Sunday, 20 February 2011
Those High Hopes Of That Tahrir Square Celebrity, Sally Moore

In Tahrir Square one Coptic woman, Sally Moore (whether "Moore" is an anglicized version of a Coptic name, or a married name, I don't know) received a great deal of publicity. She wore a cross-cum-crescent dangling thing, which was supposed to symbolize a (factitious) harmony, but in truth was much more akin, in its significance, to an apotropaic amulet, designed to ward off the evil of Muslim hatred for Infidels. She was pals, it was clear, with some of those advanced Egyptians, the ones who had lived in, perhaps even were citizens of, the West, the kind who thought of themselves as "secularists" or, as Sally Moore described herself, as "leftists." She's trying to find a place for the Copts, and in this she reminds me, in her transparent attempts to persuade her Muslim fellow-countrymen and potential oppressors to "see beyond religion," akin to the  co-founder of the Baathist Party, the Syrian Christian Michel Aflaq, who wanted to stress pan-Arabism -- which would provide a place and space for Christian Arabs -- in order to limit the power and tug of Islam. At the end of his life, on his deathbed, Michel Aflaq "reportedly" converted to Islam, in his own version of You Can't Fight City Hall, especially  when City Hall is an Umayyad Mosque.

Perhaps Sally Moore will continue to hope, hope that the removal of Mubarak will somehow change the nature of Egypt's Muslims, and of what Islam inculcates, when it comes to Infidels such as sweet, goodlooking, "leftist" figher for Egyptian freedom -- Mubarak is gone, however, but the stratokleptocracy remains, and even more important, Islam remains and for the sally-moores of Egypt, Islam is a permanent threat. She may think, because she has been befrineded by a handful of advanced young Egyptians with Western experiences and Western-oriented lives (or so they allow themselves to believe), that this, her posse, or her pals, are the real, the true Egypt, the Egypt she can trust.

Meanwhile, she should ponder all the stories now coming out about who is, and who is not, on the committee to rewrite the Egyptian Constitution, and the alarm among Copts about whether or not Article 2 will remain in that Constitution, or be jettisoned. She can contine to insist that ''I like the Brotherhood most, and they like me." Or she can get serious about what the Copts have, and do, and will suffer, because of Muslims who, unlike her new friends in the Movement, take their Islam to heart. .

She might ponder the life, and works, and end, of Shahpour Bakhtiar, of Iran. An exemplary life, a monitory end. And she can read about Coptic outrage over their vile treatment, unaffected apparently by the disappearance of Mubarak (though the stratokleptocracy remains) in the foreign press here, or the Egyptian press here



Posted on 02/20/2011 11:31 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
22 Feb 2011

(1) She identifies as a Copt, yet the Coptic Church--which is far more informed on Islam and history than she--supported Mubarak. Even if she doesn't automatically take their word for things, going out among her natural enemies at an uncertain time was foolish. Times like those, she should have gone to natural allies. (Or taken up knitting. One of the two.)

(2) Educated upper-class Egyptians seem frequetly to forget that half their country is illiterate. This is probably because of economic stratification. This is a dangerous thing to forget. Simplistic religious slogans and ideology appeal to illiterate people.

(3) On topic of Islam as permanent threat: are there any circumstances under which the threat can be suppressed to the point at which foreign missionaries--of just about any sort--can be sent in to Muslim countries?