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Thursday, August 29, 2013

دولة السوق والمواطن الزبون (1) التحول من بلد الى بيزنس

عندما سُئل بيل جيتس عن الرأسمالية قال "الرأسمالية نجحت بشكل ممتاز، من يريد أن يهاجر إلى كوريا الشمالية فليتفضل." لا شك أن رأى بيل جيتس كان سيتغير كثيراً لو كان أقل حظاً. لو كان مثلاً عاملاً فى احدى مصانع ديترويت التى تم اغلاقها ووجد نفسه فجأة بلا مآوى أو دخل مع ثلاث اطفال. او لو كان وُلد صينياً يعمل فى احد خطوط التجميع بمصنع لعب اطفال فى مدينة شينزن ويتقاضي خمسون سنتاً فى الساعة. قال بيرنارد راسل يوماً "ان المدافعون عن الرأسمالية دائماً ما يتشدقون بالمبادئ المقدسة للحرية والتى يمكننا تلخيصها فى مقولة واحدة: لا يجب منع المحظوظ من الطغيان على الأقل حظاً."

يمكننا بشئ من التأكيد البديهي ان نقول ان القابعون فى اعلى السلم الإقتصادي سيتفقون تماماً مع بيل جيتس حول نجاح الرأسمالية، وكذلك لاشك ان القابعون فى اسفله سيختلفون معه تماماً. وربما فى تلك النقطة سيتفق كلاً من الرأسماليون والماركسيون، ان الإنسان تحركه بالطبيعة منفعته المادية المباشرة والبقاء للأكثر برجماتية. ولكن، إذا كانت اقتصاديات السوق تحمل مبادئ المنافسة وتساوي الفرص وتُقدم نفسها بإعتبارها لُعبة عادلة تتطلب فقط مزيج من الذكاء وبعض الحظ، فلماذا يسخط الأقل حظاً على تلك اللعبة؟ سيدعي اولئك الأكثر حظاً ان هذا من باب الحقد والحسد، وقد يتمادى بعضهم -وقد فعلوا- ويذكر الظلم الفادح الذى يتعرض له الأغنياء المقهورون من الفقراء قساة القلب معدومي الضمير الذين لا يساهمون فى المجتمع كما يساهمون هم الأغنياء اصحاب القلوب الرحيمة. وقد يدعي بعض الرأسماليون القادحين ان ذلك من السجايا الحسنة الرأسمالية، حيث ان اقتصاديات السوق تتطلب مناخ تنافسي قاسي لا تسمح الا بنجاح البعض.
لنبتعد الأن عن صراع البقاء هذا ولنذهب سوياً للسلطة المحايدة التى من المفترض ان تكون الراعى لهذا الكرنفال الدارويني الشرس: الدولة. ليس لدى شك ان ماكس فيبر عندما تحدث عن المؤسساتية ودولة المؤسسات، كان يخاطب واقعاً ملموساً ممتداً من أوروبا حتى الولايات متحدة. ولكن فى نفس الوقت تراودني الكثير من الشكوك حول افكار المؤسساتية الجديدة التى طُرحت فى فترة ما بعد العالمية الثانية اثناء تجليات ما بعد الحداثة. انتشر مصطلح المؤسساتية على نطاق واسع فى السبعينات من القرن الماضي بالتزامن بداية الاضمحلال العالمى للاتحاد السوفيتي وترسيخ الولايات المتحدة لصورتها كدولة قوانين ومؤسسات بيروقراطية لأمة من الطبقة الوسطى وتقوم بدور الحارس لقواعد واصول السوق الحر. كانت تلك هي الصورة الذاتية الأمريكية منذ الخمسينات، وكانت لوقتاً طويل مدعاة للفخر القومي الأمريكي مصحوبة بسيارات الكاديلاك وشخصيات ديزني. ولكن لم يعد الأمر كذلك بأي حال من الأحول، معظم الأمريكيون يعلمون فى قرارة انفسهم ان تلك الأيام قد انتهت منذ زمن طويل حتى ولو لم يعترفون بذلك. فلم يعد هناك دولة ولا مؤسسات، بل هناك فقط سوق وزبائن وقوانين العرض والطلب.
لقد غير هنري فورد قوانين السوق والمجتمع الرأسمالي فى العقد الثاني من القرن الماضي بإنتاج السيارات بشكل تجاري على نطاق واسع مصحوبة بزيادة أجور العاملين لأكثر من الضعف لكى يقتنى كل عامل من عماله سيارة. غير هنري فورد المجتمع الأمريكي تماماً برؤيته للمجتمع ككيان اقتصادي بالأساس وللأفراد كزبائن ومنتجين. كان فورد يرى ان الإنتاج وزيادة القدرة الشرائية للعمال سوف تخلق حراكاً اقتصادياً اكبر للسوق، وقد كان هذا صحيحاً. كان فورد ايضاً مناهضاً للحروب وللإتحادات العمالية بشكل قطعي، وكان يطالب بأن يتعامل العالم مع نفسه بإعتباره سوقاً يمكن حل جميع مشاكلة عن طريق تحقيق فائض ربح فى ظل مناخ تنافسي حاد يخضع لقوانين العرض والطلب.  لم تتبنى الولايات المتحدة رؤية فورد سوى بعد خروجها من العالمية الثانية، ونظر فلاسفة الرأسمالية لمجتمع الرفاهية القائم ليس على علاقات اجتماعية معقدة، ولكن على برجماتيات اقتصادية. وقد عبرت ثاتشر المرأة الحديدية عن ذلك عندما قالت "لا يوجد ما يسمى المجتمع، هناك فقط افراد". تزامناً مع ذلك، وفى ظل الرؤية النيوليبرالية للعالم، قامت الدولة شيئاً فشيئاً بالتنازل عن تركيبتها المؤسساتية وتبني صورة دولة الخدمات، وإحلال السوق محل المؤسسة، وقامت بحد دورها امام ديناميكيات السوق، وبدئت لعب دور الوسيط وأحياناً وكيل الأسهم ولكن كان دورها الأساسي هو حماية السوق ورؤوس الأموال الموجوده به واختزال المواطن الى زبون.

