This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ramadan's Killing Fields

"They opened fire randomly on all of its passengers. Many children are among the dead."
"We are trying to calm them down. A girl has lost her parents and aunt. Another child, in front of me now, holds his mother's hand bag and doesn't know yet that she is dead."
Mikhail Ayoub,  Coptic church official

"It was a horrible scene, the heads of some people were destroyed and their brains were out."
"Others were lying dead inside and outside the bus, on the side of the road and under the bus."
Nabil Kamel Abdel Shahid, bus owner
The Egyptian Christians were killed on a desert road leading to a monastery
The Egyptian Christians were killed on a desert road leading to a monastery Credit: Minya Governorate Media office via AP
"What you've seen today will not go unpunished. An extremely painful strike has been dealt to the bases."
"Egypt will never hesitate to strike terror bases anywhere."
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi

The ten million Egyptian Christian Copts in a nation of 90 million, long predated Islam. There has always been a uneasy truce between the Arab Muslim Middle East and its minority Christians, and various levels of persecution by the majority Muslims from among the orthodox Islamists has always ensured that Christians in the Middle East in general have lived in the Chinese-cursed "interesting times".

Egypt now has in President El-Sissi a conciliator, a true moderate who is also a devout Muslim and even he is discovering that the ember of suspicion and hatred the breathes beneath the surface of Egyptian society is occasionally ignited into paroxysms of deadly violence and is difficult to douse, particularly when his government must fight a rear-guard action against the Muslim Brotherhood.

Islam does not look kindly upon competing religions challenging the primacy of Islam. And Sharia law, drawing from the Koranic precepts, the Sunnas and other sacred writings so often consulted, incite believers to holy jihad in the name of Islam. Christians and Jews are held by Islamists to represent an existence repulsive to Islam, tolerated only on Islamist terms recognizing them as inferior, supplicants who may be permitted to 'buy' protection through Jizya, failing which they may be slaughtered.

And this is precisely what the ten masked gunmen set out to accomplish once again as a symbol that throughout Ramadan, the killing of non-Muslims should be viewed as offering Allah a sacrifice that is most pleasing to the almighty. Twenty-eight souls, in one fell swoop, among them children. The bus was riddled with machine-gun fire along a remote desert road, in a deadly ambush by terrorists belonging to Islamic State riding in three SUVs, to attack the helpless civilians.

Coverage on Egypt’s state-run Nile News TV showing the remains of the bus.
Coverage on Egypt’s state-run Nile News TV showing the remains of the bus. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Since December, four deadly attacks have succeeded in killing Egyptian Copts. Egypt once before sent its military to bomb eastern Libya when Egyptian Copts working in Libya had been targeted for death. This time, once again fighter jets were dispatched to strike an al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militia. Islamic State resulted from a breakaway group that had been part of the al-Qaeda network, going its own way, to proclaim its new identity through naming itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Egypt, under President El-Sissi is addressing violent Islamofascism on a number of fronts, the most deadly targeting Egyptian police and its military, established in the Sinai where Salafist Bedouin, members of al-Qaeda, Islamic State and Hamas have all converged with the connivance of the Muslim Brotherhood, to counter and destabilize the government's efforts at containing the terrorists' ambitions.

The Egyptian Copts were embarked on a journey as pilgrims, en route to the St. Samuel the Confessor monastery in Maghagha, Minya some 220 kilometres south of Cairo. In December, 29 people died when an ISIL suicide bomber blew himself up in a Cairo church. On Palm Sunday in April, 45 people wee murdered when a pair of suicide bombings at churches took  place with ISIL claiming credit.

Jihadists' killing campaign of Christians in the Sinai has resulted in Christians fleeing, desperate to escape the fate Islamic State has planned for them. Given the opportunity to save themselves from death, the terrorists demanded of the Christians that they recite Islamic texts in proof of being Muslim, and therefore exempt from the death penalty being meted out. The Christians failed, loyal to their faith, becoming a Ramadan sacrifice.

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