Skip to comments.The Siege of Egypt's St. Mark Cathedral
Posted on 04/28/2013 10:52:37 AM PDT by forty_years
What really happened on Sunday, April 7, 2013, during the St. Mark Cathedral attack in Cairo, where two Christians were killed and dozens wounded by Egyptian forces? As usual, different reports gave different versions, but now that the smoke has settled, the truth as first asserted during the attack by Coptic activists has been confirmed.
Back during the conflict, when state security was actually besieging the St. Mark cathedralthe most sacred building for millions of Coptic Christians and the only apostolic see serving the entire continent of AfricaAmir Ramzi, a Coptic man who managed to escape the compound where hundreds of other Copts were trapped all night was interviewed by phone on the popular Egyptian show, Cairo Today.
According Ramzi, president of the criminal court, "Today we witnessed a day unprecedented in the history of modern Egypt, a day when holy sites are attacked both by the interior ministry and the mob."
The program's host, Amr Adib, asked him to back up, evidently finding it difficult to implicate the interior ministry in an attack on an Egyptian landmark. So Ramzi began from the beginning, explaining how after the funeral service for another six Christians killed the day earlierincluding one intentionally set aflamein a conflict that started by Muslims sexually harassing a Christian girl, many of the Copts coming out of the cathedral were angry and protesting. Waiting for them in the streets were Islamic extremists, who began hurling rocks on the Copts, who responded in like manner. Eventually police appeared; Ramzi himself called a police chief, who assured him that the Copts should just go back into their cathedral, until the police secure the situation:
So that's what we did, thinking police would come to protect and separate the clashers. We were surprised to find that the police began to intervene and become another party to the conflict, attacking the Copts who were fighting back against the [Muslim] youth who were attacking them, and shooting gas bombs into the cathedral compound, which caused extreme poisoning, to the point that the ambulance cars were not enough to take the sick.
Ramzi added that three to four gas bombs struck the papal headquarter itselfthe seat of the Coptic popewhile another 40 to 50 entered into the general compound, causing dozens of Copts, including many women and children, to grow sick and/or faint. Whether from the gas bombs themselves or from another source, Copts also found the ceiling of their cathedral catching fire, though their youth managed to put it out.
He further confirmed that live ammunition was fired on the Copts who refused to relent and fought back fiercely, primarily with rocks. When Ramzi tried to get them to cool down, they told him that they "were ready to be martyred for our most important church" and "We're not just children to abandon our cathedral to be set aflame or have someone attack it."
Ramzi said that he could not really blame these Christian defenders, adding that many of them were already in heavy mourning for the six Copts murdered the day earlier, and, with a second attack on their cathedral for the funeral of these same deceased, had reached a point beyond frustration.
But Ramzi's most important and (at the time) controversial assertion was the role played by Egypt's Interior Ministry. Among other things, police and security figures would tell the beleaguered Copts everything is okay, that matters were secured, "only to find another five gas bombs thrown their way, not to mention live ammunition fired at them." Similarly, He said that security kept circling the cathedral, shooting gas bombs at every door: "Why, why would they do this"? Ramzi implored on the phone. When he and others contacted police, urging them to bring an armored vehicle in front of the cathedral to guard it, it came. But far from protecting the cathedral, he personally saw "the [Muslim] youth" standing atop it, throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at the cathedral.
When the host continued to express dismay, and even doubt, that state security would really behave this way, the eyewitness articulated an important question: the one thing that everyone agreed to is that, for hours, there were at least 30-40 Muslim youth hurling projectiles and Molotov cocktails at the cathedral, "so can you tell me why security didn't stop them or apprehend them? Was Egypt's entire state security unable to stop a mere 30-40 youth from vandalizing the nation's cathedral?"
When the host said, "but they arrested some ten people," Ramzi scoffed: "What are you thinking? You'll find that the majority of them are Christian."
Time has proven all of Ramzi's eyewitness assertions true. Soon after his interview, which was conducted even as the cathedral was still under siege, several pictures were published, including by Youm7, a prominent Egyptian paper, showing Muslims shooting rifles and throwing rocks and other projectiles at the cathedral, while security forces stand by. One picture shows a masked man in civilian clothes sitting in an Egyptian armored vehicle. Even the Western mainstream media recently came around to affirming that Egyptian security forces were involved in the attack on the cathedral. And, true to Ramzi's prediction, the only people to be arrested in connection with this latest atrocity against Christianity were Christians themselvesfor daring to protect their holiest site against an Islamic attack.
Raymond Ibrahim is author of the forthcoming book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians. He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and associate fellow at the Middle East Forum.
I wonder what would happen if American Conservatves started sending support to the Copts?
Actually, this migh be something that we can throw at Obama and he will have no way of defending against it.
It would be helpfull if there were visuals (PICS) posted along with the print narrative on these reports so FR’s could print them up to go snail mail or email out to others thus getting the word out.
It is a heinous crime under Islamic law for infidels to commit self defense against Moslems..
Copt actually means “Egyptian.”
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with the prayers of St. Evangelist Mark, amen.
The following day, the idolaters tied up the apostle once again with a neck bond and dragged his body through the streets as they had done before. This time they dragged his body until his head separated from his body. Upon this day, St Mark received three crowns, the crown of apostolicity, the crown of evangelism, and the crown of martyrdom. All the while during his torture, St Mark prayed, Thank you Lord because you have allowed me to suffer persecution and torture for Your Holy Name. St Mark, near his death, requested that the Lord forgive those who brought about his death, and then departed from his earthly existence.
After St Marks martyrdom, the idolaters hurriedly brought firewood to burn his body. A great wind suddenly blew, and a great rain fell and the idolaters in fear scattered. St Marks disciples came and affectionately carried his holy body and buried him in the Church which carries his name in Bokalia. St Marks blood became the first shed in Egypt and millions of martyrs would follow his example and chose earthly death rather than deny their Lord Jesus Christ.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem. Isaiah 27:13
“In the day that thy walls are to be built, in that day shall the decree be far removed. In that day also he shall come even to thee from Assyria, and from the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain.” Micah 7:11-12
Pray for believers in harms way in Egypt and for those fleeing whats happening in Syria,
Makes me sad to see the hardships that middle eastern Christians have to endure at the hands of islam. As luck would have it both my parents grandparents emigrated out of the middle east by boat and built their lives with security in the greatest place in the world.
I truly hope that other christians, conservative middle eastern christians who know and understand the enemy decide to do the same and leave for places like USA, Canada and Australia.
My dad tells me the story of how kissinger prior to the lebanese civil war advised the Maronite Christian president of Lebanon that Christians should really consider leaving lebanon and emigrating to the West where they can live in security and integrate into society. The president rebuffed him saying that its the land of the maronite church and cant be abandoned and will be fought for.
As much as I understand those sentiments, they are meaningless without outside support. It is sad that we as a nation cannot support middle eastern christians but we are more than happy to throw our backing to al qaeda to take over syria, and the muslim brotherhood to take over egypt. We are more than happy to throw our backing to Saudi arabia to crush a rebellion in bahrain where 80% of the population is shiite but ruled by the sunni wahabi sheikhs.
I start to wonder that if the tactic is to consolidate all muslims under one banner and get them all in one fell swoop, but thats just me trying to look on the bright side.
I wonder how long will we serve the interests of sunni extremists in Saudi arabia. I really do hate naive liberals. I wish we could send all the liberals to egypt to live one day in the shoes of the copts and I guarantee at the very least their foreign policy will not be so muslim loving.