عندما شعرت دولة السوق بتهديد قوى من الشيوعية التى ارادت ان تقنع الزبائن بإنهم ليسوا فى الأصل زبائن، دخلت الولايات المتحدة فى عداء شديد مع الإتحاد السوفيتي. وهو العداء الذى هدد العالم بالإبادة النووية أكثر من مرة حتى نهاية الحرب الباردة. خلق هذا العداء كلاً من السيناتور الشهير جوزيف مكارثي وجي ايدجر هوفر. لقد نجحت المكارثية بشكل كبير فى ارعاب المجتمع الأمريكي من الشيوعية ومقاضاة اعداد كبيرة من الموظفين الحكوميين والشخصيات الثقافية ورجال اعمال، منهم تشارلي شابلن ونيلسون الجرين والبرت اينشتاين، بتهمة تآمرهم مع الشيوعية العالمية ضد السوق ودولة السوق. اليس هذا مضحكاً؟ ان تتخيل تشارلى شابلن ماثلاً امام لجنة تحقيق بها سياسيون غاضبون وجادون للغاية لإتهامه بالتآمر مع الشيوعية العالمية على السوق الحر؟

ربما يمكننا ان نلقى نظرة سريعة على النظام الأنجلو-أمريكي فى الرعاية الصحية لإستعياب شكل العلاقة بين الدولة السوق والمواطن الزبون. كانت خدمات الطوارئ والإسعاف فى الولايات المتحدة حتى أوائل الثمانينات من القرن الماضي تُقدم بشكل رئيسي من بلديات المُدن مصحوبة ببعض المساهمين القليلين للغاية من القطاع الإستثماري. فى الثمانينات تم تغيير نظام الطوارئ تماماً ليعتمد بشكل تام على القطاع الإستثماري دون اى خدمات من البلديات حيث يقوم المريض بتحمل الجزء الأعظم من النفقات. ويختلف نظام حساب سعر سيارة الإسعاف على حسب قوانين المقاطعة، فهناك مقاطعات تحاسب المرضى بسعر ثابت ومقاطعات أخرى تعمل بنظام سيارات الأجرة فى تحصيل الأجر طبقاً للمسافة. وطبقاً لإحصاء مستقل فى 2011 فإن متوسط سعر طلب سيارة إسعاف للمريض هو 1.099 دولاراً أمريكياً غير متضمناً ثمن الخدمات الطبية المقدمة. ولحماية المرضى اصدرت الحكومة الفيدرالية قانوناً يُلزم الجهات الطبية بتقديم خدمات الطوارئ فوراً لأى مريض مع تطبيق نظام الدين على رقم الضمان الأجتماعي للمريض. ويمكنك ان تجد على الشبكة بعض المقالات التى نصح كاتبوها المرضى ان يمسكوا بورقة وقلم قبل ان يمسكوا بسماعة الهاتف لطلب الإسعاف ويقومواً بحساب دقيق حول إذا ما كان يمكنهم تحمل نفقات الإسعاف ام لا.
لقد كان نظام الرعاية الصحية الأمريكية محل جدال اقتصادي وسياسي كبير منذ السبعينات، ولم يسلم رئيس أمريكي من التعامل مع أزمات الرعاية الصحية. وكان ملف الرعاية الصحية هو الملف الأول للرئيس أوباما عندما قام بترشيح نفسه لفترته الأولى، وقد انتصر فى معارك تشريعية كبرى من أجل تعديل قوانين الرعاية الصحية حتى تشمل مظلة الرعاية الصحية جميع المواطنين. سوف يتم تفعيل قانون اوباما للرعاية الصحية العام القادم، ولكن حتى الأن لا يوجد لدى احد فكرة عن الشكل التنفيذي. نحن نعلم مسبقاً ان النظام الجديد ايضاً سيعتمد بشكل شبه حصري على القطاع الإستثماري حيث سيكون كل مواطن مُلزم قانوناً بشراء باقة تأمين صحي من احدى الشركات الموجودة بالسوق، ولكن تفاصيل ذلك التى مازال يتم العمل فى صياغة الوصلات القانونية النهائية غير معلومة.
فى جدال الرعاية الصحية الأمريكي، سيدعي أصوليو الرأسمالية ان على الدولة ان تترك الخدمات الصحية تماماً للسوق دون تدخل، حيث ان اى تدخل سيعبث بموازين السوق وقواعد المنافسة التى يجب ان نثق بها فى ان تخرج لنا بالأصلح. على الجانب الآخر ستجد هؤلاء الذين يعرفون انفسهم بالليبراليون الإجتماعيون سيردوا على إستحياء ان موضوع الرعاية الصحية على قدر من الاهمية تمنعنا ان نتركه تماماً للسوق. ولكن فى الواقع فإن قانون أوباما للرعاية الصحية لم يقم بإخراج الخدمات الصحية من السوق على الإطلاق، بل ان كل ما فعله هو ضمان تحول جميع المواطنين إلى زبائن. سوف يرى البعض ان فى هذا تخلى للدولة عن دور رئيسي تجاه المواطنين، ولكن الأمر ليس كذلك، فالدولة لم تعد سوى سوق وكل مواطن هو زبون محتمل.

