A rally by Christians was stoned in Egypt today…

Twenty-nine people were injured in Cairo on Thursday when residents clashed with a group of Christians marching through the capital to commemorate those who died in confrontations with the army on Oct. 9, state news agency MENA said.

“The locals in the neighborhood of Bulak attacked the group on their way to the square and threw stones at them,” a security source told Reuters.

Why do they always write “clashed”? It’s no “clash” if one side’s brutalised and the other’s barely scratched.

I’ve been writing on the anti-Christian persecution – which, in practice, comes down to “anti-someone-who’s-not-a-member-of-my-faith” persecution – in the Middle East and Asia and this is a sobering example of the vicious intolerance that it expresses. These marchers were attacked for having the audacity to, er – protest against the massacre of their co-believers. This simple demonstration of sadness and anger in response to such a grave atrocity is, to their assailants, outrageous! Yeah. Just being is enough to make them objects of hate. When intolerance reaches a level where it’s reminiscent of an allergy it’s a fearsome thing.

By the way, I feel compelled to acknowledge this piece on Al Jazeera. I’ve complained before that anti-Christian persecution doesn’t get enough attention, so perhaps I should be glad it’s being noticed. But of all the angles that a commentator might have taken, I didn’t expect victim-blaming…

The [Copts’] peaceful march [in October, before the massacre] was meant to ‘protest’ the burning of an annex building about to be converted into a church, but in reality – since the state had already started investigations about the criminals – their march simply endeavoured to reassert their difference, their right to be Coptic and not be punished for it; Coptic and proud, born this way, and willing to fight for their right to exist freely in Egypt.

Hrm – what could inspire that? The churches which are burned and bombed? The monks and worshippers gunned down? The Christian homes and businesses attacked? Yeah, actually, I think a Copt could feel they must defend their right to exist freely. After all – they’re not given it! For the author, though, such protests are suggestive of…

…a liberal project of identity politics – a politics based around the notion that irreducible differences occur naturally in society, that the interest-groups coalescing around them have specific needs and rights…To many Third-World ‘minorities’, this type of contemporary Anglo-Saxon liberal thought represents a certain temptation, a flirtation with a distant, spectacular and utopian modernity…It is in that sense that liberalism is killing the Copts: in cheering them to embrace their estrangement from Egyptian society, to value their alienation as an end in itself, and to seek the legal support of the state in establishing their difference as a social fact.

Now, hey, don’t get me wrong – I’m no fan of identity politics. Here’s the thing, though: these guys aren’t saying they should get special privileges because of their identity. Their wishes are a bit simpler than that. They’re saying they should have right – as yer average Egyptian does – to live and worship without fear of guns, bombs and rampaging mobs. When they’re being subjected to guns, bombs and rampaging mobs, you can’t blame the guys for feeling alienated and demanding support. What would the author do? Shake the hand that shoots?

This obscuring – inadvertent or otherwise – of massive and often murderous persecution doesn’t stop the author from condemning “anti-immigration” sentiment in Europe. I guess anything makes sense once you’ve decided “Anglo-Saxons” and their “liberal thought” are at the root of everything.

About these ads