Commentary | Christians in Egypt and Nigeria continue to suffer at the hands of Islamists. In Egypt, Muslim mobs are rampaging through Coptic villages, while, in Nigeria, the radical Islamist terror group, Boko Haram, continues to blow up churches and slaughter Christians in their homes.
While the looting, bombing, burning, and killing continues to terrify millions of Christians in Egypt and Nigeria, the bloodshed has attracted little attention around the world. In Washington, D.C., both the Obama Administration and the State Department continue to blame the violence on poverty and social inequality rather than condemn Islamic supremacy for persecuting Christian minorities.
Nigeria and Boko Haram
The truth, however, is quite different. Despite the constant insistence by the White House that its all about social justice, Boko Haram was quite clear about their reasons for killing Christians in this chilling statement from their leadership, published recently in the Nigerian newspaper, The Osun Defender:
“The Nigerian state and Christians are our enemies and we will be launching attacks on the Nigerian state and its security apparatus as well as churches until we achieve our goal of establishing an Islamic state in place of the secular state.”
Taking their threats even further, Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, issued these demands to Nigeria’s lawfully elected, Christian President, Goodluck Jonathan:
“In an online video released last week, the militant Muslim group Boko Haram demanded that Nigeria’s Christian president either convert to Islam, or resign. [Boko] Haram head Abubakar Shekau told President Goodluck Jonathan to “repent and forsake Christianity,” otherwise Shekau’s followers would continue their violent campaign.”
Since the the attacks by Boko Haram began in 2009, over 1,000 Christians have been murdered in their homes and in their churches. Dozens of churches, and many hundreds of Christian homes, have also been destroyed. Jonathan Racho, the Africa analyst for International Christian Concern, spoke about the impact the violence is having on the lives of Nigeria’s Christians, saying, “Christians in Nigeria face daily Islamic attacks. I have seen hundreds of Christians homes and churches that are demolished.”
Another powerful reason for the Muslim violence in Nigeria was explained by Open Doors USA and Worldwatch spokesman, Jerry Dykstra:
“Africa’s most populous nation holds one of the keys to the Gospel’s spread in Africa. Nigeria is so vital to the spread of Christianity throughout Africa. Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa with about 150 million people. Nigeria is 51 percent Christian and around 45 percent Muslim.”
One of the few politicians to recognize that Islamic supremacy is behind the violence in Nigeria is Italy’s International Cooperation Minister, Andrea Riccardi, who said, “Christian blood has again been spilled in Nigeria according to a now clear plan of ethnic and religious cleansing. The international community can no longer look on at this massacre of innocent people without intervening.”
Egypt and the Plight of The Copts
While 75 million Christians are being terrorized in Nigeria, Egypt’s 10 million Coptic Christians are not faring any better. Recent reports indicate that over 100,000 Copts have already fled the country since the election of Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohammad Morsi, as President of Egypt. It is sad day day for the nation when a noble peopl, with a history in Egypt that began hundreds of years before the existence of Islam are forced to flee their homeland in fear for their lives.
The latest round of anti- Christian violence began in July when Copts were victims of what has now become known as the “Shirt Sedition.” It satarted when a Christian launderer accidentally burned a Muslim’s shirt. AINA (Assyrian International News Agency) describes what happened next:
“The sectarian incident which, now called the “shirt sedition,” started on July 27 in Dahshur, Badrasheen, 40 km south of Cairo, after the Coptic launderer Sameh Samy inadvertently burned the shirt of his Muslim client Ahmad Ramadan. Although they agreed to meet in the evening to settle the claim, Ramadam did not wait but came back in the afternoon to fight. After some 3000 armed Muslims surrounded the Copt’s home and launderette, he locked himself up in his home. As the fight intensified on both sides with Molotov cocktails, the Copt hurled one fire bomb from the roof of his house, which hit the 25-year-old Moaz, who happened to be passing by. He was taken to hospital, suffering third degree burns. After his death in hospital, Muslim brotherhood clerics and his family vowed to exact revenge, causing 120 terrorized Christian families to flee the village, with only one Christian family remaining behind according to the village priest Takla Abdel-Sayed.”
The already explosive situation took a turn for the worse on August 14 when Egyptian newspaper, El Fegr, revealed that Islamist groups were distributing leaflets calling for the killing of Coptic Christians who refused to convert to Islam. Inquisitr contributor Raymond Ibrahim revealed details of the leaflets inciting Muslims to violence against Christians:
“Titled ‘An Urgent and Important Notice,’ it begins by calling on ‘all brothers and sisters’ to ‘kill or physically attack the enemies of the religion of Allah—the Christians in all of Egypt’s provinces, the slaves of the Cross, Allah’s curse upon them…’ It proceeds to promise a monetary reward for whoever helps ‘achieve Allah’s rights against his enemies.’ “
Since the publication of the leaflets, Coptic Villages in Egypt have been under siege. Muslim mobs have used the slightest provocation as an excuse to go on a rampage of looting , burning, and killing. Journalist Fady Talaat gave the details of one incident for AL Akhbar News:
“In Al Gallaweya Village, Sohag, Upper Egypt, Christians are being beaten, their stores destroyed, and their properties plundered. The attackers are declaring that ‘any Christian who dares to leave his house will be killed’; and the Copts are complaining that the police only arrive after the damage has been completely done.”
It is apparent the the Copts in Egypt are being pushed to the breaking point, and the possibility of extreme violence is growing day by day. Coptic Christian law professor and former member of parliament, Georgette Qellini, spoke of the growing frustration, saying:
“We were previously told that it was the old regime and security authorities which stirred sedition to divert the attention from existing problems facing the government. Now that regime has gone, so who now is the culprit? We flatly refuse collective punishment of Copts. Just because I share some one’s religion, I have to pay the price of losing my home and my job.”
A Silent World
Despite the impotent denials of Western leaders, the Islamists are moving forward with an organized plan to eradicate Christianity in Muslim dominated countries. Churches are burned to the ground, and Christian worshipers are blown to bits on a regular basis in Egypt and Nigeria. In Syria, foreign jihadists are killing Christians with impunity, and large segments of Syria’s Christian population are on the verge of panic. At last report, there was only one Christian church still standing in the entire nation of Afghanistan. Iran is arresting Christians for praying in their homes, and a Christian pastor remains on death row since 2009 for refusing to renounce his faith.
The world was silent in 1939 when Hitler made his plans to wipe Europe’s Jews off the face of the Earth. Will the world remain silent again as the Middle East’s remaining Christians are slowly and silently annihilated? This is not about poverty or economic opportunity, despite the State Department’s weak muttering to the contrary. This is about Muslim extremists, who now hold sway over the lives of millions of Christians. The leaders of groups like the Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood may disguise their goals when they speak to the West, but anyone who has read their pronouncements in Arabic knows exactly what they intend for non-Muslims; and frankly, it is quite frightening. The nations of the world must defend the lives of Christians, and people, everywhere and stop making feeble excuses for Islamic supremacy.