لم يكن نظام الرعاية الصحية فقط هو من تحول إلى نظام إستثماري ربحي، ولكن ايضاً خدمات الأمن والتعليم والخدمات العسكرية. ارتفعت تكلفة التعليم الجامعي فى الولايات المتحدة بنسبة 400% منذ الثمانينات حتى الأن كما تحول نظام التعليم المدرسي إلى نظام إستثماري تشرف وتنفق عليه الدولة دون تدخل وتحول النظام التعليمي عامة للإعتماد على المؤسسات الإستثمراية الإحتكارية. ولا اعتقد انها صدفة ان الترتيب العالمي التعليمي للولايات المتحدة قد انخفض من الثمانينات حتى الأن لتصل للمركز 17 تعليمياً بشكل عام طبقاً لإحصاء 2012، وانخفض ترتيبها فى الرياضيات الى المركز 25 وفى العلوم الطبيعية الى المركز 17. اعتقد ان هذا ما يحدث عندما تحول الطلبة والتلاميذ الى زبائن.

الحكومة الفيدارلية والحكومات المحلية تعتمد ايضاً على القطاع الإستثماري فى قطاع كبير من الخدمات الأمنية. واحدة من الشركات الموفرة لتلك الخدمات كانت شركة بلاك ووترز صاحبة الفضيحة الشهيرة فى حرب العراق حيث تم الكشف عن جرائم قتل وتعذيب العشرات من المدنيين العراقيين على ايدي مقاتلي الشركة والذي استأجرهم الجيش الأمريكي. فى سبتمبر 2007 قامت الحكومة العراقية بإحالة ملف الشركة لمحكمة الجنايات للتحقيق فى جرائم بلاك ووترز ولكن قامت وزارة الخارجية الأمريكية فى أكتوبر لنفس العام بمنح الشركة الحصانة من الملاحقة، فقامت الحكومة العراقية فوراً بسحب اي حصانة لأى موظفين اجانب بشكل رسمي من اجل تمكين المحكمة من ملاحقة الشركة ولكن الحكومة الأمريكية سارعت بسحب الشركة من العراق لإنقاذهم من المسائلة. لا يتوقف إستخدام دولة السوق للخدمات الإستثمارية عند المقاتليين الإستثماريين (التعبير التقليدي الأقدم هو: المرتزقة) فقط، ولكن ايضاً تستخدم القطاع الإستثماري داخل الولايات المتحدة. تعتمد المؤسسات الإستخباراتية الأمريكية الأن على القطاع الإستثماري بشكل كبير. وهناك شركات عملاقة مسؤلة عن تزويد المخابرات المركزية وجهاز التحقيق الفيدرالي بخدمات المراقبة وتحليل المعلومات. كذلك الحكومات المحلية للولايات والمقاطعات تستخدم الشركات الخاصة فى خدمات التأمين والتحقيق والمرور. وعلى سبيل المثال قام جدال قانوني كبير على مدار العقد الماضي حول استخدام البلديات لشركات خاصة فى مراقبة الطرق ومخالفات المرور، حيث تحولت مخالفات المرور إلى نشاط تجاري مربح للغاية للعديد من الشركات.  وفى عام 2011 استطاع المصوتون فى عشرات المدن الأمريكية من ايقاف استخدام كاميرات مراقبة الطرق نهائياً حيث استغلته شركات انظمة المراقبة مثل شركة زيروس  وايه سي اس وايه تي اس فى توريد عائد تجاري ضخم على حساب المواطنين عن طريق مخالفات المرور.

