In that speech Obama said, “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam — at places like Al-Azhar — that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment.”Al-Azhar is Egypt's highest Islamic authority.
"In 2012, Dr. Abdul Hamid al-Atrash, the head of the Fatwa Committee of Al Azhar in Egypt, which issues rulings of Islamic law, declared that Jews could be banned from going to pray in a synagogue." More at FrontPageMag.com.
|Hamid al-Atrash: Keyword is 'trash'|
In his 2009 speech at Al-Azhar, Obama said, “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance." That tradition is pretty spotty, however, varying greatly from place to place, and from time to time.
As FrontPageMag points out, Obama "boasted of standing up for the right of Muslim women to wear the Hijab." They end with a pointed question: "Will be similarly stand up for the right of Jews to pray in a synagogue in Egypt?"
Don't count on it. In fact, all non-Muslims are in peril in the new Egypt that Barack Obama holds up as a shining example of his own foreign policy so-called successes. "Of course, the persecution of Christians is nothing new in the Middle East," notes The National Interest. "But times are tougher now with the rise of governments motivated by Islamism, which in some interpretations does not give equal billings to other faiths. And amidst the ongoing unrest, some of these regional states have imposed crackdowns on non-Islamic religious communities when their stability is threatened."
The persecution of Christian Copts in Egypt is not a new problem, but it has gotten progressively worse since the fall of Mubarak last year. Last month, a publication called El Fegr posted a copy of a letter titled "An Urgent and Important Notice." It incited violence against Christians. "The letter refers to Christians as enemies of Allah's religion and slaves of the cross," reports Catholic Online, and it "calls for Allah to curse them and for all Muslims to physically attack or kill Christians throughout Egypt..."
"Fears for the future of religious minorities in Egypt were accentuated last week," reported Gatestone Institute, "when it was announced that the last synagogue in the country would be closed down. The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, which had operated in Alexandria, was the last functioning center of Jewish life in the country. It is now clear that its cavernous halls, built in the nineteenth century, will not be open to worshippers hoping to mark Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services this year."
Gatestone also notes that sectarian tensions across Egypt "have been heightened ever since last year's revolution, with Christian minorities bearing the brunt of the violence. One of the unintended consequences of the Arab Spring is the guarantee of security – long assured by the region's old dictators; it has been cast away by the tide of popular unrest sweeping the region."
- Obama’s Favorite Islamic University Outlaws Judaism in Egypt Blazing Cat Fur
- In Egypt, anti-Semitism comes back in fashion TribLive.com
- The Mideast's Vanishing Christians The National Interes
- A Warning Sign: Cleric's fatwa risks dragging Egypt back to the darkness Albawaba
- Egypt's sexual harassment of women 'epidemic' BBC
- Egypt prof: Israel will be gone by next year Times of Israel (also see the video)