Monday, March 06, 2006

Two Muslim Women in their Own Words about Religions in Egypt

I was inspired to write this blog post after I read Superluli’s comment on my post about the little boy George Shahata who became victim of sectarian violence in Egypt. This blog post includes honest real personal accounts or confessions that should make it so interesting if you want to learn about what is going on for liberal Muslim women and Copts treatment in Egypt.

Superluli in her own words:

“I agree that things here are not good for Christians. My group of best friends are 2 Copts one catholic and one Armenian, and me the only Muslim! Over my life I have had other friends, who were also Christian - I never had a problem, I think if you are Muslim, then you automatically are Christian and a Jew too. (But that's a whole new discussion) Apparently in Egypt my looks let people perceive me as Christian.

Here are some of my experiences which lead me to think that things are not fair, but not brutal. Maybe you can elaborate on some brutal experiences so we can determine the level of severity!

1) My first experience as a 13 year old, I was wearing the key of life - a pharaonic symbol that looks like a cross. I was walking down the road and two young guys in their 20ies called out "roohi enty wel 2asees beta3ek" (go away you and your priest) I was young and I was in a Christian school - I thought life was rosy, my friends were Christian, my family taught me that there's no difference. And that was my first shock! Nothing violent.

2) I have experienced taxi drivers who never stop, if I am asking to go to ramsis for example, and a veiled woman is standing two meters after me also wanting to go to ramsis, a taxi would tell me no but would stop and pick up the veiled one. My Christian friends experienced that, they get into a taxi, the taxi looks at them, sees a cross, stops and tells them to get out and he will not drive them. That happened a few times to more than one girl.

3) I have Christian friends who hire a Christian maid, a Christian driver and a Christian door man, I have Muslim friends who do the same. I have Christian friends who have Muslim drivers and vice versa! there are companies who hire only Christians like off the top of my mind coz I just dealt with them ghabbour and Thomas cook and companies that hire Muslims only (I can't remember any example now, but there are many)

4) I studied at two universities, a private one and the university of Alexandria. In the University of Alex, I took private courses, before the exams with a group of 15 people. They NEVER talked to me. NEVER helped me out and completely ignored me, and I was trying my hardest to be nice, and to fit in despite of the difference in social class and education.

In the second year they got into an argument about religions, and I stepped it and it was clear that I was Muslim. Since then, they completely transformed! They were sooo nice suddenly. I was puzzled, until I realized that this was the point where they realized I am not Christian. I do not believe in manifestation of religion which is why I never wear anything that would make it obvious what religion I am.

Since then I made a point of wearing some 'masha2allah" every once and a while so they see it. I started saying "el salamu 3aleiko" instead of good morning. And that did it! They called me when I didn't show up, and gave me their notes!

I and my mom are not veiled and apparently we do not "look" Muslim. There are so many times we feel discriminated against because of these facts, in lines in a government agency (unless the employee is Christian, then we have priority!)

My mom was mugged a few months ago in broad day light, and there were a few men standing 10 meters away from her, men with beards. They saw her.
Had she been veiled, would things be different? Would they have at least helped her off the ground?! I wonder!

So I agree things suck! But there's a line between unfair & uncivilized and between dangerous and brutal. FFE portrayed it at the latter. I am not sure it is THAT severe.
That is my argument. Feel free to prove me wrong!

Freedom for Egyptians in her own words:

I do share with Superluli many of these incidents. My mother and I are not veiled, i.e. we do not wear the Islamic scarf over our heads, not only that, this idea does not exit in our dictionaries. We represent the infidal culture in our soceity according to the current Egyptian standards evaluating a Muslim woman. There are so many Egyptian women who do not wear Islamic scarves, however, they whole heartedly believe in it and they encourage other women to wear it. These personalities are simply are the real hyporcites.

My grandma never liked women with Islamic scarves. She used to upset so many women in our family and even in public places for her opinions. I remember so many of her comments to veiled women when used to go shopping or doing our groceries. I sometimes felt so embarrassed but people used to take it because she is a senior citizen. I grew up in a family that does not only wear Islamic scarves but also despise them. I never thought why when I was younger but now I think why and I know why.

