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Saturday, 16 Jan 2010

On Nag3 Hamady, Sectarianism & Stupidity!

Sectarianism is stupid.

I know, I am not breaking any new grounds here. Not exactly the mind-blowing thought-provoking statement one would hope would come out of the writer of those words after such a long absence, but.. it's nonetheless true. Sectarianism is stupid. There is no arguing that.

Unfortunately, in a country like Egypt, sectarianism is alive and well, because the people are mostly stuck on stupid. And when I mean people, I mean all people. The citizens, the politicians, the police, the whole shebang. They are all stuck on stupid.

And don't get me wrong…I am not saying that its stupid in order to cover-up the evil that is taking place here. Make no mistake, there is evil here; But there is also a whole shitload of Stupid. And we will go over all of it, because every now and then, you meet the kind of stupidity that just leaves you in awe. The kind of stupid that breaks stupidity records. The kind of stupid that will have the mentally disabled give you a dirty look and be like "BOY, you are RETARDED!"

The kind of Stupid only Egyptians are capable of.

Our kind of stupid.

So, where to begin this stupid tale?

Well, I guess some background information is in order.

It all started on January 6 — Christmas Eve according to the Christian Coptic Church — when six Coptic Christians (not one above 17 years old) and a policeman were killed in a drive-by shooting while exiting their church in Nag3 Hamady, Upper Egypt. The 3 killers were muslims, who claimed they did it in retaliation to some Christian dude raping some muslim chick in another town. Now, pay attention, cause this is where the special kind of stupid starts: The Killers instead of killing the alleged rapist, or even attacking his house or family house, chose to indiscriminately open fire on a bunch of Christians leaving the Christmas midnight mass, because really, if one Christian is to blame, then all Christians are guilty, so just shoot whichever one you find on your way home. Also, do that on their holiest of days as they are leaving church, because that's not bound to turn some heads or nothing.

And so it was…

Naturally, most of Egypt woke up to the news like a drunk college student with a massive hangover: Incomprehension followed by confusion followed by a sense of certainty that while you don't know how yet, this shit is gonna cost you. The Christians were all shocked, and then their reactions varied between fear, disgust and fury. There was no calming them. Nothing none of us could say. And of course what happened next did not help a bit.

The government of course tried to change the conversation, saying that this is not a sectarian-crime, but more of a criminal- crime, that just happened to have muslim shooters and Christian victims, done on the most important christian holiday, in front of the local chruch as christians were leaving mass. To corroborate their story, they dragged in the Christian governor of Qena- where Nag3 Hamady is- and had him say that to the press, even mentioning the alleged rape as if to somehow justify what happened. The Christians at Nag3 Hamady didn't take that too well, and started to demonstrate against the shooters and the government, to which the local state security troops responded with 1) beating them up or 2) letting the muslim residents of Nag3 Hamady beat them while they watched, hoping that this would scare the christians down, like it always does. STUPID!

It of course didn't work, and a riot broke out, which lead to clashes that lead to riots which lead to clashes and so one and so forth. The Father of the Church there, Korollos, tried to calm his people down, urging them to turn the other cheek like they always do, but for the first time in a really long time, many of his flock refused to listen, and started fighting with him in the church. The calm wasn't going to come without Justice, and the local police forces were not ready to provide the kind of justice the Christians demanded, because the shooters are muslims who killed defending muslim honor. So, if they do come down hard on the shooters, they will anger the muslim community in Nag3 Hamady, and they may start to shoot at the police as well as the Christians. And who wants that? Not the police, surely!

So the game starts getting fixed, with newspapers carefully pushing the line that the shooters didn't intend to kill the chirstians, but rather to disable them. I shit you not, they said that their aim was to shoot them in the legs and drive away, but when they started falling because they were being shot in the leg, some of those low-aiming bullets hit the fallen in their chests, killing them. Yeah. How about that for stupid?

So, feeling that someone needs to counter this level of stupidity with action, a group of 30 activists that includes bloggers Wael Abbas, Demagh Mak and Wa7da Masreyah, flanked by a number of opposition figured, decided that they will head to Nag3 Hamady by train yesterday morning, in order to pay their respect and provide condolences to the families of those slain in the shootings. The Police at Nag3 Hamady caught a wind of this, naturally, and feeling extra extra stupid, decided that the activists must be coming in to cause a demonstration and inflame the situation, which could piss the muslim crowds coming out of friday prayers off, and cause fresh clashes, and who would want that? So, instead of asking the activists what they are doing there, or even putting them on a train heading back to Egypt, the police of Nag3 Hamady chose to arrest them instead, figuring that detaining them for a couple of hours until the day is over would be the wisest thing to do. STUPID!