دولة السوق تعرض ايضاً على زبائنها خدمة اخرى رائعة منقطعة النظير وهي سجون القطاع الإستثماري. أجل يا عزيزي، الحكومة تدفع لشركات خاصة من أموال دافعى الضرائب الزبائن من أجل سجن هؤلاء الزبائن المشاكسين. كانت الولايات المتحدة على مدار القرن الماضي تستخدم القطاع الإستثماري فى توريد بعض خدمات المؤسسات الإصلاحية مثل الخدمات الطبية والنظافة والخدمات الغذائية. ولكن مع مطلع ثمانينات القرن الماضي وتزامناً مع التحول الشامل من دولة المؤسسات لدولة السوق، بدأت الولايات المتحدة استخدام سجون مملوكة ومُدارة بالكامل عن طريق القطاع الخاص. بدء الأمر عام 1984 فى ولاية تينيسي عندما تولت شركة كوريكشن كوابوريشين اوف امريكا عقد ادارة سجن مقاطعة هاميلتون، ثم لحقتها باقى الولايات فى التعاقد من شركات قطاع خاص إما لإدارة السجون الموجودة بالفعل او لإرسال السجناء لسجون انشأتها خصيصاً شركات القطاع الإستثماري. وتقوم الحكومة بالدفع للشركة شهرياً عن كل رأس. ولكن لا يوجد سعر محدد للسجناء، بل يختلف السعر على حسب مدي خطورة السجين ومدته. ومثل عقود الإيجار المدنية، ينخفض سعر كل سجين كلما طالت مدته، فلو هناك السجين أ، تقوم الحكومة بدفع مبلغ شهري أقل عن أ لو تعاقدت مع السجن على مدة أطول. وتقوم طريقة الحساب هذه على مبادئ المنفعة طويلة الأمد لكلا الطرفين المتعاقدين، حيث من مصلحة الحكومة والسجن اعطاء أ مدة اكبر. وعلى سبيل المثال ففى عام 2008 قامت شركتا كوريكشن كوابوريشين اوف امريكا وشركة جي اي او بتمويل ودفع الإقتراح رقم 6 لعام 2008 لقانون العقوبات فى ولاية كاليفورنيا والذى بموجبه تم زيادة سنين عقوبة العديد من الجرائم وكذلك إضافة عقوبات سجن جديدة لجرائم جديدة. كذلك فى عام 2012 قامت شركة كوريكشن كوابوريشين اوف امريكا بتقديم عرضاً رسمياً لـ48 ولاية بشراء جميع السجون العامة مقابل ان تضمن الولايات بقاء نسبة اشغال 90% فى السجون لمدة 20 عاماً.
تطور وتضخم قطاع السجون الخاصة فى دولة السوق بشكل مبهر منذ الثمانينات واصبح مجالاً تجارياً مربحاً للغاية لدرجة ان العديد من القضاء اختاروا استثمار مدخراتهم فى سجون القطاع الخاص الموجودة فى منطقة سلطتهم القضائية لتدر عليهم ربحاً يؤمن لهم حياة رغدة فى اخر ايامهم. واستطاع هؤلاء القضاة ضمان استمرار ارباحهم عن طريق ارسال عدد اكبر للسجن. مثل كلاً من فخامة القاضي مايكل كوناهن والقاضي مارك سيفاريلا اللذان امتلكا حصص كبيرة من سجن دينفر فى بنسلفانيا والموجود فى مقاطعتهم القضائية حيث قاما بإرسال اليه أكثر من 8000 مراهق فى بضعة اشهر حتى تم القبض عليهما.

اليس هذا امراً مبهراً للغاية؟ ان يقوم بعض الموظفون الإستثماريون بسجنك والتحكم بك بناءً على عقد تجاري مبرم بينهم وبين الحكومة؟


يمكننا ايضاً الأن التحدث عن الخطة الأمريكية للتوقف عن رصف الطرق والشوارع واقامة المتنزهات حيث سيتم تركها تماماً للقطاع الاستثماري، وعندها سيتوجب على كل مواطن زبون دفع رسوم مروره من اي طريق للشركة صاحبة حق الإنتفاع. ثم يمكننا العودة للتحدث عن بيل جيتس وكوريا الشمالية.