I consider my family’s relationship with Egyptian Copts (Christians) is very unique. I believe that until I was in my kindergarten, I did not know whether I am a Muslim or Christian, simply, because at home I was not educated to talk about Christians or Muslims. As a result, the idea never occurred to my mind, even though some members of my family were/are practicing Muslims including my grandma. I remember I was going to school and in the school bus one day and an older student asked me whether I am a Muslim or a Christian. I did not have an answer. She asked me whether my dad goes to a mosque or Church, I did not have any answer. I was mute. I went home to ask mom, that day I knew that there are Christians and Muslims in our society.

The reason why I am mentioning my grandma so frequently is because I spent my childhood years with her due to the fact that my mother was a working mom and because my parents lived in the same building with her. My Grandma’s lawyer was a Copt. Until this day, my family’s lawyers are Copts and we do not trust except them. The fashion in my Grandma’s days/era that each family should have its own tailor. This tailor is usually a very sophisticated person, in the sense that his place is like a mini fashion designer shop. My Grandma’s tailor was a Copt. She grew old with her lawyer and tailor. And the three of them passed away. Before her death, she could not leave home. Her tailor paid her courtesy visit to do her something. He himself so old, we were all so touched by the visit and by the kindness. He considered her a friend.

Names in Egypt are very indicative to everyone's religion. Usually names consist of three, four or five names. Those names could include three grandparents. And you can use your first name with your father or any grandparent name that you think musical. All my school and university years I used my father’s name and I do not know why. May be I thought it is musical. From my name and dad’s name, one can never know my religion in Egypt. It is more likely to be a Christian name. I loved to tease so many “true Muslims” by never revealing my religion; it is none of their business. They want to treat according to my faith. And I thought it is so discriminatory.

So here come the discriminatory record incidents that I experienced:

1) So many times I was asked whether I am a Christian or Muslim because of my name. My dad's name does not indicate any religion. And I would believe it tends to be a christian according the Egyptian standards. I was asked several times whether I am a Christian or not.

2) I once asked a Taxi driver to lower the volume of the Quran tape he was playing in the taxi. It was deafening. I told him if you do not like what I am saying, stop here. He did. I was kicked out of the taxi. I had to look for another taxi.

3) I got a severe insult by a loser woman in a birthday party. This woman has nothing in her brain cells except the Islamic scarves. I was the only person who was not veiled. I got so many lessons from this woman on how to be a pious extremist Muslim woman. The bottom of this lesson that I am a whore. I went back to my mom almost in tears telling her I had never thought that such day will come. My mom told you should have given her due, I told her I respected the hostesses' presence. I thought it was a mistake to be among this group in the first place, but I am not used to discriminate against anyone for what he or she wears. I felt my society will never appreciate individuals on the basis of their achievements or contribution but on whether they are wearing this scarf or not. Despite the fact that I had my own intellectual circles where we speak the same language, but I believe that these women or their mentalities are the majority now in Egypt. And they show zero tolerance to others in an insulting way.

4) So many times, I thought of buying Egyptian wine and beer to my American friends in the US. You cannot buy Egyptian wine in the US. I went to a store in Cairo in a district known to have many foreign residents. The first time I went, I was rejected the service because it was a Muslim Eid. Luckily I had a foreign friend. She bought the wine and beer on my behalf. The second time I managed to buy the beer and wine but I was denied a taxi ride. I was in the taxi, the driver saw the bag I have with the wine, he stopped the car and asked me to leave. That was funny and bitter.

5) I love the pharonic “key of life” or Ankh. It looks so artistic and it has a meaning, but looks like a cross. Colleagues see me wearing it immediately ask me one of the two questions; “Are you a Christian? We did not know”. Those who know that I am a Muslim ask me; “why are you wearing this cross?” I reply back this is not a cross. This is a key that symbolically believed to open for you the other life.

6) We used to have a dog in our building. Friends and colleagues hear me talk about the dog tell: “This is dog is "haram",an Arabic word for forbidden in Islam, because it kicks away the angels”. Many friends for my family refused to visit us for the dog.

