الأربعاء، يوليو ٠٥، ٢٠٠٦

My Moment of Selfish Gratitude

Armed with my copy of the very first issue of The Independant Copt magazine, I settled on the couch to have a good read. My wonderful hubby and princess Angel were watching her favorite cartoon and it was a nice cold, but sunny Saturday morning...so we were enjoying some peaceful time.

When I turned the page to the article "The Village of Qus" (page 12), the pain started to mingle with the warmth of the moment and my pride in this magazine. I read on...read horriffic events...inhumane...suffering...pain....pain...pain..

The local director of intelligence of Qus became angry with the Bishop...he told Bishop Wissa 'As for the torture of Christians in Qus, you have seen nothing yet. There is plenty more to come'

He saw how the son and daughter of Buktor had been tortured. They (the police) had tortured the girl with electrical wires

Five charges of terrorism were filed against His Grace Bishop Wissa

They found twenty victims. Eight were killed out in the farms, and twelve in the residential area

A young Christian boy was also shot to death on the spot while riding his bicycle

Another person was so totally burned away that only o ne bone remained

Witnesses who had seen the actual shootings, their testemonies were denied. Forensic evidence was changed

Twenty one Christians were killed and nobody was held accountable

(Excerpts from The Independant Copt pages 12-17)


Just then, something amusing happened on the TV and my Angel jumped up and started giggling...innocent eyes filled with laughter.

I don't know why, but I started to imagine raising her in Egypt...

I tried to imagine having to tell her that she has no rights in her own home

I tried to imagine having to hide her in the house and hope and pray that the door won't break down any minute...while our neighbours pillaged our stores and terrorised us

I tried to imagine her beautiful eyes looking at blood soaked streets and wondering what it all meant

I tried to imagine having to tell her, her father won't be coming back home from the field because someone...probably one of our neighbors...shot him in cold blood

I tried to imagine telling her never to expect justice

I tried to imagine telling her that she doesn't count...because of her faith...she doesn't count

I tried to imagine she was riding her bicycle..... and I couldn't even imagine that!

Through my tears I found myself selfishly thanking the Lord I don't have to tell her any of it...Then I shed more tears for the mothers that do!


Blogger CMinor said...

Welcome back--I'm glad to see you're posting again, though I wasn't glad to read the subject matter. How horrible. I couldn't bring up the pdf of the magazine (outdated software, I think) but the quotes were enough. It makes one feel guilty to be safe and free when others are not. Guess I've got my prayer orders for the next week.

يوليو ٠٧, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous muslim said...

Please come and leave in Egypt, even for a week.

يوليو ٠٩, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous Red said...

It's easy to respond to our friend "muslim"'s invitation to Nefer to go and live in Egypt "even for a week" by inviting him to live outside Egypt even for a week- The problem I and lots of Egyptian expats like me have is the wide spread apathy amongst Egyptians, acquired over the past few decades, manifested in the very thinking of muslim who implies that life in Egypt is as good as it gets !! wiping out any thoughts of demanding better life for themselves and their kids, whilst Neferteeti demands, rightfully, nothing less than what she's experienced outside Egypt.
Muslim, read the post again, and think, just think that the murdered young boy is your own brother- I dont think you'd wish to live in Egypt even for a week

يوليو ٠٩, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

thanx for your comments everyone.

Muslim: i have lived in Egypt...for 18 years not a week!!

يوليو ٠٩, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous muslim said...


Yes, I hated myself when I read that post, but please let me tell you something .. These accidents don't reflect the everyday life in a 70-million-citizen country.

I see christians everywhere from the moment I wake up till I go to bed, I deal with them all the time, I have a lot of christian friends, I visit them in their churches and I know alot about their feelings.

I really believe that those accidents don't represent Egypt honstly .. we are not in Iraq !!!

Let me tell you something, if you count the number of people killed everyday for other causes, that may be unbelievably trivial, you will be shocked. Open the newspaper and you will find alot of "A man killed his brother for 15 LE" - "A man killed his mother because she asked him to stop smoking" - "A mother killed her children to escape with her boyfriend" ... etc. But all of that doesn't really represent the mainstream of the Egyptian people.

If you wish, I may give you the emails of my coptic friends to ask them if they feel afraid or not.

Yes, I believe you did, and I believe too that your life was completely normal, wasn't it?