يُتبع..

Monday, August 26, 2013

Radical Islam, Lunacy & Political Correctness




Lunacy is suggested to be the state of mental illness, being dangerous, insane, extravagant foolishness, having an unsound mind and being unpredictable. According to this definition, we can agree that many people that we see in today's world, can be fairly described as lunatics and many common ideas can be described fairly as straightforward lunacy. This picture above was taken in Egypt in the recent events for some of pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters after attacking a Coptic church. The protesters took a big cross from the church and, as you can see in the picture, are rounding up on it and beating it down. I was so happy when a friend of mine sent this picture to me, for at last I have something that I can use to explain to non-Middle Eastern readers how radical Islam works.

We can all agree that this picture demonstrate perfectly the exact meaning of lunacy better that any words. But there are two things which make this type of lunacy different, things which make it particularly worrying and threatening; it is violent and it is on mass scale. We can try to analyze and anticipate the motives and thoughts of the persons in this picture, but we can't simply say that its a perfectly normal behavior of perfectly sane people. If you are walking down the block to see some of your neighbors rounding on and beating a Wal-Mart sign with sticks and stabbing it with knives, because they believe that Wal-Mart is inherently a devilish store, would you think that it is totally normal and its alright that they express their beliefs? Would you feel safe in this kind of neighborhood? Some people would claim that we have seen evangelicals burning Harry Potter books and its not just Muslims, but I don't think that both things are the same. While I don't agree with burning books, yet it is still understandable. Books have content to them, they offer ideas, and besides more importantly the act of burning itself is just an act of destruction. Burning a Harry Potter book is totally different than a group of people hitting it with sticks and stabbing it with knives.


Since the 2000s, I have watched radical violent Islam becoming the main stream Islam in the Muslim world. I have seen more people become lunatics. The people in that picture are not the residents of a mental institution; they are normal people with normal lives, families and jobs. One should have some serious deep grudge and spite towards a piece of wood in order for him to gather with others and keep hitting it like that. They believe that this piece of wood is of pure evil, a devilish unholy artifact and the source of everything that is evil and wrong in the world, just like the star of David and the flag of Israel, just like the Jewish state; an unholy evil that should be destroyed viciously. This is not just another religion, not just another dogma or ideology it is pure lunacy. This proves also that lunacy is not just an illness that can be caused by loneliness or confusion, but it can be preached, planted and taught to people. Those people in the picture to the best of my knowledge could not have been born with such a crazy mindless behavior and attitude. Lunacy indeed can be preached, from mosques, churches, schools, political podiums and any other place we chose. It is the kind of lunacy we hear from mosque clerics calling upon the faithful to destroy the unfaithful, kill the Jews and burn the Christians. It is also important for me to say that any peace attempt in the Middle East between the Arabs and Israeli is destined to fail as long as Israel is surrounded with this kind of lunacy, the same lunacy that we have heard from the mouth of former president of the biggest Arab state in the Middle East Mohamed Morsi that "Muslims should nurse their babies and children on hatred towards the Jews.. They [babies] should be fed hatred." [Egypt's Morsi in 2010 – MEMRI]

On the other hand, there are those who don't like to identify such lunatic ideas of fundamental Islam as lunacy and my it is my personal conviction that Islam itself contains all the violent aggressive ideological basis which define radical Islam. Since I have been to the US, one of the main thing I have notices is the irrational obsession with political correctness. No one wants to be accused of being Islamophobic or racist, so they start talking about peaceful Islam and the right of political Islam to compete democratically and fairly with other modern ideologies. The attempt to integrate a lunatic ideology such is radical Islam can not end but in a disaster. Political correctness can't be used to cover up hypocrisy; we can't lie to Muslims about their religion. If we want to be therapeutic and help our Muslims friends and neighbors to have peaceful lives we have to be honest with them. We can't lie to Muslims and tell them that Islam is a religion that promotes tolerance, because it is not. We can't tell Muslims that it is okay to have political Islam as an ideological political movement, because it is not and what happened after the democratic elections in Gaza (2005) and Egypt (2012) are there to prove it. Political correctness is itself a lunacy when it normalizes people who manically attack a wooden cross and want to feed babies hatred.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hath not a Copt eyes? A Record of Coptic Tragedy

[When I started writing this post there were 14 churches burning in Egypt, when I was finishing it the number went up to 16]

I have been thinking about writing this post for 2 weeks. Since yesterday only, nearly 20 Coptic churches and several Copt owned community and commercial buildings were destroyed and torched to the ground in Egypt by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. Leaked reports over the past weeks said that they even tried to assassinate the Coptic patriarch several times. Since the overthrow of the democratically elected Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi, his supports who are anti-coup and pro-democracy stated clearly that Christians in Egypt are not safe any more.
Blood of Copts died in a suicide bombing
staining the walls of a church in Alexandria.

