Islam’s Slave-Soldiers Return to Egypt

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). 


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In both cases, Egypt’s Christians suffer the most, especially under the concept of “collective punishment,” wherein Islam’s “dhimmi” Christians are attacked in response to other Christians: during the Mamluk era, when Muslims were fighting and defining themselves against the Christian Crusaders, today as the Muslim world becomes increasingly hostile to and defines itself against all things Western, including Christianity.

Reading Adel Guindy’s Hikayat al-Ihtilal ["Stories of Occupation"], an Arabic study of the various occupying forces of Egypt since the Arab invasion ca. 640, one comes across centuries of burned churches and persecuted Christians, forced conversions, and exorbitant jizya—taxes imposed on non-Muslims, who were, and evidently still are, treated as sub-human, second-class citizens (see Quran 9:29). These abuses of non-Muslim “infidels” were everyday features of Mamluk Egypt, so much so that it was then that the majority of Egypt’s Christians sought relief by converting to Islam.

Currently, under military rule, Egypt’s Christians are persecuted, calls for jizya are back, and churches are destroyed with regularity.

Hikayat al-Ihtilal describes how, over 500 years ago, Muslims screaming “Allahu Akbar!” would destroy and plunder churches while Mamluk rulers sat by and looked on, as usual blaming the Christians. Today’s upsurge in church attacks—with officials either looking the other way oreven justifying them—is, in fact, what caused Christians to protest at Maspero in the first place, only to be massacred.

At the close of his study concerning the Mamluk era, Guindy makes an especially pertinent observation: with the Mamluks’ rise to power, “Egypt entered into a five-and-a-half-century coma, which it did not revive from until the voice of Napoleon was heard knocking on its doors in 1798.”

In fact, it was only during the colonial era and into the 20th century—when Egyptians sought to emulate the ways of a then-confident West—that the Mamluk “approach” went dormant.

Today, as both Western appeal and influence fade in the Middle East—in Egypt, starting with Nasser’s Free Officers’ coup in 1952 and culminating in Tantawi’s pure military dictatorship—the threat of Egypt lapsing back into a “coma” becomes all too real, particularly under Muslim Brotherhood and/or Salafist rule, which early elections indicate.

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  • Larry

    Cairo, after all, is a muslim military garrison town. It's why it didn't exist before the muslim take over of Egypt.

  • oldtimer

    History repeats it's self.

  • StephenD

    There is nothing new under the sun. What led to stagnation before will do the same again. If you were evil and wanted to stifle the human spirit what would you do different from what they did in the past or from what any Islamic controlled government is doing today?
    The only issue in question is will there be a people willing to resist or will they succumb to Islam?

  • KKKK

    they say "there is nothing new under the sun." thats ture. history does tend to repent itself becuase we don't learn from the mistakes of the past.

    • scum

      the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

  • JSD222

    Actually the taxes put upon non Muslims were a lot less then the Byzantines and others who ruled before the Muslims took over. The Christians were happy to pay the tax. It eliminated the need for them to serve in the military and also provided them protection.

    Also they did not stagnate, Although the Ottoman Empire appeared to be stagnating when it split into smaller kingdoms these smaller kingdoms or sultanates were very much alive and supported the arts and sciences of the day.

    • Lakodaimon

      Yes, that's what new, revisionist, politically-correct, white-washed histories of Islam say.
      The original, primary sources sound a lot more like this article.
      Trying reading Alfred Butler's "Arab Invasion of Egypt"

    • VLADtheINHALER

      You're full of sh*t. Give me a source for your lies.

    • intrcptr2

      Um, the Ottoman Empire didn't split into sultanates; it was dismembered by its more powerful neighbors, and meddlesome western powers. The various bits and pieces that got sloughed off became modern Greece, Hungary, Roumania, etc. And the Sick Man of Europe had been stagnating since 1571, when the Venetians and her allies smashed Ali Pasha's fleet at Lepanto.
      The end came suddenly, and the fragments left in the deserts to the south got snatched up by France and Britian. The arts and sciences of the day would include the airplane and relativistic physics, which of course only those formerly Muslim lands to the north and west could comprehend.

  • PETER GRUSH

    They're comming

  • Yeshayahgu Goldfeld

    The Foreign Offices of the Western World employ hordes of Arabists and experts on Islam ,but never fail to misinterpret the real nature of Muslim regimes.