The Collective Punishment of Egypt’s Christian Copts

Originally published by Coptic Solidarity.

Last month saw Egypt’s latest large-scale “collective punishment” of Christian Copts. It started when a Christian launderer accidently burned the shirt of a Muslim customer, which led to a brawl between the two Egyptians (first reported here). The next day “the Muslim, with approximately 20 of his followers, went to the Christian’s home to attack him. Expecting this, the Christian was prepared and climbed to the highest point of his roof, hurling Molotov cocktails at the Muslims.” One Muslim man was injured and later died in a hospital. Before he died, between 2,000-3,000 Muslims attacked the Christians of the village, leading to an exodus of approximately 120 Coptic families. AINA has details of the aftermath:

The sectarian crisis in the village of Dahshur escalated on August 1 after the burial of the Muslim man who died yesterday in hospital. Hundreds of Muslims torched and looted Coptic businesses and homes despite hundreds of security forces being deployed in the village. Eyewitnesses reported that security forces did not protect most Coptic property… “As 120 families had already fled the village the day before after being terrorized, the businesses and homes were an easy game for the mob to make a complete clean-up of everything that could be looted,” said Coptic activist Wagih Jacob. “The security forces were at the scene of the crime while it was taking place and did nothing at all.” After the violence, the family of the deceased Moaz Hasab-Allah said that destroying Coptic property is not enough and that Copts have to “pay for their son’s death” with lives.

Collectively punishing dhimmis—the barely tolerated non-Muslim infidels indigenous to the lands conquered by Islam—for the crimes of the individual is standard under Islam, and a regular occurrence among Egypt’s native Christians. Other examples include:

  • Jan, 2012: A mob of over 3,000 Muslims attacked Christians in an Alexandrian village because a Muslim accused a Christian of having “intimate photos” of a Muslim woman on his phone. Terrified, the Christian, who denied having such photos, turned himself in to the police. Regardless, Coptic homes and shops were looted and set ablaze. Three Christians were injured, while “terrorized” Christian women and children, rendered homeless, stood in the streets with no place to go. As usual, it took the army an hour to drive 2 kilometers to the village: “This happens every time. They [security] wait outside the village until the Muslims have had enough violence, then they appear.” None of the perpetrators were arrested. Later, in an effort to empty the village of its 62 Christian families, Muslims attacked them again, burning more Coptic property. According to police, the Muslim woman concerned has denied the whole story, and no photos were found.
  • Nov, 2011: Similar to the above story in Dahshur, the inadvertent killing of a Muslim by a Christian in a fight started by the Muslim when he torched the Christian’s home resulting in the “collective punishment of all Copts in the majority Christian village.” Two Christians not party to the altercation were killed; others were stabbed and critically wounded. As usual, “after killing the Copts, Muslims went on a rampage, looting and burning Christian owned homes and businesses.” Again as in Dahshur, despite all this “Muslims insist they have not yet avenged” the death of their slain co-religionist; there were fears of “a wholesale massacre of Copts.” Once again, many Christians had fled their homes and were in hiding.
  • Apr, 2011: When Muslims falsely blamed the deaths of two Muslims on a Christian, one Christian was killed, ten hospitalized, an old woman thrown out of her second floor balcony, and Christian homes and properties plundered and torched.
  • Nov, 2010: When a teenage Christian youth was accused of dating a teenage Muslim girl, 22 Christian homes were set ablaze to Islam’s war cry of “Allahu Akbar.” During the attack the Muslim mob threw fireballs, gasoline, and stones at Coptic homes and detonated Butane Gas cylinders.

It is telling that in all the above examples, Christians were attacked either because 1) they fought back against Muslims or because 2) they were rumored to have relationships with Muslim women. In fact, both of these are banned. Among the many stipulations Christians had to agree to when they capitulated to the invading armies of Islam in the 7th century, and as captured in the Pact of Omar, was never to raise their hands against a Muslim—even if the latter was the aggressor—and never to have relations with Muslim women. If they failed to follow these rules as well as many others, their lives—and the lives of their surrounding coreligionists—became forfeit.

As Mark Durie points out in his book on dhimmitudeThe Third Choice: “Even a breach by a single individual dhimmi could result in jihad being enacted against the whole community. Muslim jurists have made this principle explicit, for example, the Yemeni jurist al-Murtada wrote that ‘The agreement will be canceled if all or some of them break it’ and the Moroccan al-Maghili taught ‘The fact that one individual (or one group) among them has broken the statute is enough to invalidate it for all of them.'”

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  • MikeWood

    "The fact that one individual (or one group) among them has broken the statute is enough to invalidate it for all of them." This rule is being enforced in Europe too, though in a more roundabout way: Fearful of the collective punishment of terrorism for offences against Islam (e.g. cartoons, mockery of Muhammad etc), the leaders of the semi-dhimmified people of Europe now start to criminalise offences against Islam. The hope is to prevent offence to the Muslims and therefore prevent collective punishment. As the demographic balance swings in favour of the Muslims, the self-enforcement of dhimmi behaviour is likely to intensify as the Muslims of Europe are able to act with the same impunity as the Muslims of Egypt.