Next thing you know, you had a media storm on your hand, and lawyers were calling up the Police station by the droves, and journalists were demonstrating in Cairo, and the whole thing was getting out of hand. Realizing that they are the retards who arrested activists who came only in order to offer condolences in a symbolic gesture of national unity, the security forces decided that they needed to fix this before it gets out of hand. So, how would they fix it? Simple, keep them locked up over night, send a statement to the newspapers that you arrested them while they were attempting to riot and cause mayhem, and then release them the next day- Today- because they will be so tired from spending an entire day in your holding cells without food or water, that they will just go home. Media fallout? International pressure? Civil society condemnation? Let the government deal with that. What's important is that Nag3 Hamady is calm and stable for another day. That's all that matters. And surely this will have no repercussions on them on the local level at all, right? I mean, when the Christians see that not only is the police not interested in protecting them, not actively trying to bring their shooters to justice, beating the shit out of them every time they try to demonstrate , but are also arresting muslims and human rights activists who want to offer their condolences and pay their respect to the victims' families, surely they won't get mad about that. That's not adding insult to injury at all, you know?

Do I even have to say it?


And here we are, a country whose so called national fabric is being ripped at the seams, and its leaders-political and religious- are unable to lead or even gauge their people any more. What's new here is how widespread the Christian anger is this time, and who its targeting : The Coptic Church. The Copts have had it with the church and its leaders, who want to play politics and make small gains by gambling with the livelihood of their followers. It's even happening on the top level, with NDP, twice-appointed by Mubarak, Coptic Christian MP Gorgette Qillini started attacking the governor of Qena and Father Korollos for lying to their people and trying to appease the government. Yes, you have one of very very few Christian MP's, who was appointed by the government, fighting with the Christian father of the church of the slain Christians and the Christian governor of the governorate they were killed in, and accusing them of being beholden to the government, while the general Christian population is watching, dumbfounded on how this has become a fight between the Christians, instead of uniting, and trying to start a serious national dialogue from the ashes of this horrific incident. But no, that would be smart, and we don't do that around here, do we?

I love this stupid country and its stupid people. I really really do.

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22 Responses to “On Nag3 Hamady, Sectarianism & Stupidity!”

  1. thewiz Says:

    Holy Crap! Welcome back, we was all worried!!

  2. thewiz Says:

    Geesh, when I read the opening paragraph, I thought you were over reacting as you are want to do. But then I read on and saw that you actually under “stupified” the chain of events. My only suggestion, as a true capitalist, would be to write it out as a movie script and take it to Hollywood

    No wait, they would reject it saying that it is too improbable, that no one can be that stupid.

    And again, Welcome back!


  3. EgyPeter Says:

    Well, pretty good article SM. Nothing too new here. You pointed out that the fury meter is pretty high, and personally, it’s about time. The status quo has gotta go. I think the Rubicon may have been crossed. At least I hope.

    And you do know that the whole rape thing is all bullshit, right? This alleged rape, which may or may not have happened (I know it really doesn’t matter with Upper Egyptians) occurred over two months ago in a neighboring town. This whole rape thing was thrown in there to muddle and confuse.

    Not sure if you’ve seen this article but it looks like the root of the problem comes from some NDP stooge named, if you can believe it, Ghoul. This Ghoulish fella is apparently a flaming fundie and he’s the NDP’s guy in that province. Nice one, hosni.

    Now trust me, I’m bothered by all the christian bickering and can’t really understand, no matter how intense the pressure is, that a christian priest or bishop would try to minimize or cover up the truth. But you and I don’t live there and we’re not responsible for tomorrow. Sometimes intimidation, blackmail, extortion and the threat of mob action or death can be very powerful tools of persuasion. Ultimately, this bickering takes the focus of the problem and that is EXACTLY what they’re hoping to accomplish.

  4. may Says:

    first of all all one of the victims was 17 and while yes they were young but their ages varried in the 20 and 30′s ..
    also 19 activists were detained and its father kerals nor kerols . but other tan that yes stupidity seems to be the main theme of the entire thing.
    cheers and welcome back !

  5. Twitter Trackbacks for Rantings of a Sandmonkey » On Nag3 Hamady, Sectarianism & Stupidity! [] on Says:

    [...] Rantings of a Sandmonkey » On Nag3 Hamady, Sectarianism & Stupidity! – view page – cached Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off. [...]

  6. max Says:

    IMHO u shouldn’t write about a thing that u don’t have enough details on, right SM??
    I wish u didn’t write this pathetic post, u sure missed a hell lot of details!

    Fuckin’ aml eldawla (aka State Security) gathered around 50 christians and beat the hell out of them in front of Bishop Kyrillos AND imprisoned 35 of them while threating to imprison more and more violence towards the whole city. I don’t know about u and if I was him I would do exactly as I am told to save my people as NOONE is going to help me, all the (nice) Muslims like our monkey bro can’t stop anything neither (outer) help can!

