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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mubarak's Out, But What's Next?

I've been watching the uprising in Egypt with concern. I love living in a Constitutional Republic where the people, at least in theory, run the show through our elected representatives. Our form of government certainly isn't perfect and some are more equal than others (the inhabitants of Capitol Hill for example), and some are not equal at all (pre-born babies). But at least we can speak up and fight for what we believe without being sent to the gulag or dragged off in the middle of the night for interrogation by the secret police and possible assassination.

Well, the dictator Mubarak has resigned and the military is now in control and there is massive rejoicing. This morning, as I read the reports, however, I immediately thought of the parable of the swept house in Luke's gospel. The devil is expelled. He goes roaming around the world looking for new habitation only to come back with seven devils more evil than himself to reenter the "swept and tidy" house. The result, Luke tells us, is that "the last state of the man is worse than the first." (Luke 11: 25-26) Will this be Egypt's future?

The country is in a very precarious position. If the Muslim Brotherhood take power, the Middle East will be more of a powder keg than ever and Christians will see increased persecution under Islamic extremists. There is no reason to expect that Egypt will adopt a Jeffersonian version of government. Iraq should be a lesson. Since the ousting of Saddam Hussein, the Christians in Iraq have suffered increased persecution. They were better off under the dictator sad to say.

In a new Egypt, the fate of the coptic Christians who represent 10-20% of the population is a big question mark. Here are a few excerpts from an article at the U.S. Copts Association website:
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton warns Egypt’s ancient Coptic Christian minority could become increasingly endangered should the protests against Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak drive him from power....

Bolton points out Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, which promotes the Islamist ideology employed more violently by Hamas and other terror groups, stands to gain despite being a late comer to the revolt.

“One thing I want to say about all of these young people and all of these university students is what they’re learning in the universities is very similar to what the Muslim Brotherhood preaches,” Bolton said. “So we have to worry about the radicalism among the students is very, very high.”....

“The Copts I know are scared,” said Amir Makkar, a Copt who lives near Lancaster, Pa. “It’s a dangerous proposal with what is happening in Egypt because the problem is there is a lot of uncertainty and it is impossible to tell what is going to happen amid the chaos situation because anything could happen.”

Makkar, who pays close attention to the happenings in his homeland, believes Egypt could have a chance for democracy if someone like Mohammed ElBaradei replaces Mubarak.

But Copts fear the possibility the Brotherhood could use its strong organization to fill a power vacuum left by Mubarak.
The article cites other sources who have a more optimistic view of the outcome, but the only thing anyone can say for sure right now is that Egypt's future is a big question mark. What isn't in question is the need for prayer. Another extremist government in the area is a frightening prospect for world peace. Scenarios for World War III generally predict the flashpoint in the Middle East. And with the state of corruption in the world, can any serious Catholic doubt the very real possibility of another war of punishment? The Blessed Mother's warnings at Akita come to mind.

My husband and I say a Hail Mary for world peace every night after we say the blessing over dinner. We invite you to join us. And fight abortion. As Mother Teresa often said, the fruit of abortion is nuclear war.

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mary Ann, for shining light on the real threat the Coptic Christians face if the Muslim brotherhood comes into power. Their lives have already been in danger before the overthrow of MubaraK. The mainstream media seems to have downplayed this aspect of the Egypt take-over. I sent your commentary to many.
I agree, we need to pray.
God our Savior, save our World from destruction from without and within.