotherhood whereby Islamic Sharia law is governed more tightly over Egyptian society rather than the pick and mix version under Mubarak.

Eli Avidar who is a former Israeli diplomat warns about the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood.  He does this by highlighting the reality of Hamas in Gaza.  After all, the elections ushered in Hamas and clearly this organization is not interested in power sharing or a pluralistic society based on different value systems and protected by the democratic ballot box.

Eli Avidar comments that “President (George W.) Bush and (Secretary of State) Condi Rice pressured the State of Israel to allow democratic elections in the Palestinian Authority and what happened was that Hamas took over and these were the first and last democratic elections.”

Therefore, history may repeat itself if the Muslim Brotherhood takes over the leverages of power.  Eli Avidar is clearly worried about this because he comments that “If they go and take the leadership because of democratic elections, I believe that democracy will not continue in Egypt because the fact is, the second that they take power, they will not leave it…”

It must be stated that the Iranian Revolution of 1979 ushered in an Islamic theocracy after the collapse of the Shah of Iran.  Democrats, Secularists, Marxists, Islamic socialists, socialists, and other forces, all believed that they would vie for power and that they could sideline Khomeinists and the conservative Shia clergy.

However, the Iranian Revolution became an Islamic Revolution after all opposition entities were silenced and it is clear that the Muslim Brotherhood is a potent organization within the body politic of Egyptian society.  Also, given the history of the Muslim Brotherhood then it would appear to be naive to expect them to sit on the sidelines because they have been waiting a long time to install an Islamic state.

Egypt, unlike Iran, does have a powerful religious minority because Coptic Christians number between eight and twelve million.  However, it is clear that Christian minorities and others have been crushed in Iraq since the American led invasion and if major persecution of Christians took place, just like in Iraq, then the world would just sit back and watch from a distance.  Therefore, the situation is very delicate for the Coptic Christian community and for all Christians in Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood clearly support an Islamic state and Mohammed himself stated “Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.” (Koran 9:29)

In my article called Muslims slaughter Christians in Egypt which was published in 2010, I comment that “The current situation in Egypt does not look good for Coptic Christians because the “flawed” political system under President Hosni Mubarak means state sanctioned discrimination. However, you also have the fear that radical Islamists could fill the political vacuum and this would add greatly to the woes of the embattled Christian community in Egypt.”

The sad reality is that Egypt under Mubarak is an Islamic dominated society whereby you have many laws which discriminate against the Christian community.  This applies to severe restrictions on building new Christian churches; mass prejudice in family law which always supports the Muslim spouse over the Christian spouse in divorce cases; educational discrimination which marginalizes the indigenous Christian faith; persecution of apostates from Islam to Christianity; and in many other areas of life and this applies to government and so forth.

However, an Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood would be even more dangerous because the Islamization of Egypt which was done more discreetly under Anwar Sadat and Mubarak would be much more open under the Muslim Brotherhood.  Therefore, the Christian community in Egypt is faced with the reality of discrimination and persecution under the current Mubarak regime or even greater Islamization of Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood.  It is abundantly clear, that the situation is very tense for all Egyptians but notably for Christians because they suffer death and persecution under the current prevailing conditions but these prevailing conditions may get even worse if events turn out negatively and Islamists seize power.

Of course, nobody knows for sure how events will unfold and some people are optimistic that democracy and secularism may emerge victorious and that Egypt will flourish under a new leadership. 

If this does happen then it will be a great day for all Egyptians irrespective if they are Christian, Muslim or follow no faith. An Egypt which utilizes the richness of Coptic Christian culture alongside the best of Egyptian society would clearly unleash enormous potential.  Therefore, Muslim moderates, Christians, liberals, socialists, and others, could all witness a new powerful nation whereby opportunities are provided to all nationals.

Yet the reality of Iraq and the ongoing persecution which is threatening this ancient Christian community is clear for all to see. Other religious minorities in Iraq are also suffering and the Mandaeans, Shabaks, and Yazidis, also reside in constant fear.  Therefore, all religious minorities are dwindling in Iraq because of the Islamic threat and clearly the reality of Islamic Sharia law means dhimmitude and marginalization.

