Thursday, March 10, 2011

Post revolution Egyptian constitution! it really makes no difference for coptic christians of Egypt.

In Egypt, when protests were going in Tahrir square for removal of Hosni Mubarak, which even entranced some Indians after spoon-fed by main stream media thought of those protests as struggle against oppression and corruption and wished similar protests take place in India too, Coptic Christians of Egypt, who constitute about 10% of population, faced a dilemma about whether to join the protests or not against the regime of Mubarak.

One of the reasons forwarded by proponents of continuation of Mubarak's rule is that his Govt. is secular and the future Govt. replacing Mubarak's might be an Islamist one like Muslim Brotherhood i.e. whose political or even overall outlook is based on orthodox Islam where religion is inseparable from state. These proponents believe that Islam and democracy are incompatible and democracy with popular elections gives the way to Islamists taking control of govt.. These proponents do not realize that they are not owners of definition and concept of democracy because instinctively they equate democracy to western secular democracy with which Islam is definitely  incompatible. A cursory look at constitution of Egypt, esp. article 2, during Mubarak's reign and ground situation that prevailed in Egypt will tell that neither Egypt nor Mubarak's reign were secular; all one has to do is to simply ask Coptics. So, what is the basis for supporting Mubarak's Govt. and giving support to opposition that was bent on his removal? What more can make existing complex situation more complex? After all, Mubarak's reign was one hell for Coptic Christians.

The other views besides the view of incompatibility of Islam and democracy are future governments might be less friendly towards west or even to the possible extent that they might be hostile, they might support, openly or covertly, Islamic terrorism and other acts of violence against west and, finally and most importantly, they might be repealing peace treaties that exist with Israel and start supporting groups like Hamas and Hezbollah which openly call for destruction of state of Israel. In shorter explanation, Egypt can become Arabic version of  Iran (Iran and other Islamists consistently described protests as nothing short of an Islamic revolution or Islamic awakening).

[[[Note: One can read below news reports {{{Iranian hypocrisy is completely is evident all the time; it supported the protests against existing regimes in other countries and termed them as will of nation and people while conveniently forgetting its own crackdown on protests by opposition (which claimed that elections were rigged) in June, 2009. And, even now, present regime called for death sentence to leaders of opposition if they protest again taking cue from protests in other countries (here, here, here and here)}}}:
Mubarak may be a dictator but he never allowed Hamas or any other Islamic militant group to get any material support from Egypt for use against USA or Israel. He was ruthless against Islamic militancy. All these weigh massively in the opinions of Israel and its allies and also countries like Saudi Arabia or here (Of course, Saudi king opposed the protests against Mubarak) and Gulf kingdoms.

At the same time, religious minorities in Egypt faced persecution and discrimination. Construction of new churches was never allowed; even to repair or renovate an existing church, Coptics needed to take permission from Govt. The choice of Muslims converting to Christianity was never respected nor recognized; in many cases, such people were persecuted by state security apparatus like denying them new ID cards and confiscating their pass ports. Even courts refused to accept the notion of religion of freedom as article 2 of Egypt declares Egypt an Islamic nation and Islam as its official religion.

It was a recurring and common theme in Egypt for Muslims to kidnap Coptic Christian girls and force them in to marriage with Muslim boys after forced conversion to Islam. Islamic mob violence against Christians was common. Similarly, vandalism against churches and properties of Christians is also not uncommon. Despite this reality, some elements of Mubarak's Govt. held Christians as responsible for all these and accused them of conspiring against state by stockpiling arms and ammunition (here; Raymond Ibrahim brilliantly articulates on this dangerous trend.).

It is with this background, at least in the early phase of protests, that Coptics rallied against Mubarak hoping for a more secular Govt.. But, their hope might be feeble optimism as one can see the direction of current discussion taking place in Egypt regarding article 2 of Egyptian constitution which declares Islam as state religion; just like Islamists in Pakistan opposing repealing of  blasphemy law, Islamists in Egypt are opposing removal of  article 2. For their part, Coptic Christians called for secular constitution.

It is true that some of protesters or some Egyptians are seeking secular constitution but from nowhere it is clear that this entire Egyptian revolution is completely secular and free from influences of Islamic supremacist ideology like main stream media, esp. The New York Times (here), portrayed. Some Egyptians, who settled in USA, successfully sold the idea that revolution has nothing to do with Islam and religion to the public. But, the signs to 'what future constitution and governments will be' are too many to be missed out and conceived and this possibility of Islamist parties forming Govt. was recognized by Obama's Government too(here); of course who could miss out pew opinion poll which revealed that 85% of Muslims in Egypt favor death penalty to Muslims who convert to another religion which essentially tells about the extent to which Islamic supremacist (totalitarian) doctrines hold sway over Muslims. With this background, to argue that secular democracy will be coming to Egypt or, in more general terms, Islam and secular democracy are compatible is illogical and naive.

Finally, for Cotpics and women of Egypt the situation goes only from bad to worse. If majority of Egyptians seek Islamic system in one or other way then we are nobody to complain! But, the question remains about degree of extent of Islam in Islamic system. When Islamic system takes shape, media with its political correctness, foolishness and duplicity will continue to try to keep public in ignorance by omitting news that really throws light on Islamic supremacist doctrines; this really matters.

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