Al Qaeda involvement in Egyptian protests. Coptics blamed by certain Islamists.

Al-Shabaab Flag (also known as the Black Flag of Jihad)


The situation in Egypt remains volatile and it appears that at least some Al-Qaeda supporters are amongst the protesters:

August 18, 2013

CAIRO — Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the Anti-Coup Alliance called for another day of protest Sunday, as authorities dismissed international criticism over their violent crackdown on opponents.

Interim foreign minister Nabil Fahmy said Sunday the international community has been silent about the “criminal acts” of the protesters.

Challenges to the Islamists and anti-government protesters continue to mount – with the interim government mulling a possible ban on the Muslim Brotherhood –  and other Islamists reportedly arrested and killed.

Still, supporters turned out overnight in rallies across the country, defying curfew in Alexandria, Minya and Helwan, just south of the capital.

The marches came after a day that saw the siege of a Cairo mosque by security forces and civilian supporters.  Protesters had sought refuge in the al-Fath mosque in Ramses Square, but the stand-off appeared to end without the devastating loss of life we’ve seen in other confrontations in recent days.

The government remained on the offensive, calling their operations a move against “terrorism.”  That seems to be piling on to the rhetoric of state media in the demonization of the largely Islamist anti-military forces.

And as apparent confirmation  – authorities said they had arrested Sinai-based jihadist Mohamed Zawahri —  brother of al-Qaida chief Ayman Zawahiri — at a checkpoint near Cairo.

A presidential advisor spoke of the “black flag” of al-Qaida being lifted in protests.  It’s also the  banner used by many different ultra-conservative Muslims.

But there are millions of Brotherhood followers who are ordinary citizens who remain defiant  because their freely elected leader, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted by the military.

And they are now facing another opponent – increasing numbers of pro-security vigilantes – armed with everything from sticks and machetes to hand and machine guns, adding another volatile element to the mix.

Forty churches were burned across Egypt Wednesday, according to local nongovernmental organizations and the Coptic Church’s youth group.

Egypt’s military-appointed leaders are not doing enough to protect Coptic Christian churches from a surge of attacks unleashed by Islamists since the government crackdown on protest camps set up by the Muslim Brotherhood, according to foreign politicians and analysts.

They warn that the anti-Christian violence is being encouraged by top Islamists preachers overseas, including Sheikh Yusif al-Qaradawi, considered the spiritual father of the Muslim Brotherhood. Qaradawi has urged retaliation against the Copts for their backing of the military’s ousting of president Mohamed Morsi.

Churches and Christian institutions as well as property owned by Copts have come under attack since the crackdown on supporters of Mohamed Morsi left hundreds dead, say Coptic leaders…

Hard-line Islamists blame Egypt’s Coptic Christian community for helping to oust Morsi, a prominent leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Coptic Orthodox Church is one of Christianity’s oldest, founded in Alexandria around 50 AD…

The Coptic pope, Tawadros II, has received death threats and several Christians have been killed.

Now, while I do not believe that the Gospel writer Mark founded the Coptic Church in 50 A.D. (see article Apostolic Succession) what has been happening to the Copts and their churches is wrong.  It is one thing for the Muslim Brotherhood to have peaceful protests that elected President Morsi was removed by a military coup, and it is quite another to burn churches, etc. As most realize, the Copts do not control the military, etc. in Egypt.

In related news, the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt, headed by Pope Tawadros II, has issued a press release concerning this as Vatican radio made posted the following:

Below, please find the full text of the press release, translated by the Office Of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II:

The Coptic orthodox church of Egypt is following closely the unfortunate incidences occurring in our nation Egypt and confirms its strong stance with the Egyptian law enforcement, the armed forces, and all of the institutions of the Egyptian people in its confrontation of the violent armed organizations, dark terrorists, both internal and external, the attacks on the government offices as well as our peaceful churches which are terrorizing our citizens both Coptic and Muslim.

These actions stand against all religions, morality, and humanity. We commend the stance of the friendly and loyal countries who understand the nature of these turns of events and we strongly denounce the erroneous reporting that is being broadcasted in the western media. We invite them to review the actual events subjectively instead of legitimizing these bloody terrorist organizations and all its affiliations with international support and political protection while they are attempting to spread devastation and destruction in our dear nation. We only request that the international and western media please report an valid account of the events with accuracy, truth, and honesty.

We send our condolences for all the victims and martyrs of duty that gave their lives, and we pray for the recovery of all the injured and afflicted. We persevere in our strong national unity and repulse any attempts to polarize our nation into a secular conflict. We absolutely reject any complete or even partial foreign interference in the internal national affairs of Egypt and as the hands of evil are extended to burn, kill and destroy; but the hands of God are nearer to protect, strengthen, and build. We have full confidence in the divine intervention that will navigate the Egyptian people in the delicate time of our history to a better tomorrow and a brighter future that will be filled with justice, peace, and democracy that the people of the Nile Valley deserve.

Long live Egypt, free and proud.

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt

It would have been better to close with pray for peace in Egypt, in my view, than to state Long live Egypt, free and proud. It is that pride in Egypt that will be a major factor in its ultimate destruction (see Daniel 11:40-43; Ezekiel 30:1-9):

6 ‘Thus says the Lord:

“Those who uphold Egypt shall fall,
And the pride of her power shall come down.
From Migdol to Syene
Those within her shall fall by the sword,”
Says the Lord God.

7 “They shall be desolate in the midst of the desolate countries,
And her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are laid waste.
8 Then they will know that I am the Lord,
When I have set a fire in Egypt
And all her helpers are destroyed.
9 On that day messengers shall go forth from Me in ships
To make the careless Ethiopians afraid,
And great anguish shall come upon them,
As on the day of Egypt;
For indeed it is coming!”  (Ezekiel 30:6-9)

That being said, it is wrong for people to go around burning churches, etc.  Pope Francis of Rome has met with the Coptic Pope Tawadros II, and in my view, hopes for unity with his church (see Pope Francis meets with Pope Tawadros II).  This too is dangerous–for both Catholics and Copts.

Despite the current problems in Egypt, there is still going to be a rise of a pan-national Arabic power (with likely support from Turkey and others) similar to what the Muslim Brotherhood, and even Al-Qaeda wants. This is what the Bible prophesies (Daniel 11:40-43; Ezekiel 30:1-9) and it will come to pass.

And that will, ultimately, not bode well for Egypt.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Future King of the South is Rising Does the Bible teach that there will be a future King of the South in Daniel 11? Is this kingdom rising up now? Did the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG) teach that there would be another one? And who is the King of the South? How will this involve Egypt? Is the final King of the South some type of Arab-Muslim confederation? Can Iran be involved? Is there a group that seems to be supporting the goals of the King of the South? Has the Obama Administration supported the rise of this power? This sermon video answers those questions.
The Muslim Brotherhood and the Rise of the King of the South The Bible tells of the formation of a power of nations that are in the Middle East and North Africa that are part of the final “King of the South” (Daniel 11:40-43) The Muslim Brotherhood wishes to have an Islamic empire with basically the same nations. This YouTube video explains what to expect from such a confederation.
Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi? What does the Bible say?
Why Should American Catholics Should Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Arabic Nazarenes May Have Kept Original Christian Practices Were their faithful Arabs who held to original Christianity?
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Should Christians be Nazarenes today? What were the practices of the Nazarenes.
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view?  Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches?  Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter! Here is a version in the Spanish language La sucesión apostólica. ¿Ocurrió en Roma, Alejandría, Constantinopla, Antioquía, Jerusalén o Asia Menor?
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups?

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