This column may be found on Examiner.com
Copts have more to worry about than they thought.
Their church is being run by misogynists.
Last week, Bishoy, a Coptic bishop, secretary of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church, and contender for the position of patriarch, said the following:
“I call on Christian girls to learn from veiled Muslim women their modesty. Some Christian women might be displeased with me, but the Virgin Mary, St. Demiana and the nuns wore modest clothes.”
“Might” be displeased with him, he says.
Here’s why the statement triggered protests from Coptic women and this condemnatory column:
It promotes the Islamization of Copts.
Coptic women living in Egypt today sit at the bottom of what is a truly idiotic hierarchy. This is how it works:
*Muslim (Sunni, of course) Males
*Muslim Females/Coptic Males (they’re interchangeable depending on the situation)
Shockingly, there is a better way. An environment that values intellect and success, as opposed to faith and sex, constitutes a preferable alternative. (You know, like how it is in the dreaded, Satanic West—the same sin-filled, secular part of the world radical Muslims know with certainty God will set ablaze/flood/explode any minute now.
Instead of recognizing how it is and how it should be, Bishoy has chosen to further weaken a group desperately in need of a helping hand.
Clearly the man is a superb ambassador of the faith and should be elected to lead one of its oldest, most respected sects. As we all know, if there’s one type of behavior Christianity promotes, it’s taking the most vulnerable among you, and then kicking them when they’re down.
By telling Coptic women they need to take a note from their Muslim counterparts (and therefore dress in loose-fitting black tents with nothing but their eyes visible), Bishoy has gone a long way toward appeasing Egypt’s increasingly powerful Islamists and eroding a faith tradition that has historically allowed for more openness, dissent and reason.
Perhaps Bishoy has recently purchased a clothing store—one that specializes in plain, black, oversized, shapeless, hideous dresses. Perhaps he’s still angry at a woman who rejected him decades ago. Perhaps he has hit his head and opted, imprudently, against getting it checked. I do not know.
What I do know, however, is that Coptic women—dignified and intelligent—face enough discrimination and oppression from their Muslim neighbors. They certainly don’t need exposure to more from within the sacred walls of their own churches.
Miserably, Bishoy could become the next patriarch. Watch out if he does. Maybe then Mass will start with “Allah Wih Akbar.”