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In the new modern, moderate, secular, democratic Egypt of the Arab Spring, Muslims in Qena are enraged and protesting because a Christian governor has been appointed for them. It was yet another indication that the Egypt that will emerge from this season of revolution and upheaval is much more likely to be an Islamic state than a secular democracy, no matter how much the mainstream media fantasizes about the latter.
The protests have been vehement, if not violent. Reuters reported Sunday that “thousands rallied outside the governor’s office in Qena and prevented employees from entering, blocked highways leading to the town and sat on a railway line into the province demanding that the appointment of Emad Mikhail be reversed.” A local resident added: “They started out by camping at the local government’s office. Then they set up a tent on the railroad tracks. They also tried to block the road and stopped buses to separate men and women passengers.” And “tensions were so high that the local Christian residents had to stay inside and couldn’t go to church to celebrate Palm Sunday.”
Reuters suggested that the protesters were angry about government corruption, claiming that the protesters were outraged because the last Christian governor in the area “left a negative impression of Christian officials,” but AP let the cat out of the bag on Monday when it noted that “many” of the protesters were “from the ultraconservative Salafi trend of Islam.”
For the mainstream media, one is “ultraconservative” for adhering to Islamic law and wanting to impose it on others, and likewise “ultraconservative” for resisting the imposition of that law. But anyway, why would “ultraconservative” Islamic supremacists be outraged over a Christian governor? Because Islamic law forbids non-Muslims to hold authority over Muslims. This is in accord with the Qur’anic command that Muslims fight the People of the Book – the Qur’an’s term for primarily Jews and Christians, until they “feel themselves subdued” (9:29).
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