In an interview with Oxford professor Michael Willis
about Tunisia, Radio Free Europe correspondent Hossein Aryan noted that "there
has not been a religious dimension to the unrest" in the Middle East. This is
quickly becoming the conventional wisdom.
After years of enduring harassment and violence, Egypt’s Christians, the Copts, have seen their situation improve in recent months. The media have become more friendly to Christianity, and plans are being made to purge school textbooks of their hate messages.
The drive-by gunfire killing of six Coptic Christians in Egypt at their church on January 6, the eve of their Christmas celebration, has drawn widespread shock from the Vatican and church leaders in Europe, the Middle East and Australia.
President Obama’s June 4 speech in Cairo was just that—a speech. As commentators at home and abroad pointed out, it will take deeds to give substance to his call for “a new beginning” in relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world.
Dogged by persistent but untrue rumors that he is a closet Muslim, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign carefully sidestepped questions about his Muslim ancestry. But in Cairo, Egypt, on June 4 Obama quoted the “Holy Qur’an,” greeted his audience with the customary “Assalaamu alaykum” and, when speaking of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad in the same breath, said “peace be upon them.”
Christians persecuted in Iraq . . . Christian clergy murdered in Indonesia . . . churches destroyed in the Sudan. Around the world, stories of anti-Christian abuse and violence mount up, and are usually presented as irrefutable evidence of the violence of Islam.
In a decision being hailed as a major step toward female equality in the Islamic world, the grand mufti of Egypt has said that Muslim women have no obligation to prove their virginity to prospective husbands.