Multiculturalism And The Phenomenon Of Forced Conversion To Islam

June 1, 2005 - by William A. Mayer - Editor & Publisher, PipeLineNews

Judging from frequency of notice alone, according to the Council on Islamic American Relations [CAIR] America is an intolerant place and its subjugation of Islam is a major problem.

The following, culled from just the last few of the organization's newsletters received by PipeLineNews.

Radio station drops ad from Muslim group - Prayer time for [Muslim] Somali cabbie leads to police ticketing - Muslim woman sues over refusal to allow headscarf on prison visit - Rank stupidity, the US made a huge mistake in abandoning the moral high ground to set up its outside the law Guantanimo Bay interrogation centre - NC church stands by sign saying Quran "should be flushed" - Amnesty International takes aim at Gulag in Guantanimo - CAIR anti-torture campaign - State [Muslim] employee claims he was harassed - [Muslim] group calls on FBI to investigate alleged [anti-Muslim] bias at Christian school.

Applying the standards used by CAIR, American Muslims should consider themselves lucky just to arrive home every evening, having escaped lynching by cross waving, bigoted Christian mobs.

In one of the above excerpted newsletters, the supposed accommodative nature of Islam is touted:

Behold! The angels said: 'O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God.'" - The Holy Quran, 3:45

"We gave (Jesus) the Gospel (Injeel) and put compassion and mercy into the hearts of his followers." - The Holy Quran, 57:27

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one." - Hadith of the day

Isn't this amazing? That a religion so discriminated against by the Christian majority would be so loving towards its oppressor's faith?

Along the same lines, throughout the Western world, especially since 9-11, Islam has made a mighty effort at what can loosely be called "interfaith outreach."

We here have written about it extensively.

Hardly a day goes on without some major Christian, Jewish or secular group announcing that it is forming an alliance with a Muslim organization to find common ground.

On the surface this is all well and good; we believe that diplomacy is never out of place unless it represents the sole response to a problem that may require stronger action.

But lest these words lull us into a state of complacence, let us consider the largest case study by which the current degree of Muslim tolerance can be judged.

Our living laboratory is Egypt, a nation of 70 million of which approximately 7 million or 10% are Christians, primarily of the Coptic Sect.

Christianity came to that country in the first century, brought there by St. Mark sometime during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius, probably around the year 40. It spread rapidly for many reasons but primarily because the Egyptians saw many philosophical similarities between their native beliefs and Christian ideas such as resurrection and the concept of a final judgment, among others.

After five centuries of Christianity having existed as a major force in Egypt, the country was conquered by an Islamic jihad army led by the Arab Amr Ibn al'As in 640.

It has been a Muslim nation ever since, albeit with a significant Christian minority.

To most this is ancient history, but it does establish a certain perspective as we look at relations between Islam and Christianity today in Egypt and especially the phenomenon of forced religious conversion of Christian women, using kidnapping as its primary means.

To people in the West the entire idea of forcing someone to convert to another religion might seem so outlandish that it might be dismissed out of hand but the notions represented by America's secularists are by no means held by even a sizable minority by the rest of the world.

On this phenomenon, US Copts leader Michael Meunier minces no words:

"The Egyptian government continues to tacitly endorse coerced conversion to Islam...Young Coptic women represent the group most vulnerable to abduction and forced conversion. Police further contribute to alleged declarations of conversion through pressure and other coercion tactics."

Evidence of such practices abound, in 2004 the Coptic Christian Pope Shenouda III warned:

"I have received so many letters about what's happening to the Christian girls who go to supermarket stores to shop. At the store they tell them that they have won and have to go upstairs to receive their award or prize. After that we don't know what's happening to these girls...I'm urging the police to take a serious action against what's happening."

Many within the Coptic community have revealed that "certain supermarkets in Egypt" are working with what are apparently organized gangs of Muslims intent on luring young women into the process of forced conversion.

These women are specifically targeted; their buying patterns are tracked and they are followed to shopping areas. When all is ready, they are informed that they have won a prize but have to go somewhere else to fill out some paperwork.

At that location they are presented with a document that they are told must be signed to claim the prize, unbeknownst to them the document is the official Egyptian form that declares their conversion to Islam.

If the women refuse to sign they are threatened with charges of shoplifting, if they further resist, they are often strip-searched and raped.

