الأربعاء، ديسمبر 28، 2005

Imagine....

Imagine if you will, your neighbors break into your house, steal your money, beat you up, harass your kids...

Then they do it again....and again.

Obviously you keep reporting them to the police.

But every time you report them, the police sit YOU down and start lecturing you about the law, and that the law says stealing is a crime...so is battering and harassment..Etc. So you see these things can't have happened because they're against the law.

Ridiculous plot isn't it? Yet it does happen every day in Egypt.

Coptic girls disappear...mostly minors. Then their families are summoned to the police station where they are informed their daughter has converted to Islam and married a Muslim. Sometimes the families are allowed to see their daughters, sometimes they're not even told where the girls are.

You see in Egypt, the law says no minor can change religion except with their guardian's permission. Also, any person wishing to convert must be allowed a session with a religious instructor (a priest) before the conversion is official. Apart from the fact that a minor can't marry without a guardian's permission.

So given all the above, you'd think it's a clear cut matter. The law has been violated and the perpetrators have to be brought to justice. Right? Wrong!

Why? Well, there are 3 problems facing the Copts in Egypt:
1) The fundamentalists: they hate all that is civilised and different from them. A bunch of people so entrenched in ignorance. They think it's their duty to strike terror in the hearts of all who don't share their beliefs. In order to do this, they kill Copts (have you heard of Al Kosheh massacre?) burn their homes, churches businesses, and of course kidnap their daughters and sometimes wives and forcibly convert them.

2) The government: they have a great philosophy when it comes to the Copts "don't know, don't care". It doesn't concern them because the Copts have never really spoken up or complained before. We've been a pretty tame quiet bunch you see. And of course there are the matters of corruption and bribes.

3) Good, moderate Muslims: You might wonder, why are they a problem? Well they're the ones who are so fond of telling US how great Islam is and that no way would a true Muslim commit such crimes, and that these people are not true Muslims....Etc.

They're the people I want to direct this message to.
Believe me, we know about the Quranic verses that say you shouldn't force anyone to believe, and that Christians and Jews are people of the book and Muslims have to be good to them... (la ikrah fi el deen, and Allah yahdy man yasha'a) we know all that...we studied it at school and know it like the back of our hands.

But what good does that do us? Do you really think those fundamentalists give a damn? You think they're there going
-"Listen Mustafa, we go at dawn and burn that guy's shop...you know he's a Copt, and infidel...he deserves it"
-"No wait here Hassan. It says here that Copts are people of the book and we have to be good to them. Besides he's a neighbor and the Prophet talked about 7Aq el gar"
-"oh ok...we'd better not then"

please guys, we know you're good people and you have the best intentions. But your denial of our plight hurts just as much as the actual abuse we suffer. At least admit there is a problem so we can all solve it together.

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