As I previously noted, Middle East democracy advocates are unhappy that Obama doesn’t share their enthusiasm for democracy promotion and human rights advocacy. Another Egyptian adds his voice to the chorus, this time on the religious persecution of Coptic Christians in the Mubarak thugocracy:
Although the Copts have long been the target of sporadic attacks, the violence of the last few years is more like a purge, as waves of mob assaults have forced hundreds, sometimes thousands of Christian citizens to flee their homes. In each incident the police, despite frantic appeals, invariably arrive after the violence is over. Later the injured are coerced by the special security police forces into accepting “reconciliation” with their attackers, in order to avoid the prosecution of the guilty. No Muslim to date has been convicted for any of these crimes.
The state’s lack of regard for the Copts has encouraged anti-Christian feelings among many Muslims in all walks of life. Even Al-Azhar, the world’s preeminent Sunni Islamic institution, has contributed its share to this widespread hostility by publishing a pamphlet declaring the Bible a corrupted document and Christianity a pagan religion.
And once again, the focus turns to Obama, whose sorry record on religious freedom has not gone unnoticed. “So far the United States and the rest of the Western democracies, despite repeated Coptic appeals, have done little besides calling upon the Egyptian regime to foster greater tolerance.” Why is that, and why did Obama not see fit, when he was in Cairo of all places, to denounce the discrimination and oppression that goes on in the Muslim World? After all, as a student of the Muslim World, he surely must know that:
In effect, the Copts today are treated as dhimmis—the age-old inferior status of Christian and Jewish minorities in Muslim lands. Dhimmi status is no longer legalized but continues to operate as a traditional social norm. Thus, for example, an individual offense by a dhimmi against a Muslim warrants retribution for the entire dhimmi community.
Hmm. Maybe it complicates the whole Muslim outreach program. How’s that working out, by the way — in Syria, Iran, etc.? Not all that well. And the Copts, like other oppressed peoples in the Muslim World (women and little girls, for example), will find no help from Obama.