يوليو ٠٩, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous Muslim in the land of Allah said...


Hi everyone ...

How are you Queen Nefertiti? I hope all is fine with you .. Pete .. Xavier .. Sarah .. muslim and the rest.

I was away for a while (a long while I may add) where the last post on your blog that I commented on was that of Saturday, April 01, 2006 titled "The Bible in the Quran:…Why the Holy Bible is not a fake"

I am glad to see another Muslim here as expected :))) as there are 1.5 Billion Muslims around the world .. thank God only two are using the name here :))))

I will rename myself as "Muslim in the land of Allah" to be able to enjoy the comments of my muslim friend and have others identify comments when they are willing to direct an answer back.

Now, I can’t cover all the subjects I missed while not here, though I saw the Queen directing a greeting to me in the person of my muslim friend and I thank her for that, as also answering on my behalf that I was not the one who was emailing her and sending the tapes with the speech and so.

I would like to note that the above moderate attitude by the Egyptian Queen is a main reason for me to always go back to her blog and read and participate, when possible. Her natural ethics are very encouraging indeed.

يوليو ٠٩, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous muslim in the land of Allah said...

I can’t deny that the subjects of the Christian Copts and the Muslims Copts are not ones that I would want to participate in, however, as I read many of Bent’s posts about it, I was forced to wonder how can a government (that is apparently a combination of Muslims only) would support the killing of Christians and other aggressive acts and conspiracies against them to the extent of extending the support of the police to those who are doing so? I mean, in any country, it is a matter of national security and social environment stability rather than supporting the majority against a minority to the extent of crime, and the government is happy !!!!!!!!!!!

You remind me of the countries with aggressive wars against beliefs where women, children, the innocent and the old are included in the killing like:
• Afghanistan
• Kashmir
• Chechnya
• Iraq
• Israel/Palestine
• Uzbekistan/Central Asia


This is horrific if it is happening in Egypt by Muslims against Christians !!!!!!!! Not accepted and not justified in any manner !!!!!

I would like to ask a question here directed to the Christian Copts; if the situation in Egypt is that bad to the extent of forcing most of you to run away to other countries to bring up your children safely without fear, What is/are the solution(s) from your point of view(s)?

Addressing the problem only doesn’t solve it, and in your case, I can see it is continuous without any one to stop those people. It is a kind of a cold but bloody war – if I am right – where the country is not identified as a war place (though on the hazardous areas list). I don’t know, correct me if I am wrong “!!” but if I were you, I certainly would have suggestions for a solution.

يوليو ٠٩, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger xavier said...

As a non-Copt I can answer the question of what the solution for Copts to live in peace in Egypt
1) Get rid of the imams and all those that preach hatred against the Copts
2) Forget the slogan islam is the solution; for the Copts it's the problem!
3) Repudiate dimmitude forever and stop discriminating the Christians for being Christians
4) Stop kidnapping Copt women and girls and forcing them to convert against their wills. Prosecute all those involved
5) Repudiate the brotherhood and all those who advocate a shar'ia society
6) Get rid of the corruption- political and economic
7) Stop killing the Christians and attacking their property.

يوليو ١١, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger CMinor said...

Hear, hear.

يوليو ١١, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Egypeter said...

Muslim in the Land of Allah:

Thank you for your post and your concern. It's been a little while tsince we've seen you. Hope your exams went well. And you are absolutely right, simply acknowledging the problem will not solve anything. We need action. We need motivated people to get involved and demand our rights.

OK, look. Our dear beloved friend Xavier, who mind you, is not even Egyptian knows what needs to be done. He doesn't live in Egypt, neither do I, nor Red nor Neferteeti. We're all expats and we can tell you what needs to be done. So I am sure that all Egyptians know what needs to be done.

Besides Xavier's excellent starting points. I bet if you ask any Copt in Egypt they will tell you to:

1)Eliminate that STUPID Ottoman Era Hamoyouni Decree that will not let Copts build or even repair their churches. One can't walk 100 yards in Egypt without bumping into a mosque. There are no restrictions for building or repairing mosques so why are there these restrictions on churches. OBVIOUS discrimination, right?

2)How about eliminating "Religion" on state ID cards. What purpose does this really serve?? Any Egyptian can give you the true answer.

