How many times have we heard about Islam’s wonderful history of tolerance? About the times–long, long ago and far, far away, evidently–when Muslim majorities lived in peace with Jews, Christians and others? Unfortunately, in the Arab countries where more or less secular governments have recently been overthrown, it is fanaticism, not tolerance, that seems to be carrying the day.
Yesterday in Cairo, twelve people were killed in riots that were precipitated by Muslims who fire-bombed two Christian churches:
The attack on the church was the latest sign of assertiveness by an extreme, ultraconservative movement of Muslims known as Salafis, whose increasing hostility toward Egypt’s Coptic Christians has met with little interference from the country’s military rulers. …
The bloodshed began Saturday around sundown when word spread around the neighborhood that a Christian woman who married a Muslim had been abducted and was being kept in the Virgin Mary Church against her will.
The report, which was never confirmed by local religious figures, sent a large mob of Muslims toward the church. Christians created a human barricade around the building and clashes erupted. Gunfire sounded across the neighborhood, and witnesses said people on rooftops nearby were firing into the crowd.
This video shows the fire in one of the churches (I believe the Virgin Mary or Saint Mary church) after it was set alight by the Muslim mob:
Thankfully, the Copts are pretty good at defending themselves. For now, Egypt’s interim government has tried to preserve order (albeit rather ineffectually) and has not taken sides between the religious groups. But what will happen if the Muslim Brotherhood dominates the eventual post-Mubarak government?
As I have said many times, I cannot explain why nearly all American Christians are indifferent to the persecution of their fellow Christians around the world.