  • Ozuah

    You could fill an encyclopedia filled with such stories with the even more telling, yet predictable aftermath, the response of the judicial system of Egypt who in general refuse to punish those who damage the Christian communities. It would prove what kind of state Copts live in, unfortunately, i cannot find such an encyclopedia, not even a book or a pamphlet.

    A shame really, a Justice system which would make the proponents of the old Jim Crow laws blush and it will be all but forgotten.

  • Mel

    Thanks for this very informative article. Why is it that the mainstream media never bring this kind of thing to our attention? What is it with this group that makes them continue to whitewash and provide moral cover for a degenerate and barbaric political/religious system? Is there a logical explanation? or our our media elites firmly in the tank with the Muslim Brotherhood?

    • Ron Lewenberg

      Leftism. Muslims are seen as the indigenous oppressed taking over from European colonialism. That the Copts are the indigenous and the Muslims Arabs are not is irrelevent. This is Third Worldism and the Copts can all die just like the Rhodesian Whites and South African Whites.

  • tagalog

    I don't suppose the United Nations Human Rights Commission people are taking any interest in this issue now that it's becoming an oft-discussed problem.

    • Gee

      You are kidding right?

      • tagalog

        More sarcastic than kidding, but yes.

  • curmudgeon

    why not punish the group for the offense, real or imagined, or the individual? it is the most effective policy. no evidence required. dont have to identify the offender. it is an ideal method to be employed by a tyrannical police state. the question is, why are the fools who form opinion in the west, and punish anyone who doenst conform, unaware that we must use the same strategy. 9-11 offered the perfect opportunity. compare the imagined crimes of the copts–not worshiping the god of evil, not giving proper obeisance to the prophet of evil (pbuh), etc.—with the real crime of murdering 3000 of our citizens. there was no excuse whatever for not expelling our hate filled muslims. all of them. both imported and home grown. so instead the fool-in-chief declared that hateful ideology, islam, to be the religion of peace, and the fool electorate replaced the fool with a muslim. we are a nation of suicidal fools, waiting fearfully for the scimitar to fall on the necks we exposed to the religion of peace. when we are genocided by the religion of peace, noone, ever, will have deserved it more.

  • Ted G

    Arm all the Christians! Create self defense groups within all minority neighborhoods. If they're gonna be attacked and killed at least they can take some of the primitives with them.

    • curmudgeon

      it wont work. if a christian is caught with a weapon, he will be killed, right now. if he goes unarmed, he will be killed, probably later. you cant get a group of civilians to accept death now, when it might be delayed. muslims, on the other hand, being so stupid that they believe that some evil god will grant them a wonderful afterlife instead of the hell on earth they have made for themselves, will willingly kill themselves for their god of pure evil. i cannot imagine why they have not noticed that the prophet, peace be upon him, did not ever kill himself for allah. he just killed others. thats just further proof of the mind boggling stupidity of muslims.

  • Porky's2istan

    Why doesn't every man, woman, and child Copt carry a gun at all times? A village with just a hundred armed people could easily repel a mob of several thousand. Muslims are cowards and are only brave in large groups. If every time they went on a looting, raping and murdering spree they lost 20% of their people they would soon stop.

    If the police do NOTHING and THEN try to arrest the Christians for defending themselves (as they often have in the past) then SHOOT THEM TOO. Maybe the Copts need to make police 'no go zones'. But unlike the 'no go zones' in Europe made by muslims (where lawlessness reigns), these would be places where justice prevails.

    It's telling that muslims create 'no go zones' to destroy the law, while Christians (should) make them to preserve it.

    • curmudgeon

      the police in europe, just like in america, are cowards. they prefer to terrorize honest citizens. they have no stomach for a fight with crazy, murderous, suicidal muslims, so they leave the muslim criminals alone, and continue to harass honest citizens. this explains the success of no-go zones in cowardly europe and america. the idea that despised kuffir minorities in muslim majority countries could do the same is ludicrous. if there was an armed uprising of kuffirs in an islamic country, it would only be a race between the authorities and the mob to see which group got to murder the infidels. this is exactly what should happen to our invading muslims, but they are safe as a snake in its den.

      • Porky's2istan

        Very good point.

        The police in America aren't quite as bad as those in Europe, but they are getting close. They seem more interested in 'keeping the peace', which always means appeasing the hair trigger violence of muslims over everyone else.

        Still, what choice do the Copts have? Defend themselves with overwhelming violence or leave. As long as Egypt pretends it's a civilized society this will work. Once the pretense of civilization ends it won't. As islam ascends, civilization falls. It's not a question of IF Egypt starts a genocide of Christians, just WHEN. Until then the Copts should defend themselves.

  • Crossbow87

    I would gladly begin and run an arms smuggling effort for Egypt's Copts.

  • Roger

    You really should man up and just admit you're a muslim activist wee. You really are such a small, tiny, little 'wee' man aren't you?