Copts are the largest indigenous Christian minority in the Middle East and the Muslim world, for some reason we do not have an accurate number for the Coptic population in Egypt, but most of the sources estimate it between 5 to 15 million, some other sources claim the number is way higher. Since the military coup of 1952, Copts were left to face four major issues; not being able to build churches, exclusion and discrimination from government, enforced government controlled civil laws and violence against them. This long post is to view the former and current situation of the Copts, if you are only interested to read about the current situation, I suggest you skip to the last section.

**Kindly note: The attacks documented here against Copts are few ones that I have selected to include in my post, there are dozens of other reported and documented attacks on Copts since 2011 till today.


COPTS PRIOR TO THE 2011 REVOLUTION

Before the establishment of the modern Egyptian republic in 1952, Copts were allowed to participate in public activities and practice politics, at that time Egypt witnessed two Coptic prime ministers; Boutrous Pasha Ghaly and Youssef Pasha Wahbe who survived an assassination attempt preformed by another Copt; Erian Assad who was a member of the political opposition. Back then, Egypt was thought to be the leader of modernity in the Muslim world, with a Coptic prime minister and a Jewish treasury minister, Egypt had a promising secular modern future and Copts were starting not consider themselves a religious minority but an Egyptian national fraction. In 1952, a military coup overthrown the playboy monarch Farouk, dismantled the government and established the first republic. Since the establishment of the republic, Copts became just a non-Muslim minority living in a Muslim country, excluded from political and public activities and the state expected them to behave like a minority, in other words to take it quietly. Copts were excluded from any important government position in important government establishments. The government made it clear that Christians are mistrusted. Copts were not able to build their churches, the government made it nearly impossible to get a permit for a Coptic building site. Coptic scholars and prominent professionals were excluded from universities and government ran institutions (The school of medicine in Cairo University has a particular black record of practices against Copts). The government did not just exclude Christians but also harshly discriminated against them and Copts were to start a big immigration wave to the new world where over a million Copt are now living in the US, Canada and Australia.

In the late 1970s the patriarch of the church, Pope Shenouda III, sought to amend the position of the Coptic community with full equality with their Muslim fellow citizens, but president Saddat did not like it. In Sept 1981, the trial ended in a presidential order to excommunicate the Pope from the church and house arrest him, the decisions were announced in a violent speech from Saddat accusing Pope Shenouda of trying to impose himself as a national leader, in that speech Saddat openly said; "I want to remind every one that I'm a Muslim president of an Islamic country."

The tragedy of the Copts is not new, Copts have been the victim of radical Islamists violence since the rise of modern militant Islam in the 1970s along with negligence and discrimination from the state. Throughout the 1980s till the mid 1990s, Copts were one of the main three targets of Jihadist Islamic groups in Egypt. During that time, Jihadist Islamic opposition of ex-president Mubarak targeted the victims thought to hurt the Mubarak's regime the most; western tourists, Christians and government officials. Targeting of tourists will serve the purpose of creating a western dissatisfaction with Mubarak, targeting the Christians was to cause international embarrassment for the regime being not able to protect non-Muslim minorities. After the government tough crack down on Jihadist groups in Egypt by the mid 1990s, tourists and government officials became safe again, yet not the Copts.

With radical violent Islam becoming mainstream Islam globally by the end of the last century, attacking Christians was not done anymore by Jihadist Islamic groups, but by mass numbers of Egyptian Muslims who are enthusiastic about destroying those who do not believe in their mighty Allah. Attacks on churches during masses and events were a common incident. In Nov 2000 Muslim mob attacked a Christian and tried to force him to denounce his Christian faith and pronounce the Islamic testimony, and when he refused he was beaten to death. Feb and Apr 2001 the ICC reported that Muslim mobs burned down a new church and 35 houses belonged to Christians. On April 19, 2009 a group of Muslims opened fire at Christians killing two in Koos town. In March 2009 thousands of Muslims attacked a church in Ain Shams city, almost killing all who were in it. In 2010 a gunman opened fire from an AK-47 on a crowd exiting a church in Assyut killing 7. On 2011 new years eve a major church an Alexandria suffered a suicide bomb scoring tens of dead and wounded, days latter a member of the police force opened fire in a train in Samalout killing an old Coptic woman and injuring another 7. Attacks on lives and properties of Copts became a daily routine, along with new phenomenons like kidnapping minor Coptic females and forcing them to convert and marry Muslim men, a way to support the Muslim population and suppress the numbers of the Coptic one. A criminal practice which is worryingly wide spread in upper Egypt. The government does too little to prevent any of this, as a matter of fact it supports it most of the time. Police does not investigate attacks on Christians and usually closes the cases without identifying the attackers. A 16 years old Copt female who are kidnapped to marry a Muslim older man will not be returned to her family by the police, actually the police will make sure that she stays in the hands of her new "Muslim family" and get a restriction order against her Coptic parents.


