From the blog Besaraha … let`s speak honestly
When a Copt writes or addresses the rights of Copts, he or she often receives a variety of comments revolving around a single idea that can be summarized in the following:
Yes, Christians are persecuted, but Muslims are persecuted, the Copts do not get their rights just like Muslims. Copt sufferings are only part of the suffering of all Egyptians, so don’t be sectarian in addressing these issues and talk about your problems only!
In fact, this view is delusional, if the conditions of Muslims are tragic, then Copts’ conditions are a disaster.
Copts are suffering just like the rest of the Egyptians from the absence of democracy and the bad side of high prices, unemployment and polluted air and crowded transportation and road accidents, police abuses and lack of services and going through the hardest times in the governmental public hospitals. They also drink the contaminated drinking water from pumps, that is contaminated with sanitation. They eat like others, the bread that is made of carcinogenic wheat, vegetables sown by sanitation water and sprayed with the internationally banned pesticide, etc.
In addition to the general suffering that is common between Copts and the rest of the Egyptians, there is an additional suffering that plagues Copts, which is religious racism and discrimination, such as preventing Copts from building churches for praying, and the intransigence and procrastination in the issuance of permits for the construction or the renovation of churches; and even preventing them from praying in their homes, suffering from death upon their identity and collective punishment, and protection of the government to the aggressors and the loss of their rights and attacking their faith in the state-owned media, etc…
Copts suffer twice, they suffer once because they are Egyptians and again because they are Copts.
But when religious racism is added to the rest of the social problems that the Egyptian people suffer from, it becomes more difficult for Christians than others; it creates the distinction between Muslims and Christians, to get what is essentially a small, corrupt and non-human being.
The unemployment problem is tougher for Christians than Muslims. When a Muslim employer responds to the fatwas of the clerics that accuse Christians of being infidels, and refuses to hire the “Christian infidels” in his factory, company, and even shop or bakery, to become a priority for Muslims in jobs that are already scarce, it also prevents the Coptic from employment in many government departments, police, judicial bodies and state-owned media.
The deterioration of health services in government hospitals is at an inhumane level. It becomes tougher for Christians when the inhumane negligence by the fully veiled nurses and doctors with long beards are added to the failure and carelessness taking place in public hospitals – to the pain of the “Christian” patient – and give priority to the Muslim patient to gain an access to contaminated needles and medicine and wrong prescriptions.
The absence of true democracy made the parliamentary elections filled with bullying, forgery, closed ballots and distorting propaganda, in addition to the racist religious propaganda promoted by members of both the Muslim Brotherhood group and the ruling National Democratic Party, which are the main subversive propaganda that would prevent any Copt to reach parliament.
The dirty and immoral sexual harassment that women and girls suffer from in Egypt is the hardest, especially for Coptic Girls, because they are halal – “allowed to harass them” – according to some Salafi extremist sheikhs. Even when they address the issue in the media or the Internet, you find them very furious about sexual harassment of veiled women, as if harassing Copts is a normal and acceptable deed!
Lack of professionalism in the Egyptian press, which plagues everyone in Egypt, affects the Copts in attacks on their faith and their church. And the dissemination of lies, which exonerates the perpetrators and accuses the victims of all attacks that occur to them by the Muslims, which the press calls “communal clashes” in the framework of a crude shameless effort to twist the facts and to justify attacks on the Copts.
The dangerous journey between one center to another in a microbus driven by a stoned driver becomes more of a nuisance for Copts, especially when the driver plays a tape of a sheikh insulting the Christian religion, without being able to open his mouth to object, to avoid aggravating the passengers who would accuse him of objecting the words of God!
As a final example, all Egyptians now live in fear of the spread of the H1N1 virus, and while it inflicts Coptic Christians, like the rest of the Egyptians, the Copts are more affected, as the government exploited the issue to eliminate the livestock owned by Copts and the destruction of garbage recycling industry, whose pioneers were Copts … A foolish decision, which Egypt is now suffering from its consequences after the accumulation of tons of garbage, which was devoured by pigs before they were culled.
The demands of the Copts, Nubians, Bedouins and the Mahalla workers, tax collectors, circus artists and ambulance workers, etc. are national demands and meeting them is for the good of our homeland and to improve the conditions of its people.
And the demands of the Copts are:
Is this too much?
It is not a shame for Copts to demand their rights …
**translated by Mohamed Abdel Salam
خالص الشكرا للموقع وأسرة تحريره وبخاصة الأستاذ / محمد عبد السلام الذى قام بترجمة التدوينة.
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