It is clear that the political crisis in Egypt could go many ways and this applies to a new dynamic Egypt which becomes openly democratic and pluralistic.  However, just like the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and current events in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein; it is clear that the darkness of Islam engulfed both nations. 

This reality must be striking fear in the hearts of many Christians in Egypt because it is abundantly clear that the Muslim Brotherhood is a powerful force within Egyptian society.  Therefore, the current uncertainty in Egypt is a very dangerous period for the Christian community because you clearly have a political vacuum.  It is hoped that this political vacuum will be filled positively but given past history then the “Islamic shadow” may engulf the “candle of light” once more?

Lee Jay Walker

http://leejaywalker.wordpress.com

http://islamicpersecution.wordpress.com

 

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2011 in AFRICA, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND GLOBAL NEWS, Islam, RELIGIOUS ISSUES

 

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Southern Thailand and Islamization

Southern Thailand and Islamization

 

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent  – THE SEOUL TIMES  

 

 THE MODERN TOKYO TIMES

Students salute Islamic teacher in Thailand.

Thailand is faced with many internal problems and the political and economic situation remains fragile because of the ongoing political turmoil. At the same time, it is abundantly clear that the Muslim uprising in the southern provinces is a major concern for not only Thailand but for the wider community throughout the region. After all, the global jihadist network is always looking for new opportunities to spread more mayhem and to maintain military and economic functions.

Therefore, you have two important dimensions in southern Thailand. One, and of course the most important component at the moment, is the ongoing anti-Buddhist campaign whereby Islamists desire a pure Islamic state. The other important component is that if the Thai military loses control and if Buddhists continue to flee southern parts of Thailand, then the Islamic internationalization of southern Thailand will become a regional issue and this notably applies to Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

It must be stated that in parts of Indonesia and the Philippines you already have Christian and Muslim tensions and you have several radical Islamic networks in both nations. The most notorious Islamic terrorist networks apply to Jemaah Islamiya (JI) in Indonesia; the Moro Islamic Liberation Front which seeks an Islamic state in the southern Philippines; the Abu Sayyaf Group which is also based in the southern Philippines; and you have other networks which have either lose ties or regional agendas and of course Al-Qaeda have links throughout the region.

In the past the conflict in southern Thailand was mainly an internal struggle between the majority Muslim community of three southern provinces (Pattani, Narathiwat, and Yala) and the government of Thailand. Therefore, for many decades you had the desire for an Islamic state but nationalism was also a core base for demanding independence. However, in recent times it is clear that the Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO); the Barisan Revolusi Nasional-Coordinate (BRN-C); Bersatu; Gerakan Mujahadeen Islam Pattani (GMIP); and others, desire an Islamic state and they have a jihadist agenda.

Therefore, in the past the Muslim insurgency was aimed at the government and military of Thailand but times have changed. Therefore, since 2001 it is clear that you now have an overwhelming Islamic jihadist agenda and this is aimed at forcing the Buddhists to flee and moderate Muslims are also being killed because they are deemed to be traitors.

Sunai Phasuk, a political analyst at Human Rights Watch, commented that “Buddhist monks have been hacked to death, clubbed to death, bombed and burned to death.” Therefore, the Sunni Islamic insurgency is just like radical Islam in Afghanistan and Somalia, to name only a few places in the world.

After all, in Somalia it is clear that Sunni Islamists are intent on killing every last Christian in this nation and in Afghanistan the followers of radical Islam are even intent on wiping out every trace of Buddhism in this land. Therefore, the past Islamic jihads which destroyed Buddhism in Afghanistan weren’t good enough because under the rule of The Taliban they even began to destroy all traces of Buddhism during their year zero campaign.

Therefore, the Sunni Islamic insurgency in southern Thailand is following a familiar path and this applies to the destruction of all non-Muslim elements within society or the complete dhimmitude of all non-Muslims by the rule of fear.

In truth, this is a continuation of what the prophet Mohammed did because he also began the annihilation of Judaism and Paganism in Arabia and on his deathbed he then called for all non-Muslims to share the same fate in Arabia.