7) I used to volunteer in a state-run orphanage which is part of a big complex where so many minors are there for different reasons including crimes. This orphanage does not accept Christians and if one came by mistake, he has to be deported to a church-run orphanage. I do not mind him going to a church-run orphanage. But this is a government orphanage and is run by the Ministry of Social Affairs. It should be for all Egyptians without discrimination.

8)Last but not least, and when I remember this I really laugh. During my high school time, I used to wear shorts, besides the causual, it was the fashion to be in shorts that function like a skirt. I was walking close to my house with my neighbor who was one my best friends at that time. Suddenly from our backs, we felt pebbles being thrown on our legs. At the beginning, I thought I was stepping on them by mistake. Then I turned, I found very young children throwing pebbles on our legs. My friend knew the reason. She told me that a Sheikh in a near by mosque who is giving religious lessons asked the children to do so with sinful women.

There are hundreds of stories that I can fill a book with. But I want to say that I believe in everyone's right to worship but regrettably those who practice this right do not believe in the right to be an individual with his/her beliefs or the right to life and freedom.

I want to say that despite all these street intimidations, women with no Islamic scarves are very well respected at the professional level in Egypt and not only that they are sought to hold key positions. Everyone can argue this fact, but I am speaking here from experience for a having a very successful career myself in Egypt and never covering my hair one day in my life or even thinking about it.

One final comment on the treatment the Egyptian Copts receive. I am a Cairoian, grew up in Cairo, and if intimidations did not take a violent form against Copts, however discrimination has the door open for those who would like to get in. I met people coming from villages in Egypt who are proud that they do not have one Egyptian Copt in their villages. I am not a supporter of giving privilages to citizens on basis of their faith. I am supporter of the right of equality to all Egyptians to be full-fledged citizens regardless of their faiths or even if they chose to be faithless.

27 Comments:

At 2:50 AM, Anonymous Coptic said...

courageous post ffe, but the crucial question is: how could we stop discrimination and hatred that became like a rolling snow ball which is getting bigger and bigger every day to the extent that no one could stop it right now and at the same time no one wants to admit it!!

U r talking about what happened 15 - 20 years ago but do u realize the gloomy picture right now in Egypt?

Liberal powers in Egypt are small in number and their voice is almost heard and they r subject to terror threats and u know what happened to the great liberal Dr. Farag Fouda who was assassinated after some made a fatwa to squander his blood and another example, in cairo international book fair 2006, a fanatic person named Abu Islam was selling a filthy book named "who killed the dog?" referring to Dr. Fouda and the catastrophe that this book and other books scorning christianity from the same person were approved by the book fair organizers and all have ISBN (International Standard Book Number) too!!

All i can say, May the lord have mercy on us.

 
At 4:49 AM, Blogger GC said...

I completley agree with you FFE. I am muslim myslef, but I do acknowledge that discrimination is widespread and I have a few stories of my own:
- We were passing by a church and my cousin looked at it and said: look closely there are devils there.
- My wife is not veiled and she gets dirty looks on the street all the time.
- We have a dog and we get lectures all the time about it.
- What about the widespread myth that copts have the evil eye? I've heard that many times.

I really hope to see the day when tolerance and understanding becomes the norm in our society. I'm not so sure it will happen soon though.

 
At 5:15 AM, Anonymous Anis said...

Hello,
I'm a Tunisian and I visited your nice country last year. It was a wonderfull trip, however what astonished me is that I felt some tension between the religious communities after speaking to egyptians we met.
Of course I think that is pure ignorance between both extremisms and the problem is also that the government does nothing to avoid it, at the contrary, It's ok for the government to legitimate its staying in power and to "guarantee" some kind of statu-quo.
Imagine if the islamic brotherhoods come to power, what will they do to guarantee some kind of security to the Christians or equality between egyptian citizens ?

Well, my conviction is that, of course there are some stupid ignorant extremists that think that by killing some tourists or terrorising women or Christians, they are doing something positive to Islam; but the government is also implicated because it does nothing.

These kind of governments (and we can say it for the majority of arab world) don't care about human beeing, they just care about staying in power.

It's up to us to manifest against violence, sectarism and intolerance!

I have a dream !

 
At 9:07 AM, Anonymous JPierre said...