3)How about teaching Egypt's ACTUAL hisotry. Why does Egyptian history begin in 652 AD? Um, we had 5500 years of history prior to Amr Ibn-Al Ass's invasion of Egypt.

4)How about appointing an appropriate number of Copts to governmental, educational, local ministries. Maybe a type of Affirmative Action, like we have in the US, could serve Egypt well. Is it not fair that Copts have equal representation or is political representation a right of only the muslims in Egypt?

5)How about getting rid of the hatred that Imams put out on TV. Xavier hit this point nicely. Stop teaching little kids how to murder. Stop teaching them to hate Christians and Jews. How about stop using the term "Kaffir" and "Pigs and monkeys." These terms only incite hatred, hatred by all group.

Have you seen this video? Please watch this video to see what Xavier and I mean. I found it on Little Green Football's Blog. Here's the link.


Please click on the video and watch it.

There ya go. You asked for some solutions. I hope I gave you some decent starting points. We need everyone's help, good Muslims and all moderates to help free Egypt from darkness and hatred.


يوليو ١١, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger xavier said...

To add to what Egypter says: the concept of jayyaliya also has to be repudiated. It's very, very hard to Egyptian kids to accept that Egyptian history begin in 652 when you have the pyramids as well as other structures of ancient Egypt.

To state the problem rather vulgarly, I find it rather patronizing that nomadic desert herders invaded Egypt (and Syria, Iraq) and then tell the inhabitants to absolutely forget about the past because what came before islam is an insult to God. If that doesn't work, a few pogroms and selective destruction of the physical objects of the so called jayyaliya period will suffice.



يوليو ١١, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous Muslim in the Land of Allah said...

Dear Pete of Egypt, it is always my pleasure to engage in a conversation with you, especially that you – like Bent – exercise the tone of conversation that I would like to be a part of, despite the argument itself. Talking things out together makes us friends rather than anything else! I only wish you were able to give yourself a name of a Pharaohnic King because you hold the ethics of a King by nature.

I do always give the utmost attention and respect when talking to anyone (after Prophet Muhammad’s attitude PBUH), not to mention posting an answer here! So I would like you to excuse me for a while for being over busy and not wanting to take your suggestions of a solution lightly. I would like to study a point by point and give the due response.

Just a little addition “muslim” (whom I stepped aside for using the name) is apparently a student and I join you in wishing him the best of the best. I am a bit older : )))) … stopped the exams stuff quite a while ago. So, except for Islamic studies (always a student of Islam and of the greatest teacher in my life; Prophet Muhammad PBUH) and other various courses choices of my own that helps my work development, I am no student in the common sense.

Will study your answer and post mine accordingly.

يوليو ١١, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous Muslim in the Land of Allah said...

Xavier .. may I humbly ask you what is “the concept of jayyaliya” ??? .. excuse my level of education which is apparently less than yours. But, I certainly know what the pyramids are : ))))) … your answer will allow more comprehension of the rest of your text !!!

Will also study your points one by one and give the due response.

يوليو ١١, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger xavier said...

Jalyyiya is the pre-Ismalic perio of ignorance. According to the imams, it's a period not worth remembering let along perserving. Look at what the Taliban did to the Budda statues. Or the Whabbi,s destroying the Mohammed's house and all the structures related to his life. Or the destruction of Jospeh's tomb.
Recently, someone close to the brotherhood in Egypt stated a fatwa which mused out loud about the ancient Egyptian pyramids and statues as unIslamic.


يوليو ١١, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous Muslim in the land of Allah said...

Cminor .. I have visited your blog. I can see that you and Dminor are contributors to the same blog and I liked the idea indeed, I assume you are a couple in some shape as you are a male and a female. But I guess you are not Egyptians, are you ?

I was going to leave the following comment on your blog but it doesn’t allow but bloggers and I am just a reader interested in other people’s thoughts with hardly having time to subscribe for a blog of my own and give it the due attention.

يوليو ١١, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous Muslim in the Land of Allah said...

To Cminor on her post (after her majesties permission, for I know how open her blog for everybody is)

"Shaw on Islam ?”