COPTS POST TO THE 2011 REVOLUTION

Following the euphoria of the 2011 revolution, the Copts were filled with hope. The overthrow of the 80 years old military dictator was seen as a the marking of a new chapter in the life of all Egyptians which was proved to be true, but in a different way than they had expected. The lives of Copts in Egypt were about to get a lot worse. The attacks on Copts within the past two years are a lot more and a lot worse than the Copts ever seen before; churches burned down to the ground while police forces are watching, military armored vehicles running Coptic protesters over, Copts beaten to death by mob, priests shot to death in public and its about to get a lot worse.

In 2011, the year of the revolution, number of attacks on Copts rose dramatically causing a major wave of fear and immigration of Copts out of Egypt. In Mar 5, a church was set in fire in the village of Sole and Christians were forced to leave the village. In the same month a group of radicals took off the ear of a christian in Qena. In Abou Qurqas El Balad, one Christian Copt was killed, an old woman was thrown out of her second floor balcony and ten Copts were hospitalized. Coptic homes, shops, businesses, fields and livestock were plundered and torched. May 7, Muslim mob attacked the St. Mary Coptic church in the Imbaba neighborhood after rumors about a Christian convert woman being held at the church, Muslims attacked the church and the christian homes around it with AK-47s, locally manufactured shot guns and Molotov cocktails leaving 15 dead, damaged churches, homes and shops. The Army reportedly this year attacked 3 Coptic monasteries firing teargas and gunshot at Coptic monks. 

Mary Daniel crying over the body of her
 brother Mina killed by Army forces.

The worst major attack on the Copts in 2011, known as the Maspero Massacre of Oct 9th, was not by a Muslim mob but was carried out by the Egyptian military forces on peaceful Coptic protesters at the Maspero building area resulting in 28 deaths and over 200 injuries. I personally witnessed this horrible incident. You can read my accounts of the Maspero Massacre here.


By new years eve, 93,000 Copts have already fled out of Egypt. 2012 was not less of a violent year, with the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power, Islamists got a stronger and freer hand to act. In the village of Dahshour, in a deal to prevent further Muslim attacks on Christians sponsored by members of Salfist party Alnour and the Muslim Brotherhood, as many as 100 Coptic Christian families were forced to leave their homes, and the authorities did nothing, At least 16 homes and properties of Christians were pillaged, some were torched, and a church was damaged during the violence. Christian families living in the Sinai also fled their homes in 2012 fearing the rise of Islamic groups in the peninsula. Many Copts decided to flee the country all together, Dennis Ross of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Ross said that no fewer than 100,000 Copts had left Egypt since the Muslim Brotherhood came to power, a fact confirmed by human rights groups although the Egyptian churches have not been able to verify the figure and have described it as exaggerated.

In 2013, all hell broke loose. The Muslim Brotherhood represented not only itself, but all the groups and fractions of political Islam wishing to grasp power in the name of Allah. Six months only after the MB assumed power, it was clear that it was not going to keep it for long, with catastrophic policies and idiotic approach to the public, the MB was successful in turning the people against it in a period as short as 6 months. The anger of the public was so clear, and the army was never a fan of Islamists anyways. The Islamists felt threatened and they started to attack. Since Jan 2013 Islamic group carried out a big campaign of murder, sabotage and kidnapping against the army forces stationed in the Sinai, to threaten them from intervening in their business.

