“Who would believe that Egypt, which established the greatest civilizations in history and led the enlightenment movement in the Arab World, would fall into the trap of cultural backwardness led by a group of Salafīs and members of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Ismā‘īl Husnī starts his article, “Who would believe that Egypt, which conquered its colonists through its national unity, would disintegrate into a sectarian atmosphere?”
Husnī then comments that after the hijāb became the “sixth pillar” of Islam, attacking Egyptian Christians seems to have become more like a religious duty. The Salafī discourse does not deal with Christians as citizens with equal rights and duties as those of Muslims. On the contrary, they treat them as Ahl al-Dhimmah whose ambition should be thwarted. Salafī Shaykhs and those of the Muslim Brotherhood have succeeded in spreading a frenzied atmosphere of hatred against Christians in Egypt since the al-Zāwiyah al-Hamrā’ incident that resulted in a stream of attacks on Christians and their properties.
In addition to this, normal social relationships are being manipulated to arouse feelings of fitnah. Husnī gives an example of this commenting on the events that took place in Dayrūt. A young Christian man spread a video of a Muslim girl whom he had a relationship with. Instead of dealing with the issue as a criminal case, people started dealing with it as a Fitnah incident. The girl’s family killed the boy’s father and uncle even though they were not part of the crime. [For more on the Dayrūt incidents see AWR 2009, week 42, art 13, AWR 2009, week 43, arts. 9 and 10 and articles 12-14 in this issue]
Husnī comments, "…we are not trying to prove that violence is a main component in Islam more than the other religions; however, we are saying that violence becomes comprehensible, and even inevitable when religion becomes the main reference of society."
The question that is hard to answer is “why do Muslim Egyptians do this to their fellow Christians? What would a Muslim benefit from setting fire to a church or killing other Christians?