Great post girls. I will not comment a lot, as all has already been said in your post, directly and even between the lines.

- An Egyptian-Armenian

 
At 10:20 AM, Blogger Superluli said...

FFE, our stories are quite similar - Most of your experiences are like mine, the vieled friends, the grandmother.
I do admit that being non-veiled iis quite a privilege in having a career.

It's a great post about discrimination based on dress code.
Just when you thought there's nothing worse than religious and racial discrimination!

 
At 10:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your are extremely blowing it out of proportion, especially FFE

 
At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Alb Sayed said...

Interesting discussion, except I still think Luli's point is valid; although there is widespread discrimination, it is not brutal, i.e. people aren't dying on the streets daily.

Of course we all hope it would never get to that point, and it will take each of us to work against the discrimination.

I'm an adamant believer that we have to change ourselves, before we try and change others. That goes for the Egyptian liberals as well. As someone that frequents both pro-veil, and anti-veil groups, I find both equally critical of one another. If you don't believe in it, don't do it. If you do believe in it, don't force it down the others' throats.

As for discrimination against Christians, or any other minority in Egypt for that matter. I find it best to approach the subject logically and without attacking people. That is, if I'm with a friend who makes a rude and racist comment about Christians, I'll simply ask him why? The response will be "because they're Christian", and my response will be "So?" And I found that that leads to an interesting, if not educational discussion.

What tends to happen is that people "sing to the choir" as they say. The Christians and educated (undiscriminating) Muslims will talk among themselves, while those that discriminate against any minority, will flame amongst themselves. I think we need to educate each member of society that we come across. Even if it's with the driver on a short taxi ride, or with a distant relative during a family visit, there are always opportunities.

As Luli pointed out, there are those who will discriminate against Muslims, or veiled Muslims to be exact, just as there are those that discriminate against unveiled ones. Our society is full of blinding discrimination on many fronts, the poor, the Nubians, etc. And it's our role to change it, even if it's one person at a time.

Apologies for the extended comment.

 
At 12:54 PM, Blogger Egypeter said...

WOW! Thank you for an excellent and very courageous post!!

As a Coptic/Egyptian/American born and raised in Chicago you gave me a great mental picture of what life is like growing up in Egypt. Altough I have heard similar stories from girls in my church who recently lived in Egypt it amazes me that this stuff happens to all girls who are not exclaiming to the world that they are "pious" muslims by wearing a headscarf. Does the headscarf automatically make you a good muslim? Does NOT wearing the headscarf automatically make you a bad muslim??

It's hard for me to believe how much HATRED there is in Egypt among everyday people. And that is exactly what it is...pure and simple hatred. There is no way to sugar coat it and no way to dismiss it.

Alb Sayed said:

"Interesting discussion, except I still think Luli's point is valid; although there is widespread discrimination, it is not brutal, i.e. people aren't dying on the streets daily."

"people aren't dying on the streets daily?"

Is that when the situation is officially bad? Is that what it's going to take. No, not every single Copt is being slaughtered where they stand but is that the standard for "discrimination" and "oppression?" We've all read testimonials from two MUSLIM girls. What happens in the stories that we just heard when the answer to "are you a Christian" is "yes." What happens then?

Here's another story:
When I was in Sharm in 2004 I took a taxi from point A to point B. The guy driving me was bearded, rude and ugly and I had a hunch what he was all about (fundementalist). I tried making conversation and being friendly but he had his hunches about me (Christian). As the ride went on I was baragaining with him on the fair. We agreed on a certain price which was less than what we originally agreed on. Right before he dropped me off he asked me what my name was. WHY??? I'm no idiot. So I told him my name was "boutros" which is Arabic for Peter. He immediately reneged on the cheaper fare and insisted on the higher fare. Screw him; he can go to hell.

That's my story. Big damn deal. I didn't really care about the extra 5 or 10 pounds but I got a nice taste of discrimination and it PISSED me off more than anyone can know. What would he have charged me if I told him my name was Mustafa Mohamad Ahmed Mohamad? Would he have charged me the cheaper fare?? Probably. It is no secret that in Egypt your name usually says it all. And it's funny, if they can't figure out what religion you follow by divulging your name then they simply have the audacity to flat out ask you, "are you muslim or christian?" Can you believe that?? I wonder how many friends I would have in America if I went around asking everybody what their religion was...and then treating them differently based on their answer? ZERO. But in Egypt it's expected.

