Vote for Me Or Else: Islamists' Latest Excuse to Kill Minorities
This threat – demanding that Christians and other minorities vote for the same Islamist leaders who persecute them, "or else" – has taken root in other countries as well.
In what seems to be a pattern in many Muslim nations of finding new pretexts to justify anti-Christian -- and anti-"Other" -- behavior, Egypt's Christians and their churches are under attack, ostensibly because Christians joined the June 30 Revolution, which led to the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Even before then, during the 2012 presidential elections, Christians were often threatened and sometimes attacked for not voting for the Muslim Brotherhood -- an absurd expectation considering that for decades it has been the Brotherhood and its many Islamist and jihadi offshoots that have terrorized Egypt's Christians.
Even the popular Egyptian columnist Khaled Montasser, a Muslim, in an article published around the 2012 presidential elections, scoffed at the idea that Copts could ever vote for Morsi. Montasser documented, among other items, how the Brotherhood has in years past issued fatwas calling for the destruction of churches and a ban on burying "unclean" Christian "infidels" anywhere near Muslim graves. "After such fatwas," Montasser concluded, "Dr. Morsi and his Brotherhood colleagues can ask and wonder -- 'Why are the Copts afraid?'"
When Ahmed Shafiq, Morsi's political opponent, did well in Egypt's first round of presidential elections -- many insist he actually even won the elections -- the Islamists blamed the Copts for voting for him and not for Morsi. Tarek al-Zomor, a prominent figure of al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya -- the "Islamic Group" which in 1997 slaughtered some 58 foreign tourists (mainly European, American and Japanese) during a massacre in Luxor -- even "demanded an apology from the Copts" for voting for Shafiq, adding that "this was a fatal error."
This threat -- demanding that Christians and other minorities vote for the same Islamist leaders who persecute them, "or else" -- has taken root in other countries, as well.
In Pakistan, for instance, according to a May 20 report by the Morning Star News,
A Muslim political candidate suspected of murdering a Christian has instigated calls from mosque loudspeakers for attacks on Christians, whom he blames for his May 11 election loss. Tensions were high in Punjab Province's Okara district after provincial assembly seat candidate Mehr Abdul Sattar, sought by police in connection with a 2008 murder, on May 13 arranged for mosque calls for violence against Christian villages. "Burn their homes to the ground … Punish them such that they forget Gojra and Joseph Colony," was the cry from village mosques in the district [emphasis added].
"Gojra and Joseph Colony" are references to two separate incidents when Pakistani Christians were especially persecuted: in 2009 in Gojra, eight Christians were burned alive, 100 houses looted and 50 homes set ablaze after a blasphemy accusation; and last March in Joseph Colony, Lahore, some 3,000 Muslims attacked Christians, destroying 175 homes and burning their churches, again, because a Christian was accused of insulting Islam.
Calls for violence against the Christians who did not vote for Mehr Abdul Sattar have been effective. Sattar's supporters ambushed a convoy of about 100 Christians on their way to congratulate his opponent on his victory.
Though notified, police failed to respond. This is unsurprising, considering that Sattar himself is connected to the murder of Javed Masih, a Christian who had opposed him in a 2008 election, according to the Morning Star News report.
"The late Javed Masih used to tell the peasants to vote according to their conscience and not get intimidated by gangsters like Mehr [Abdul Sattar]," said Younas Iqbal, chairman of a peasant movement fighting for land rights: "His efforts bore fruit, and Mehr lost the general election in 2008. Unfortunately, Masih had to sacrifice his life for the cause, while several others were injured in an armed attack by Mehr's men."
According to Iqbal, this latest "humiliating defeat further stoked anger in Mehr, and he is now bent upon punishing us," pointing out that Sattar has targeted no Muslims for opposing him by voting for others.
If modern systems of governance, such as voting, elections, and democracy are being utilized as new ways to persecute Christians and other minorities in countries such as Egypt and Pakistan -- which differ in every way except for the practice of Islam -- intimidation by fundamentalists is alive and well across the Islamic world.
Raymond Ibrahim is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War in Christians (published by Regnery in cooperation with Gatestone Institute, April 2013). He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum.
Reader comments on this item
|And so it remains with us today [140 words]||Tony Afara||Sep 21, 2013 12:14|
|Religion, culture, and governance, often a deadly mix [130 words]||Fnpmitchreturns||Sep 21, 2013 09:01|
|Democracy a means not an end [45 words]||Jon MC||Sep 18, 2013 06:09|
Comment on this item
by Gordon G. Chang
The second thing we get wrong about China is that it is safe to ignore periodic Chinese threats to incinerate our cities and wage war on us. They employ salami-slicing tactics, as with Scarborough Shoal... so that they do not invite retaliation.
If we cannot say these things clearly and publicly, the Chinese will think we are afraid of them. If they think we are afraid of them, they will act accordingly.
Chinese leaders do not distrust us because they have insufficient contact with us. They distrust us because they see themselves as protectors of an ideology threatened by free societies.
by Anna Mahjar-Barducci
If the government fails... to assert its power in the months to come it will become a de facto Somalia II.... Soon, these militias, if they have not already done so, will have their own government that will contest the decisions of the paper government of Tripoli… Indicators show that it is already fragmenting into three countries." — Professor Mohamed Chtatou, University of Mohammed V, Morocco.
by Shadi Paveh
The notes from Dr. Azam's medical journal include a crushed toe, broken fingers, missing fingernails, broken ribs, a skull fracture, severe abdominal bruising, marks of flogging on her back and feet [and] extensive damage to her genitals.
Dutch authorities expressed shock and sadness over her execution and cut off diplomatic relations with Iran for approximately 20 days.
by Peter Huessy
Looking at the most recent developments in Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan, as well as North Korea, it would seem urgent that the U.S. end as soon as possible its era of nuclear neglect.
by Mohshin Habib
Sawan Masih has been sentenced to death, but what about those found guilty of inciting and committing violence and arson?
It [is] a travesty of justice that more than 3,000 people who burned the Christian neighbourhood in Lahore were free, while one man who was tried for a disputed charge was sentenced to death.
He said Pakistan's administration, police, military and courts want to contribute to their religion by somehow punishing the non-Muslims.
- Iran Plans to Hang Reyhaneh Jabbari Tuesday
by Shabnam Assadollahi
- US Government Promoting Islam in Czech Republic
by Soeren Kern
- Please save Reyhaneh Jabbari From Execution In Iran
by Reyhaneh Jabbari
- Brandeis Backs Arsonists, Dumps Firefighter
by Douglas Murray
- Is Iran's Hanging Tomorrow a Political Cover-up?
by Shabnam Assadollahi