Tagged with Islamic State

Copts Pick Up the Pieces: An Interview with Bishop Thomas

Copts Pick Up the Pieces: An Interview with Bishop Thomas

A condensed version of this interview was first published at The Media Project on May 4, 2017. Coptic Christians, the Middle East’s largest Christian community, account for roughly ten percent of Egypt’s population and have endured generations of exclusion and restrictions. Their struggles for equality have been aggravated by a series of gruesome and deadly … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Judges, Tribes

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Judges, Tribes

God, Two feuds escalated this week. One reached a preliminary conclusion, the other a concerning jolt. It may not be proper to pray mend the fences, but rather in wisdom to put all things right. After months of debate and clear judicial opposition, the president signed a parliament-ratified bill to select the chief judge of … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Blind Threat

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Blind Threat

God, As one era passes, another begins. One died, and then two others. There is no connection, save a pernicious idea. Defeat it, God, and save the people – target and targetter alike. Far away in America, the Blind Sheikh passed away after many years of incarceration. Linked to terrorism in the first World Trade … Continue reading

US Behind ISIS?

US Behind ISIS?

Here in Egypt the conspiracy thinking is strong that the United States, or at least her allies in the region, are a force behind the emergence of the so-called Islamic State. From the London Review of Books, here is some of the evidence. Fortunately, the author also deals with it along the conspiracy spectrum: His … Continue reading

Remember the Captive Assyrian Christians

Remember the Captive Assyrian Christians

There is so much bad news, often repeated, that five months later it is easy to forget. On February 23, 253 Assyrian Christians from the Hassaka area of Syria were taken captive by the so-called Islamic State. Unlike others, they were not executed for propaganda. It appears the jihadis desire ransom instead. On March 1, … Continue reading

Exploiting Saudi Arabia’s Tension of Identity

Exploiting Saudi Arabia’s Tension of Identity

The Washington Institute interprets the targeting of Shiites in Saudi Arabia as hitting at a vulnerable point in their religio-political ideology: Over the past two weeks, the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) has claimed two attacks on Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia’s Shiite-majority Eastern Province, one in Dammam and the other in Qatif. While the incidents … Continue reading

Escaping ISIS in Libya

Escaping ISIS in Libya

Consider the horrible ordeal of Coptic Christians in Libya, as the Islamic State stormed their compound. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tells how one escaped, helped by his Muslim friend: Hani Mahrouf awakened at 2:30 in the morning when fists pounded on the door of his housing compound in Sirte, Libya. It was Islamic State gunmen, searching … Continue reading

How Libya’s Martyrs are Witnessing to Egypt

How Libya’s Martyrs are Witnessing to Egypt

This article was published first on Christianity Today, on February 23, 2015. Undaunted by the slaughter of 21 Christians in Libya, the director of the Bible Society of Egypt saw a golden gospel opportunity. “We must have a Scripture tract ready to distribute to the nation as soon as possible,” Ramez Atallah told his staff … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Beheadings

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Beheadings

God, After a few days the spirit risks becoming calloused. One more tragedy amid a litany of offense. But the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya might strike a nerve that runs deeper. It might awaken a nation to danger, or deaden further a decayed humanity. For some, God, are blaming the victim. There … Continue reading

Researching the Islamic State

Researching the Islamic State

I confess to not having kept up well with the so-called Islamic State. My focus has always been on Egypt, with peripheral attention given to the region. If Egypt has been difficult to understand – living here – the rest of the region seemed near impossible. And fortunately, the complicating factor of the Islamic State … Continue reading

The Sharia of ISIS and Azhar

The Sharia of ISIS and Azhar

Does the so-called Islamic State represent the essence of Islam, or its perversion? The answer supplied often closely aligns with one’s ideology. But what does ISIS say for itself? Here is testimony gathered by the Guardian on what is taught in the training camps: Unlike previous incidents of stoning adulterers and crucifixion, throwing people from … Continue reading

Islamism or Jihadism: A False Choice

Islamism or Jihadism: A False Choice

In the year 1321 Muslim mobs, with tacit allowance from the Mamluk Sultan, destroyed 60 churches in Egypt and openly attacked Copts on the roads and in their homes. Incitement included accusations Christians supported the invading Mongols in their ‘coup’ attempt against the state. According to UK-based Fadel Soliman, these days may soon return. Coptic … Continue reading