It's strange to me. I hear all these stories from superluli, FFE and MANY others and I STILL hear people, even on this blog, say that Copts, liberals and women are blowing it out of proporition. That, while there may be some troubles, the situation is totally under control. That fundementalist Islam is on the rise but that it's no problem for secular, liberal or Christian Egyptians. Are Egyptians so desensitized that blatant acts of discrimination doesn't bother them anymore? Have they come to accept it? It sure sounds like it because these incidents are not normal and should not be accepted!
Will Egypt in 20 or 30 years look like Saudi Arabia and Iran or will it look more like Turkey? I fear the answer.

If incidents like these are any indicator than you can understand my concern:

-The murder of 11 year old George Shahata and Kamal Shaker in Udaysat.
-The destruction of the church in Udaysat and Coptic bussinesses
-The 5000 person mob riot against St. George's church in Moharam Bey and the subsequent burning and looting of Coptic bussinesses
-The qualified Coptic female doctor who was denied employment soley on the basis of her religion.

These are just some incidents in the last 6 months. 6 months! Someone who believes that things are OK in Egypt PLEASE PLEASE explain to me the above.

The first thing that Egyptians must do is to ADMIT that things are NOT OK. Once we aknowledge that things are broken and need to be fixed then we can maybe begin to improve the situation. Until then, nothing will change. I can gurantee that.

Thanks FFE and Super for sharing. I only wish more people were raised with the values and morals that your parent's gave you!! Thank you and God bless you both and all good kind Muslims in Egypt!

By the way - the story of the little children who were instructed by their Imam to throw pebbles at your legs for wearing shorts really really scares me! And then we wonder why these children grow up to be fanatics or terrorists. It's simple - they are INDOCTRINATED.

Peace

 
At 1:09 PM, Blogger sugiero said...

I admire your courage. I´m looking forward to seeing this discrimination end, as well as the intolerance.

 
At 1:26 PM, Blogger Renegade Eye said...

Again a powerful post.

it is funny to me, how progressive your posts are, but your links are conservative. This lefty is with you. Clerical fascism is a problem for the left.

 
At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Ahmed said...

well a lot of people are talking about change and wat needs to be changed but your ass is in washington or chicago.so how do u expect change if u your sleeping peacefully 2 continenets away.

 
At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahmed,

We would love to hear how are you moving you ass in Egypt to make a change ??? It will be great learn from you.

 
At 4:47 PM, Blogger Egypeter said...

Ahmed - FFE is affecting change just by writing her blog. She is affecting change by raising awareness and opening dialogue. I happen to think she's doing more than many many others. Thanks FFE.

 
At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Alb Sayed said...

Peter,

You said:
" 'people aren't dying on the streets daily?'

Is that when the situation is officially bad? Is that what it's going to take. No, not every single Copt is being slaughtered where they stand but is that the standard for "discrimination" and "oppression?""

I said:

"there is widespread discrimination, it is not brutal"

Yes it exists, yes it is bad, yes every single human being, Egyptian or not, Muslim or Christian, should stand against it.

 
At 7:47 PM, Blogger Egypeter said...

OK Alb Sayed - It sounds like we are on the same page, friend. I agree with your last comment.

 
At 8:23 PM, Blogger Gateway Pundit said...

That was a very interesting post on something foreign to me having lived in the US my whole life. Thank you both.

 
At 10:34 PM, Blogger Freedom for Egyptians said...

I believe that sharing and talking about things that many may consider senstivities are contributions to important issues that touch the lives of many Egyptians, regardless from where they come.

We keep saying that Egyptian Muslims and Copts are brothers and sister, which is true, there is no doubt about that. But hiding behind idealistic slogans can drop some rights because we do not look into the reality. There is no shame in addressing mistakes and injustices. It is horrific to deny them.

And by the way, Muslims and Copts become victims at the end not only Copts.