Mohammed stated “No Muslim should be killed for killing a Kafir” (infidel). Vol. 9:50 and his dying words were “Turn the pagans (non-Muslims) out of the Arabian Peninsula.” Vol. 5:716

Therefore, the hatred which is ongoing in southern Thailand is directly inspired by Mohammed because he stated to “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” Koran 9:29

Zachary Abuza, author of Militant Islam in Southeast Asia (Crucible of Terror) and Conspiracy of Silence (The insurgency in Southern Thailand), and a host of other written materials, highlighted the role of the madrasas (Islamic schools).

Zachary Abuza states that “In their pursuit of the creation of Islamic states, many Southeast Asian jihadis established Islamic schools to indoctrinate, propagate, and recruit. The leaders of many militant groups in Southeast Asia, including the Laskar Jihad, Kampulan Mujahidin Malaysia, and Jemaah Islamiya, returned from Afghanistan and established a network of madrasas as the base of their operations and recruitment.”

Therefore, while past insurgencies fused the Islamic faith with nationalism, it is clear that this is no longer the case and instead southern Thailand is faced by the forces of radical Islam. This new pattern is intolerant towards any diversity and Buddhists are deemed to be subhuman and compromise is not on the agenda.

In the book by Zachary Abuza called Conspiracy of Silence he states that “Execution-style killings have demonstrated a ruthlessness that has never before been seen in southern Thailand. Women, children, monks, and clergy, who in previous iterations of the insurgency would never have been routinely targeted, are now dying in appalling numbers.” (Page 141)

Zachary Abuza also states that “The Thai government has always played down the role of the jihadists. It argues that their numbers are very small and their doctrinaire Salafism/Wahhabism makes them ill-suited to the Malay community. A similar refrain was heard in Indonesia, when officials did not want to confront the growing specter of JI. In reality, Thia security forces are unwilling to acknowledge the role of groups with more international aspirations and contacts. A homegrown, localized insurgency that does not threaten the tourism industry or the national economy is somewhat tolerable. A group with ties to al-Qaeda – a group that cares little about equity or social justice and a lot about eliminating the enemies of Islam (especially allies of the United States) through indiscriminate violence – is altogether a different thing: it is dangerous and threatening.” (Pages 143-144)

B. Raman (Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi) states in the South Asia Analysis Group, Paper No. 1501, that “The external inspiration has so far been mainly from Bangladesh and Pakistan, the main motivating organizations being the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI), which has a presence both in Bangladesh and Pakistan, and the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), which has a presence only in Pakistan and not in Bangladesh. The extensive media reporting in Pakistan on the presence of foreign students in Pakistani madrasas, which followed the reports of the involvement of three British citizens of Pakistani origin in the London explosions of July 7,2005, has revealed the presence of nearly a thousand Pattanis in the Pakistani madrasas.”

”This has been a surprisingly large number. Till the Pakistani media gave an estimate of the number of Thai students in their madrasas, one was under the impression that the flow of Thai Muslims to the madrasas in Pakistan had considerably declined after the arrest of the brother of Hambali, the operational chief of the Jemaah Islamiya (JI), and some other Indonesians and Malaysians from madrasas in Karachi controlled by the LET and their deportation to their respective countries in 2003. Instructions had gone to the Thai Muslims after their deportation to go to Bangladesh thereafter for studies in the madrasas there since the Pakistani jihadi organisations, which are members of Osama bin Laden’s International Islamic Front (IIF), were afraid that the Americans might be keeping a watch on the madrasas in Pakistan.”

In my article which was published in The Seoul Times called Islamic Militants Target Buddhists in Thailand, I comment that “The ongoing Islamic jihad in Southern Thailand could draw in other regional and global jihadists, and this could have dire consequences because you have Christian-Muslim tensions in parts of Indonesia and the Philippines. Also, if the Thai army is forced to retreat or adopt a containment policy then clearly Islamic jihadists will gain because they will have free areas in order to spread their dangerous ideology and cause further mayhem throughout the region.”