The Islamists warned the Coptic community too, that if the Islamist president goes down, the Copts will go down as well. Attacks on churches, shooting priests on brought day light and burning Copts properties were common news daily. Islamic figures ,more than once, warned and threatened Christians on TV screens. Wagdie Ghoniem, a pro MB Muslim scholar, posted a video on youtube saying "A message to the church of Egypt, from an Egyptian Muslim: I tell the church — by Allah, and again, by Allah — if you conspire and unite with the remnants [opposition] to bring Morsi down, that will be another matter…. our red line is the legitimacy of Dr. Muhammad Morsi. Whoever splashes water on it, we will splash blood on him." Copts in AlMinya started to receive letters telling them "businesses, cars, homes, schools, and churches” might “catch fire." In June, Assem Abdul-Majed, a former convicted terrorist, and AlJamaa AlIslamyaa group leader, a group which supports the MB and is sponsored by it, on the TV broadcast from the Muslim TV network AlHafiz, threatened the Copts that if they have joined the protests to overthrow Morsi they will be exterminated. Many supporters of Morsi were caught on videos uploaded to youtube, swearing to Allah that they will burn and exterminate all the Copts and their churches if Morsi was gone. For months the Copts watched and listened to a promise of a holocaust to them, accompanied by weekly attacks on them, their churches and their properties with no attempt from anyone to reassure them or guarantee their security. The Egyptian army was busy plotting to overthrow the lunatic president, The UN did not express any concern and the US government was more preoccupied with supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. Only the Copts were left to face their fate, as they always did.

To give you a better idea on what Copts go through, here is some of the events that happen in a typical week not including major incidents:

Feb 26th: 11 years old female Coptic girl Meriam Makram was beaten at school because she had a Christian tone on her cellphone. A Jihadist group issues a video threatening to bomb churches with car bombs.

Feb 27th: The siege of the archdioceses of Bani Souif by Salafist Islamist mob. The kidnapping of two Coptic doctors Samuel Louis and Shenouda Malak. 

Mar 1st: Muslim Salafist mob sieges St. George church in Koum Imbo. The kidnapping of a 100 Copts by Libyan militants because they were thought to be preaching to Muslims.

Mar 2nd: 4 Copts shot to death in Borg El Arab because they were said to build a church.




MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD AFTERMATH

The Muslim Brotherhood is gone, forever. I know that many people don't want to believe it, especially those
The church of Anb Moussa,
 burning in fire as this post being written.
who are sitting at Washington D.C and those at the Washington Post, but it is the truth. The Muslim Brotherhood is gone as much as Mubarak is gone and they won't be coming back. In Washington they still deny that, but they are not the ones who pay the price, the Copts are. Since the fall of Morsi, Copts suffered from attacks almost on daily basis. Most of the Copts suffering from the attacks are the ones who are already suffering from deep poverty, living in government abandoned villages in upper Egypt. The Muslim mob used to fake a reason for attacking the Christians, something like abducting a woman or a sexual affair between a Muslim girl and a Christian guy, but now, they don't even try to fake reasons as they just attack the Copts. One incident 10 days ago in AlMinya, Muslims attacked Christians because one Christian guy was listening to a pro Military song. There is no reason necessary at all for a US supported Islamist to attack Christians. In Sinai, one Coptic priest was shot dead in Rafah in brought day light in a busy market street, another Copt was found beheaded in the same area.

Please do not forget for a minute that those ruthless violent pro-Morsi Islamists are the ones described in western media as "pro-democracy" and "anti-coup" peaceful protesters, as if it was merely a liberal modern democratic educated group of people engaged in a process of political disagreement. The Middle East has a much different cultural framework than the west and it is idiotic to apply western notions of modern politics and democracy to it. Political Islam is not a political ideology that can be integrated into the western democratic system. The MB pro-democratic protesters as I'm writing this, in this very moment, are burning down over 20 Coptic churches and attacking the poorest and weakest Christians who live in the poorest villages in upper Egypt. The MB is promising martyrdom for those who die for Morsi. What part of that undemocratic lunatic fanatic delusional movement is hard to understand for the western governments?

Yesterday the military decided to finally crack down on the sit-ins of the pro-Morsy Islamist, a plan which was declared two weeks ago. When the army and police started to carry out their plan, the Islamists hit back not just the army, but the Copts as well. In less than 24 hours about 16 churches, houses and community buildings were torched all over Egypt. Egypt is cleaning house and the Copts are paying a heavy price. While the world is disputing the current turmoil in Egypt and Washington mourning the falling martyrs of the Msulim Brotherhood, the Copts are facing the worst nightmare. There once lived a great Jewish community in Egypt, which none of it is left today and the great heritage of Egyptian Jewry was lost forever. Today, we are faced with a similar serious threat. The world is preoccupied with the current political turmoil in Egypt, trying to decide who has the right to rule while no one is giving attention to the ongoing catastrophe to an indigenous ancient Middle Eastern sect. One of the churches burned today by MB pro-democracy supporters was the Prince Tadros church in AlMinya, an ancient church from the 4th century which contained historical ancient manuscripts on Orthodox theology. Are you ready to accept such a loss? Are power and money more important than human life and human history? Tough days are coming ahead for Copts, tough days but no call for help to make but Kyriallison[*]


4th Century Prince Tadros Church in ruins.


[*] Kyriallison is a Coptic word which means "God have mercy", a prayer used by Copts frequently.