The fact that Coptic, Anis, Global Cairene, JPierre, Alb Sayed , Superluli sugiero ,Renegade Eye ,Egypeter, Ahmed, Gateway Pundit and I had all something to say and felt we want to contribute, this itself is an evidence that there is something that needs addressing.

I did not do anything except talking about myself and my personal experience within the family and society. I hope everyone can spend sometime to assess how life is going around him. This is how we can start make a change. Thank you all for reading this lengthy post and comment. I promise next time, it will be shorter

 
At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm stunned that you both had the same experience when wearing an "ankh".
I'm American and even I know what an ankh is.
How can any Egyptian, even Muslim Egyptians not know what an ankh is? It's part of their ancient culture. Has that been forgotten or are Muslims not allowed to know about ancient Egypt, because they were not Islamic yet?
I just find it sad because I always found ancient Egypt so interesting and to think the native people don't study their own culture is a shame.

 
At 11:21 PM, Blogger Freedom for Egyptians said...

Anon 11:13

This just tells you how ignorance can create prejudice.

I have a silver Ankh with me here and I enjoy wearing it as a beautiful sign.

 
At 3:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi FFE,

Great post. I believe it is very brave and I apllauyou and Super Luli. I agree with you totally on the level of ignorance and prejudice present. However, I am sure there are positive points in Egyptian common people. They just do not speak out against such prejudiced behavior.
The solution is through emphasis on education and mass media. Children should get taught on how to understand, accpet and tolerate people of different beliefs. Mass media should promote diversity.
By the way, keeping with my belief, I will not say which relgion I belong to.
Egyptian in Germany

 
At 7:53 AM, Blogger Superluli said...

Here's a historical backgroung for you guys, that i learned in an elective course.

In 1919 in the revolution of saad zaghloul against the british, all muslims and christians were united.
Years later when the parliament and the constitution was being set the british suggested that we have a percentage from the parliament christians. (something similar to Lebanon now) But egyptians said no, it was the height of the partiotic feel and calls for a united egypt made them think there's no real difference.
(opinion: i think it was a right move from the egyptians, affirmative action only reinforces the desticntion between people based on race, religion or whatever)
Then when the constitution was being written the british advised Egyptians to write in the consituttion that "Egypt is a muslim country, and believs in the muslim faith", which egyptians took up.
This was the irst step: our consitution here negated the existence of christians.

Followed by that were a few facros:
1) the uneduated and poor classes in Nasser's age started having more power and opporutnities, and due to their ignorance this slowly resulted in this change of perceptions about muslims and christians
2) the poor education system starting nasser's time did not make egyptians any smarter, so they know how to read and write, but they have little culture and education
3) Sadaat came and did two big things
- He allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to spread. So this helped in the "Islamic Revolution" in Egypt in the 80ies. MB are your average egyptians, so they lack education and culture just like everyone else, plus they are fundamentalists!
- He had a big argument with the Pope Shenouda (the highest christian authority for Copts). In one small city there was a priest and an imam, and they were turning muslims and christians against each other. So Sadaat told azhar to kick out the imam and asked Pope Shenouda to do the same.
In christian belief you cannot simply "remove" a priest. So Sadaat got angry and thought he was being challenged.
And in a public speech he said "Shenouda is challenging me!" The big mistake here is that he said the Pope's name without referring to him as Baba (pope) Shenouda, a clear sign of disrespect.
This cause an outrage for the christians, despite of the fact that they later came to an agreement, and it was just a quarrel.

So with the increased mindless religiousness based on imitation not understanding, and with the diminishing amount of free thought, education, open discussion and culture - egypt now is what it is.

 
At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Ahmed said...

All i meant is that these imams who spread the hate,and the people that believe them won't change their views from reading a blog.1st off i think,this hate is caused by the povetry most off these people are living in,go to a country like kuwait or uae and extremism is very hard to find,not because they are less muslim but because they have better standard of living.the only way change would happen with the imam,is if one of them stands up against al this bullshit,most of the good people just talk about positives and are too scared too cover stuff we need to cover

 
At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blogger wrote about the concept of Muslim privilege: http://democraticegypt.blogspot.com/2006/03/muslim-privilege.html

 
At 10:31 AM, Anonymous SamsHabeby said...