You raised a good point (though always zero comments on your posts) which interested me, concerning G. B. Shaw. I will get back to one of my scholars to discuss and investigate this issue (may take time though). Some common stereotyping may occur on the net, and as a Muslim, I am the best one to understand the suffering from stereotyping!! If was proven untrue and falsely addressed as a G.B. Shaw’s, I will have to let all my Muslim friends know and spread the word of not referring or using statements as told after G.B. Shaw or refer to this book; The Genuine Islam, as existing.

Believe it or not, it adds to G.B. Shaw to have edited such a book about Islam with such statements even if he has not embraced Islam, because it only shows high observation and non-bias, in addition to high ability in expressing deep ideas precisely and in short proving more and more how a great writer like Shaw masters the words and not vice versa. Meanwhile, it does not hurt Islam in any way if Shaw hasn’t written such a book, it is just the duty of Muslims to correct the spread false idea, if proven so.

But as you fairly mentioned, you made me doubt if this is true or not, and I am not stating here if it is true or not! Just the internet search showed no definite existence of the book. It takes better searching other than the internet which is a source of information but not the ultimate source and proof.

يوليو ١١, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Egypeter said...

Muslim in the land of Allah.

I apologize for getting you mixed up with our other muslim friend. I'm glad I can now distinguish between you two. And I still wish you luck on all your studies...even though you are not a "student" anymore in the traditional sense. Me too. I graduated from University in '98!! I can't believe how old I am these days. lol.

Anyway, I enjoy our discussions you are a kind and very reasonable person compared to some others I've met on this wonderful blog (I will give her name). Anyway, I look forward to your response to my suggestions on how to improve relations between muslims and christians in Egypt.

Copts simply want to live side by side in peace with their muslim brothers, as we've done in the past. That can't be too much to ask for, right?


يوليو ١٢, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger CMinor said...


Yes, I hated myself when I read that post,
That speaks well of you. You recognize a great wrong , and you recognize the victims as human beings. These feelings, unfortunately, are by no means universal.

These accidents don't reflect the everyday life
No one says they do. Yet that they occur from time to time is shocking enough.
That you use the term 'accidents' indicates an unwillingness or inability to place responsiblility where it is due. An accident is by definition 'an unpleasant and unintended happening, sometimes resulting from negligence.' I don't think you can dismiss an orchestrated campaign against a minority group that results in the intentional slaughter of twenty-one people as an accident. Look at it this way:
Recently the U. S. military has had a couple of highly-publicized cases in which small groups of servicemen were charged with atrocities. I'm sure you've heard of them. I don't think these cases reflect the U.S. Armed Forces generally, but I wouldn't dismiss them as accidents. They were crimes, pure and simple, and the perpetrators ought to be brought to justice. But if I were to call them accidents, or equate them with the latest shooting or stabbing in my local paper's police blotter, would you stand still for that?

I have a lot of christian friends, I visit them in their churches and I know alot about their feelings.
Perhaps. I don't know what sort of person you are; possibly your Christian friends would trust you with their lives. But perhaps there are things they don't share with you, simply because you aren't really equal before the law. (Even if on paper you are.) We in the U. S. have been through ethnic descrimination. We know.

Excuse me, Bent, for occupying your comment space, with a side topic, but..

Perhaps you need to reread my posts on Shaw. I was very clear on the point that his endorsement of Islam would not surprise me; he studied and endorsed a number of movements that were later discredited. Nor do I imply that the quotes are false-- merely that in order to stand academic scrutiny a citation needs to be readily verifiable. If the publication in question was a book written by Shaw, it ought to appear in a list of Shaw publications. I've gone through plenty, including a large library collection, and haven't found it. If it is a periodical is numbered 8 in a series, there ought to be a 1-7 out there, oughtn't there? Not found.

Net searches are not infallible, but they do cover a lot of territory. The contents of entire libraries can be searched. Some evidence of hardcopy ought to be locatable, even for a relatively obscure publication. Misquotes and misattributions are common enough that anyone seeking to use a quote ought to do the homework necessary to verify it.

يوليو ١٢, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Hey everyone

Muslim in the land of Allah: welcome back and thank you for your kind words. Looking forward to more discussions with you

Pete, Xavier and Cminor: As always you are all welcome to use this space for whatever thoughts you would like to express :)

Everyone, please excuse me for not participating just yet. I'm working on a long overdue post to respond to our friend Mohmmad's questions.

Do continue and I'll join you later :)
God Bless you all

يوليو ١٢, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger 麻辣鴨血Maggie said...


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