“At the same time the current Sunni Islamic insurgency hopes to cleanse the region of all Buddhists and to destroy Buddhist temples and architecture in yet another re-run of Afghanistan. Therefore, it is clear that the minority Buddhist community in Southern Thailand needs greater protection from radical Islamists.”

“If political leaders in Thailand betray the Buddhist minority then the consequences will be severe. Also, this part of Thailand could become yet another museum where Buddhism is eradicated by Islam?”

Another important factor is that Islamists are always looking for a fresh opportunity to spread their hatred and ideology. Therefore, if America and other allies begin to contain radical Islamic forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, then just like the past they will look for new ventures and areas to cause chaos.

This factor alone means that southern Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines could witness further infiltration of international jihadist movements in the future. Added to this is the geopolitical and geographic reality which holds many opportunities for the international Islamic terrorist movement.

Abu Bakar Ba’asyir and JI have a goal and this is to create a super-Islamic state which would incorporate Indonesia, Malaysia, the southern Philippines, Brunei, and Singapore (some would also include southern Thailand). This may seem impossible to most people or an illusion, but an illusion in the eyes of radical Islamists does not hinder insurgencies or international Islamic jihadist movements which enter conflicts when the time is right.

International Islamists have moved freely between Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Iraq and a host of other countries. Therefore, failed states, narcotic wars, chaos, ethnic divisions, and other dark forces are grounds for Islamists to create more chaos and often with Saudi Arabian funding.

Denis D. Gray and Vijay Joshi, Associated Press, March 10, 2007, state that “Between 1999 and 2003, Thai students held regular paramilitary sessions in Bandung, Indonesia, with the top “one or two” then sent to Mindanao in the southern Philippines, another region wracked by Islamic rebellion, for more combat training, said Col. Wichai Chucherd, Defense Attache at the Thai embassy in Indonesia.”

“An Indonesian military intelligence report seen by The AP on the Bandung training says the presence of Thai separatists on Indonesian soil is worrying because they could form links with Jemaah Islamiyah members who are now in Indonesia.”

“Thai insurgents provided support for frequent visits by Jemaah Islamiyah’s alleged operations chief Riduan Isamuddin, also known as Hambali, who was captured in Thailand in 2003 and is now in U.S. custody.”

Turning back to Zachary Abuza he highlights some Islamic leaflets in his book called the Conspiracy of Silence. These leaflets are aimed to intimidate the local community and many are directed towards the Buddhists.

For example Document 22 states “Dear every Siamese Buddhist Thai who lives near the police stations……..I’ll give you three days for you to leave my land. Otherwise, I will kill, burn, destroy all Buddhist Thai property………The Buddhist Thai will never live in peace. If you leave the house, travel or go to work, you will die violently. I will wait for you for 24 hours, in every direction.” (Page 241)

Document 23 states “The Islamic warriors of Pattani announce the purpose that we will never stop killing the Siamese kafir (infidel) and will never stop destroying army weapons, the economy, politics, education and the Siamese kafir society until we regain the land of Pattani and establish the state of Pattani Darulslam. I ask for Muslim Malays to be the witnesses.” (PAGE 242)

Therefore, the ongoing insurgency is southern Thailand may be viewed to be isolated but clearly this area could be used by international Islamists to further their power base and the importance of the Malacca Straits must not be overlooked for international Islamic terrorists. After all, the region is of major strategic significance and terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda desire to cause economic mayhem where possible.

Overall, it appears that Thailand is going from one political crisis to another in Bangkok but for the Buddhists of southern Thailand and moderate Muslims it is one long nightmare. A major Islamic insurgency is ongoing and given the complexities of the region, then links with JI and other Islamic terrorist networks is clearly a cause for major concern.

If the current situation prevails and Buddhists continue to flee because of countless massacres by Islamists then the central government in Thailand will have little power to control southern Thailand in the future. If this happens, then this area will be cleansed of Buddhists and the next fear is that this region will be utilized by international Islamists.

LEE JAY WALKER

http://leejaywalker.wordpress.com

http://themoderntokyotimes.wordpress.com

leejayteach@hotmail.com

www.theseoultimes.com

 

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