Hi,
I have read your blog, and have enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing your personal experiances.
I am Canadian and my fiancee is Christian Egyptian. I have been to Egypt and loved it there, and some day, I hope to go and live in Egypt.
I also know that Christians are treated badly as I have seen as well, and for this I feel sorry for them. I feel that a person has their own right to religion without discrimination or hatred, but I was tought this when I was very young. I pray that someday soon all Egyption people will live in freedon..freedom of religion, speach, and others...
Thanks for posting such an interesting blog...I will come back, for sure..

 
At 7:19 AM, Blogger Mo'men said...

I admit that the general theme in Egypt is what you talked about in your blog, but Let me tell you this. I have a lot of christian friends and work collegues , Most of them treat me with respect and even nicer than some of my fellow muslims do. but it all comes down to "the raising", you were raised as not to discriminate muslim from christian , i was raised to treat people in the exact way i'd like to be treated , Other people was raised on hating the "different" like your pepples incident. i beleive that the population here in egypt just go with the flow , as you already know , we are a very sentimental nation, A single word or a simple event can burst a huge contravery, A single football match can make you as happy as a newly wed or as sad as a mourning father! saddly we are not objective in a lot of our actions.

 
At 11:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LATEST NEWS
Egyptian Taleban has destroyed one giant sphinx carved centuries ago, pictures obtained by CNN show.

United Nations officials confirmed the claims made by the the Egyptian Taleban, which announced last month it would destroy images deemed "offensive to Islam." But no photographs of the demolition were available until Monday.

Museums and governments around the world had hoped to save the Sphinx, the earliest of which is thought to have been carved in the twenty first century B.C . At 45 meters (150 feet) length, the statue was the longest Guardian sphinx in the world.

Demolition of the sphinx was nearly finished Monday, Egyptian Taleban Information Minister Tarek El Arian said.

"The destruction work is not as easy as people would think," he said. "You can't knock down the statue by dynamite or shelling.

A delegation from the 55-nation Organization of Islamic Conference came to cairo, the austere Islamic group's headquarters, on Sunday to urge the Egyptian Taleban to stop its campaign against the sphinx.

Taleban leaders refused.

"We would repeat to them as we have to other delegations that we are not going to back away from the edict, and that no statues in Egypt will be spared," El Arian said......


When do you expect this sad fake news will come true?


Here is the original!!!!!

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Afghanistan's Taleban has destroyed two giant Buddhas carved into a cliff centuries ago, pictures obtained by CNN show.
United Nations officials confirmed the claims made by the Taleban, which announced last month it would destroy images deemed "offensive to Islam." But no photographs of the demolition were available until Monday.
Museums and governments around the world had hoped to save the two Buddhas, the earliest of which is thought to have been carved into the sandstone cliffs of Bamiyan in the third century A.D. At 53 meters (175 feet) and 36 meters (120 feet), the statues were the tallest standing Buddhas in the world.
Demolition of the two towering images was nearly finished Monday, Taleban Information Minister Qudratullah Jamal said.
"The destruction work is not as easy as people would think," he said. "You can't knock down the statues by dynamite or shelling as both of them have been carved in a cliff. They are firmly attached to the mountain."
A delegation from the 55-nation Organization of Islamic Conference came to the Afghan town of Kandahar, the austere Islamic group's headquarters, on Sunday to urge the Taleban to stop its campaign against the relics. Taleban leaders refused.
"We would repeat to them as we have to other delegations that we are not going to back away from the edict, and that no statues in Afghanistan will be spared," Jamal said

 
At 3:32 PM, Anonymous N N said...

I know Christians have it worse than Muslims in Egypt, but I do have a point to make on discrimination against veiled women. No one is immune! I'm not personally veiled, but many of my friends are and they have their stories.

The one I remember most clearly is when they were job hunting. Several companies flat out said, "If you want this job, take off your scarf." OR asked inappropriate questions like, "Why do you wear it? Did you do something bad that you're trying to hide?"

And they lost many jobs for the reason that they are veiled. And they will probably never make it very high up the ranks at a multi-ntional company in Egypt.

I'm not complaining, because obviously Christians have it worse, I'm just commenting.

 

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