Is this Egypt that we knew?
By: Mohamed S. Kamel*
Montreal, December 10th, 2010
When I look at what is going on in Iraq, in Pakistan, in Palestine, when I see Marwa Al Sherbini killed in a German court on July 7th 2009, I get confused. Are we in the 21st century? Or are we back in time, hundreds of years before Jesus Christ?
When I saw Egyptian police use live ammunition on Christian Coptic protesters, killing 4 of them in al-Omraneyya, in November 2010, I got confused. Is this Egypt? Is this our country that we all know, and where we grew up together, Egyptian, Christian and Muslims?
The Egypt I knew and the Egyptian I knew were completely different. The Egypt I knew is the one where we all leaved together in harmony.
Let me tell you how I grew-up in Cairo:
I am a Muslim. I practice my religion. I was raised with Christian neighbours. We grew-up together and we still maintain a strong relation.
In high school, my closest friends were Christian. I remember praying at my Christian friend’s home, in Egypt and in Montreal as well. I attended several lectures by Pope Shenouda, (Wednesday weekly sermon). I read the Bible, the old and the new testimony.
In university, our Christian classmates where fasting with us during Ramadan, and they were enjoying it. We made many jokes. I remember Mohsen, jokingly saying: “Ramadan is the greatest month, you Muslims fast and suffer and we enjoy sweet and Quizzes (Fawazeer)”
But what happened? Let us go back to see what caused us to reach this division that starts to grow.
Do we remember Alzawya Alhamra in June 1981? Do we remember the surrounding environment? Let me take you back to this time and let us find the relation.
When Anwar Sadat took power and just after October 1973, he had only one goal on his mind, to kill all opposition, at that time the only real opposition to his plans were the left wing. So he started arming thugs in universities to practice bullying. This opened the road to a new form of politics in Egypt. He then advanced his plan to sign Camp David Accords on September 18th, 1978.
After signing Camp David Accords, he begged Pope Shenouda to encourage Egyptian Christian to perform pilgrimage (Haj to Al Quds). He refused, and he refuse to allow them doing so, because this will create a huge drift between Muslims and Christian.
Sadat promised Egyptians that with Camp David accord, Egypt will flourish. He failed in Camp David and feared people’s anger. He played the old game; let’s turn people against each other. So he turned his failure in Camp David into a huge success of turning Egyptian against each other.
In early 1981 was “Alzawya Alhamra”. Then on September 5th 1981, Sadat exiled Pope Shenouda. In October 6th, he was killed.
And now, there is the new regime that has fooled people for more than 30 years and that didn’t do better than his predecessor. Supports Israel and attacks all Egyptians, attacks all their rights.
In January 2010, another attack on Naj Hammadi church left 6 people dead and a scared and angry population. Yes, they have the right to be angry! But we are angry on whom? That is the question!
During this period, the regime continued its support to a new generation of so called Islamic groups, but when the real political Islamic movement (The Muslim Brotherhood) entered the political arena, the government started a new wave of harassment against them.
Through all this and from time to time, we are faced with fabricated problems: the building of a Church, somebody changing his/her religion, some screams “they are kidnapping our girls”. Some claiming that Christians are preparing for a civil war and are Weapons is stores inside the churches. Others are claiming that Muslim Brotherhood will suspend religious and human rights and will oppress Non-Mulsims.
By the way recently, Pope Shenouda, quoted from the Quran in his weekly sermon: “Let the People of the Bible adjudicate according to what God revealed therein. And whoever does not adjudicate in accordance to what God reveals, they are among the corrupt” (5: 47). And in an interview published last June he stated that “We simply ask the judges, if they want to reconcile with the Church, to apply the Islamic shariah.”
So where is the conflict between Egyptians, it is all a fabricated problem manufactured by the Egyptian corrupted regime, so Egyptians turn against each other and they suppress democracy, destroy what remained of Egypt.
When I stand in the face of the discrimination against Canadian Muslims, I do that not because I am a Muslim but because they have rights, and because this is the true Islam. So I shouldn’t be hesitant in supporting Egyptian Christian in their rights to practice their religions and build their churches.
Ignorance is the reason behind all these problems. Neither Islam nor Christianity calls for citizens to turn against one another. Both religions came from the only God to teach people how to live together.
Who said love your neighbours? Jesus (ASW) said it and Mohamed (ASW) said it.
Some people consider it insensitive to say that it is not the problem of the Christian but is the problem of an entire country. Sorry it is the reality. Yes, there is discrimination against Christian, but because human rights are not respected we all are suffering. It is our homeland country that is burning under a tyrant who is killing all Egyptians for the wellbeing of our enemy.
In Egypt everything have been sold, all Egypt natural resources are not for Egyptian anymore, most Egyptian don’t have their basic needs to survive. 60% under poverty line, this is the problem.
We all have the right to be angry because of what is going on, but why are we getting mad of each other? We should turn our anger to the cause, the Egyptian regime.
When a regime loses the battle, they try to divide people. Our enemy is one and we should fight this regime as one.
No one will ever have rights unless all Egyptian gain their rights in human life, respect and democracy. Only then you will feel safe and Egypt will belong once again to us.
When the corrupted kingdom of Europe attacked our land under the false slogan of the so called “Crusaders”, All Egyptians stood together hand in hand. Let’s remember how in 1919 All Egyptians reacted to the division introduced and encouraged by the palace and the occupation. In the 1940th, Egyptian Christians were members of the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.
What is the difference between us and our parents and grandparents? There is only one difference. They understood, but we can’t understand this dirty game and we are falling in the trap.
They understood that when they turn against each other, they all lose. When they stand together Egypt prospers and Egyptians gain their rights.
So let us stand hand in hand to turn the black days of Egypt into the flourish days and to live together and survive the economical and political crisis. Let us fight together, this dictator in Egypt and let us fight together his supporter, from within the corrupted regime and the international forces of devil.
Believe me, if we don’t wake up and put our forces in the right direction. We will be Iraq, Lebanon and Sudan, we will kill each other and we will be divided into two or even three countries and then we all will lose.
* Mohamed S. Kamel: is a Freelance writer, the editor of I.N. Daily, he is a professional engineer, a LEED Green Associate and a recognized project manager professional, he is Member of several civil society organizations, a co-founder of the Canadian Egyptian for Democracy (CEFD), Canadian Egyptian for Change (Tagheer-Canada), Alternative Perspective Media (APM-RAM), , Quebec Antiwar movement “Échec à la Guerre”, Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine “CJPP” and ex-president and co-founder of the Canadian Muslim Forum. He could be reached at email@example.com