Friday, February 04, 2011

Getting the truth ain't easy

As the Egyptian crisis increases, more and more confusion reigns as to who is what, who isn't, and whether anybody really knows what's going on.

The Atlantic Monthly blog reported: A number of White House officials were given an Encyclopedia Britannica-like briefing about the basics: how many U.S. citizens were inside the country and contingency plans to get them out; reminders that Egypt wasn’t a Muslim country; Hosni Mubarak was a Coptic Christian of a certain sect; the Muslim Brotherhood was at once an opposition political party and a co-opted part of the social system...

Who knows who gave the briefing, but there are two specific errors in this paragraph alone (one of them has since been corrected on the blog): Egypt isn't an Islamic state, but it's certainly very Muslim; Mubarak is in no way a Christian of the Copts, or any other 'sect' (the Copts not being a sect in the first place) - he's a Muslim. (The fact that his full name is Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak might give a clue.)

And talking about the Coptic Christians in Egypt, a people who are between 8 and 12% of the population, the fact that they are regularly persecuted doesn't rise to the surface very often. It was the same in Iraq, where the Christian percentage of the population has almost entirely gone underground or left the country - the war only intensified hatred of the Christian section of the community.

The situation in Egypt is similar: Christians are persecuted regularly. The bombing of the Coptic church around Christmas time made world headlines, but the recent massacre of two Christian families by Muslims in Northern Egypt - because the police were otherwise engaged in the riots - went almost unacknowledged.
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