Because of the lack of religious freedom in Egypt - where Christian college students are routinely arrested on charges of "disturbing the national peace" for merely possessing Bibles and non-Muslim religious study materials - people are understandably reticent to speak publicly about these developments. Even in America, ties to the "old country" and threats of retribution keep lips tightly sealed.

It does seem however that these examples of Islamic religious intolerance are becoming more prevalent, possibly a byproduct of Muslim rage against the West over the war on terror which is then focused on defenseless minority institutions and peoples.

Despite assurances to the contrary by the Mubarak government, it is obvious that Egyptian law enforcement is complicit in shielding the perpetrators from prosecution and in some instances seems to be actually working hand in glove with those committing these outrages.

While spinners for the Egyptian government are suggesting that if this problem even exists that it occurs rarely and is localized, others are claiming that the problem is widespread and - like the spread of Wahhabism throughout US Mosques - is being funded by Saudi oil princes.

These sources, some of whom claim to have been personally involved with the conversions, have outlined a mechanism that is designed to prey upon young Christian females, taking specific advantage of the "special" status that women have in the Muslim world.

Special in this regard should be understood as meaning that women have been second-class citizens throughout the fourteen hundred year Islamic tradition and though somewhat moderated today, this inequality remains a fact of life - culturally - in every nation with a Muslim majority as well as continuing to be codified into Sharia [religious] law.

There is a duality however; in Islamic countries though women are deemed inferior to men, often a man's honor is inextricably bound to the women around him, his wife, mother, sisters and daughters. Because of this, having a woman relative exposed as sexually unchaste or an adulterer results in a huge loss of face for the male relative.

The groups who established these tactics against Christian women found their roots in the re-Islamization of Egypt, which took place as a result of the wreckage caused by Egyptian president Nasser's defeat in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Acknowledging the growing political feeling that Egypt's failure to defeat the Jewish state was caused by a lack of national piety, Anwar Sadat allowed the heretofore suppressed Islamists [the Muslim Brotherhood and the Jamaat al Islamiyah, or Muslim Associations] essentially free rein in Egypt's universities. These religious radicals quickly extended their reach beyond the universities, eventually members of one of these groups, al-Jihad, which had infiltrated the military for this expressed purpose, was responsible for assassinating Sadat in 1981.

It was these forces who established the "conversion" infrastructure.

The conversion process itself can take many forms, though kidnapping and threats of physical violence seem a common element. Whatever the specific method used, the actors involved seek to gain the upper hand psychologically over the young female victims.

Young Muslim fanatics [who reportedly receive substantial financial incentives from Wahhabists] will seek out specific young women, with preference shown to those of higher social standing. Once removed from their families and familiar surroundings they will be subjected to - lies, beatings, forced drugging and videotaping of rape offered then as evidence of consensual sex - all to blackmail the girls into converting to Islam.

Sometimes Christian women are merely seduced, converted, married and then abandoned.

In the Muslim world such women occupy the lowest rung in society - alongside prostitutes.

The depravity of the process should send shock waves throughout the Western world except for the fact that the Western media self censors itself with regard to the numerous excesses of Islam.

For example in Amnesty International's just issued 2005 global report, forced conversion and Muslim on Christian violence in Egypt isn't even mentioned, the word Christian doesn't appear anywhere in the report.

The doctrinaire leftists at AI do however manage to slam government action against jihadi groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, which were complicit in the assassination of Mubarak's predecesso, Sadatr:

"Scores of members of the banned Muslim Brothers organization were arrested; several of them remained held awaiting trial at the end of the year. Thousands of suspected supporters of banned Islamist groups, including possible prisoners of conscience, remained in detention without charge or trial; some had been held for years."

American groups representing Coptic Christians have demanded that the Mubarak regime in Egypt put a final halt to these goings-on, to little avail. Similarly the United States Congress has been briefed regarding what is happening to Egypt's Christian minority, again to little apparent effect.

What the existence of this now thirty-year plus reign of Islamist terror against Egypt's Christian minority does serve to underline however, is what many serious researchers have been pointing out - especially here in the United States - that strident Islamist front groups like CAIR, MAS and ICNA are simply lying with regard to Islam and Christianity coexisting to any great degree anywhere in the world.

When the apologist's sophistry is put aside, we are left with the concrete example of Egypt which paints a far more sinister reality.

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