The Plight of Christians in Egypt
Srdja Trifkovic’s talks to Rev. Todd Wilken on Issues, Etc. Transcript of live interview broadcast on December 12, 2012.
Joining us to talk about the ongoing plight of Christians in Egypt is Dr. Srdja Trifkovic. He is Foreign Affairs Editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture . . . Are we seeing a reenactment of what happened with the Christians in Iraq, now in Egypt after the revolution?
ST: Yes, except that this time it’s happening much quicker than one would have expected. Mohamed Morsi has shown his true colors within weeks of taking complete power. The numbers involved, sadly, are much greater than in Iraq. The exodus of Christians from Iraq occurred in earnest between three and six years after the fall of Saddam, and affecting about 800,000 people. What we are looking at in Egypt is a community that, until not so long ago, had exceeded 10 percent of the population. Even with the steady exodus that had been going on in the final years of the Mubarak regime and in the first year and a half of the “Arab Spring,” I believe we are still looking at a community of 7-8 million. If they start leaving in significant numbers—and that is already happening—it may exceed the Iraqi tragedy by seven or eight times.
Q: How would you compare the state of the Christians in Egypt today, under the new regime, to that of the Mubarak regime?
ST: It has greatly deteriorated. Mubarak was a secularist, and even though there had been problems with the position of the Copts—very often the authorities were unwilling to intervene when the Islamists would target them—nevertheless at least in principle, in terms of constitutional protection, they enjoyed equal rights. What is happening now is that Morsi is allowing a constitutional package to be pushed through parliament on the basis of a draft created by a pro-Sharia team of experts and activists. He is doing that in the full knowledge that not only the protections of the Christian minority are going to be removed, but also that all kinds of other unpleasant aspects of Sharia are going to be introduced, including deletion of the clause guaranteeing equality between men and women. It is going to be very tough to get the State Department and the U.S. foreign policy establishment to admit that Mohamed Morsi is an Islamist, but the effect of his policy will be to turn Egypt into a society based on the Kuran and the word of the Prophet, and not on the universal principles and propositional guidelines of a democratic society.
Q: What you seem to be saying is that Morsi is flying under the State Department’s radar and they refuse to acknowledge him as an Islamist. Are there open Islamists in the government of Egypt who are doing the dirty work for him?
ST: It doesn’t really matter one way or another. What we are witnessing is the Muslim Brotherhood agenda being applied in practice, and what kind of subterfuge he plays—and for this coming Saturday he was planning a “national consultation” meeting to which he had invited the newly appointed Coptic pope, which he declined because it is really a charade—is immaterial. It would be ridiculous to assume that the State Department does not realize what is happening. The persons within Morsi’s circle may be formally appointed or not appointed, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Morsi is doing what he had promised to do to his inner core of supporters. The fundamental issue is that in the Muslim world “democratization” means one man-one vote, once, on a one-way street to Sharia, and the declining rights for everybody else.
The democratic concept is intricately linked to the Christian world view, of giving unto God what is God’s and unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. The separation between mosque and state is simply not possible in Islam. It is a total… not only world outlook, not only a religion masquerading as political ideology, but a blueprint for day-to-day life, and a total political and legal submission to the word of Allah as defined not only in the book of the Prophet’s revelations, or the Hadith—the collections of his doings and sayings—but also as understood by their contemporary, zealous, politically motivated leaders in the Muslim world. The United States has chosen to side with them. We’ve seen the results in Benghazi on September 11th of this year. I am afraid that we will see something similar in Syria if Bashar al Assad falls, where even though the total number of Christians is smaller, their percentage is even higher than in Egypt.