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"I accuse"

What follows is written by Hani Shukrallah, presumably a Muslim.  May there be more who think like this amongst Islam:

We are to join in a chorus of condemnation. Jointly, Muslims and Christians, government and opposition, Church and Mosque, clerics and laypeople - all of us are going to stand up and with a single voice declare unequivocal denunciation of al-Qaeda, Islamist militants, and Muslim fanatics of every shade, hue and color; some of us will even go the extra mile to denounce salafi Islam, Islamic fundamentalism as a whole, and the Wahabi Islam which, presumably, is a Saudi import wholly alien to our Egyptian national culture.


I am no Zola, but I too can accuse. And it's not the blood thirsty criminals of al-Qaeda or whatever other gang of hoodlums involved in the horror of Alexandria that I am concerned with.

I accuse a government that seems to think that by outbidding the Islamists it will also outflank them.

I accuse the host of MPs and government officials who cannot help but take their own personal bigotries along to the parliament, or to the multitude of government bodies, national and local, from which they exercise unchecked, brutal yet at the same time hopelessly inept authority.

I accuse those state bodies who believe that by bolstering the Salafi trend they are undermining the Muslim Brotherhood, and who like to occasionally play to bigoted anti-Coptic sentiments, presumably as an excellent distraction from other more serious issues of government.

But most of all, I accuse the millions of supposedly moderate Muslims among us; those who've been growing more and more prejudiced, inclusive and narrow minded with every passing year.

I accuse those among us who would rise up in fury over a decision to halt construction of a Muslim Center near ground zero in New York, but applaud the Egyptian police when they halt the construction of a staircase in a Coptic church in the Omranya district of Greater Cairo.

I've been around, and I have heard you speak, in your offices, in your clubs, at your dinner parties: "The Copts must be taught a lesson," "the Copts are growing more arrogant," "the Copts are holding secret conversions of Muslims", and in the same breath, "the Copts are preventing Christian women from converting to Islam, kidnapping them, and locking them up in monasteries."

I accuse you all, because in your bigoted blindness you cannot even see the violence to logic and sheer common sense that you commit; that you dare accuse the whole world of using a double standard against us, and are, at the same time, wholly incapable of showing a minimum awareness of your own blatant double standard.

And finally, I accuse the liberal intellectuals, both Muslim and Christian who, whether complicit, afraid, or simply unwilling to do or say anything that may displease "the masses", have stood aside, finding it sufficient to join in one futile chorus of denunciation following another, even as the massacres spread wider, and grow more horrifying.

This is good and necessary stuff.  Most good and most necessary.

Do read it all.  Do pass it on.


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Comments (6)

According to MEMRI, where I... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

According to MEMRI, where I saw this letter, he is a Coptic Christian.

Figure HE'S on the list for... (Below threshold)

Figure HE'S on the list for a short haircut... after all, he's daring to criticise not just Islam but the left.

It'd almost be funny. This guy could be shortened by a head and there's folks on the left who would go "Well, he brought it on himself." But let someone prominent on the right say a bad word about Islam, and they'll scream and shout and demand grovelling apologies.

Reality just doesn't seem to register for some folks.

Lawson, I believe many in t... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Lawson, I believe many in today's left have demonstrated they have the ability to redefine both words and reality.

Hani better watch his back.... (Below threshold)

Hani better watch his back.

Where do you get the idea t... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Where do you get the idea this writer is criticizing "the left," Mr Lawson? Is it because he uses the term "liberal intellectuals?"

I doubt the term "liberal intellectual" translates, in Egypt, into terms analogous to "the left" in the US. The guy is probably referring to the bourgeois intelligentsia who tell themselves they oppose the draconian Mubarak regime while doing nothing practical to change it.

I have been told by my God'... (Below threshold)

I have been told by my God's Son that I am not to kill others in His name, but I must be prepared to be killed by others rather than betray His name.

I only hope He will give me the strength to recognize that moment when it comes.






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