This piece may also be found at Examiner.com
As previously noted (and mocked) in this column, one of Egypt’s top Coptic bishops, Bishoy, lectured patronizingly half of his entire community (the women, of course) on how they should dress more like their Muslim sisters. It seems their attire fell short of his fundamentalist standards.
While a marginal (but vocal, no doubt) segment of the Coptic population came inexcusably to the bishop’s defense, thoughtful people (outnumbering them, thankfully) found his commentary vile and understood its far-reaching implications.
Sadly, Bishoy isn’t the only one speaking before thinking, and therefore damaging irreparably his own. He has a colleague who likes doing the same. His name is Passanty. Disturbingly, Passanty sits on the Holy Synod—the body that is largely responsible for electing the next patriarch.
Passanty directed recently the following comments to Muslim Brotherhood/Islamist (as opposed to Salafi/super Islamist) presidential contender Mohamad Morsy (Morsy, along with Ahmed Shafiq, a Mubarak holdover, won one of the two top spots in Egypt’s heavily contested first round of presidential elections mere days ago):
“If you are elected president, remember all that you have said — that Christians have the same duties and rights Muslims have. If you stand by this, we would respect you as president of Egypt and welcome Islamic rule that would establish a civil state with equal citizenship rights for all Egyptians.”
As if that weren’t catastrophic enough, Passanty went on to say, “The application of Islamic punishments needs to be reconsidered with respect to Christians, because these punishments are for Muslims, [as] are the marriage laws, etc. We have our own Christian Sharia.”
It’s hard to know where to begin.
What kind of Coptic bishop would ever, under any set of circumstances, welcome Islamic rule? What kinds of duties, outside of basic citizenship, have Muslims and Christians ever shared? And since when have Copts had their own Sharia? That’s the term they’re using? Sharia??
Either Passanty is unaware entirely that, by definition, there is no such thing as an Islamic democracy, or he knows such is the case and is pandering. Deciding which is more atrocious (stupidity or appeasement) is a challenge. Either way, the embattled Copts on the ground, the flock Passanty took a solemn oath to shepherd and protect, have lost in him another warrior at this most crucial time.
Passanty could have chosen to stay silent (which would have been nice given the statements that are coming out of these people’s mouths), or he could have issued a stern warning to both finalists, reminding them of their legal and moral obligations to treat equally, both de jure as well as de facto, each and every Egyptian, irrespective of religious affiliation or sex.
He did neither. Instead, he said this.
And so, the Islamization of Copts continues. First one bishop tells Coptic women to start dressing like the gals in black tents, and now another says he’ll welcome an Islamic state (if, of course, the conditions are right) and that our own form of Sharia will suffice.
The very people who supposedly sacrificed all of the comforts that the world has to offer (no one who sees how your average bishop lives believes that, incidentally) in order to better attend to their congregants are turning their backs on them one by one.
These servants of Christ the Messiah are looking more and more like advocates of Mohammad the Prophet.