    Anyway take a look here, this will give u a glimpse of how Police rock in the shire:

  7. Cameron Says:

    Any Europeans seeing this and the shitloads of other evidence, london, beslan, madrid, on and on… who have no problem with muslim immigration to Western countries, odds are you’re fucking your grand kids, you stupid moronic fucks.
    This disease has metastasized and speads it’s malignancy every where it settles. You watch … France most likely will Lebanonnize first, then ? …. and it will be the fault of those who think all religions all culture are pretty much the same, cause I don’t want to be called a racist, and I went on holiday in Cairo last winter and had a real pleasant time, or my mate mohammed at work is a real nice guy. So what? Not all germans were nazis, muslims crossed the line a while ago. Importing more is insane and tantamount to assraping your own grandkids.

  8. Cameron Says:

    and unsolicited advice to Copts arm up, you can’t count on any but yourselves, others will try to help, too many Westerners are in denial. They are fucking self-loathing, self-righteous guil-ridden, pampered, naive blissfully fucking retarded and too fucking stupid to see through their ideological fantasies.

  9. Andrew Brehm Says:

    It’s too late for the Copts.

    They had a chance 60 years ago when Arab nationalism tried to “unite” everything. It was then when all the minorities in the Middle-East had to choose whether to march with the Arabs or stand up for themselves.

    Only the Jews stood up.

    If Egypt still had a king, this wouldn’t happen.

  10. Toady Says:

    if one Christian is to blame, then all Christians are guilty

    Typical jihadist attitude. The jihadists are killing Christians in other countries because they’re mad about Iraq or Afghanistan. The terrorist that attacked the French oil tanker off Yemen said something to the effect that one infidel is the same as another.

    They see a world divided into nations of religion –the Christian nation, the Buddhist Nation, teh Jewish Nation, etc .. and by that logic, you attack that ‘nation’ wherever you find it.

  11. Domo Says:

    Domo Says:
    It is sad, sad, sad that SM is totally right about stupidity in Egypt these days. The trend curve goes back to >50 years (starting with so called revolution of 1952). Prove of this statement is demonstrated if one looks back at this country for the period between 1915-1952, living in the shadow of the Ottoman empire and as a British colony. Arminian escaped Genocide to live in Egypt, Jewish people left Europe to live in Egypt, Greek moved to Egypt at large. Egypt then was a small version of Canada and Australia of today, and no incident of religious and sectarian hate was reported. Muslims, Copts and other groups respected each other, exchanged food being made to celebrate religious festivities (e.g. Eid, Christmas, Barbara(Dec 4th), and so on..) inter married , worked in specific domains (e.g. restaurants, jewelleries , photography and art) and lived at peace. If that was the performance of people under double colonies (Ottoman and Brits) and their behaviour now and since living as “free” in the last fifty years, then no further prove is needed “ with all my love ..They are Stupid”. Stop the “Hashsih” and wake up “people”.

  12. MuHaMMaD Says:

    @ Brehman

    “Only the Jews stood up.” after Arab Nationalism LMAO.

    Arab Nationalism was a direct result of (the straw that broke camels back – the Rothschids creation of Israel) colonialism.

    Stop pretending.

  13. Don Cox Says:

    How can the Jews be “colonial” in their own homeland?

    The Arabs in Spain were colonial; the Arabs in London are colonial; the Lebanese in Brazil are colonial. All of these had or have a home base from which they moved to another country. The Jews have no home base other than Israel.

    As for the “stupidity” of Egyptians, I don’t think Egyptians are any more stupid than anyone else, but the proportion of young people in Egypt is very high. Teenagers are easily misled.

  14. Don Cox Says:

    And as for Nationalism, that is no different in Arab countries than in others. You can’t explain German, Italian, Japanese, Russian or Serbian nationalism by the creation of the state of Israel. Nationalism is a disease that seems to affect every population at some stage.

    Nationalism is not the same as sectarianism. There is no reason why Egyptian Christians should not be as Nationalistic as Egyptian Muslims. More, even, as they were there first.

  15. Claire Says:

    I don’t believe that “stupidity” is a strong enough word. The word is Evil.

  16. Claire Says:

    Evil entices stupidity..

  17. Nadavu Says:

    Nice. Usually, This would have resulted with some serious criticism from the west, but not now. Right now, Mubarak is building a fence on the the Gazian border, which makes everyone in the west happy, so no one feels like ruining the mood by saying anything.

  18. Kathy K Says:

    “Right now, Mubarak is building a fence on the the Gazian border, which makes everyone in the west happy, so no one feels like ruining the mood by saying anything.”

    Actually – it’s making a lot of us in the west laugh. It’s ok if Egypt builds a wall…

  19. Steve Says:

    Turn the other cheek doesn’t mean what most people think it means.

    Jesus (PBUH) said, if someone “strikes you on the right cheek” then you are to turn your face to him in such a way as to present your left cheek. The implication being that he may hit you again. What is the significance of the “right” cheek. Why not the left cheek? Picture someone getting hit on the right cheek. What is the most likely way for that to happen? Since most people are right handed and would hit someone with the right hand, then the only way for them to hit someone on the right cheek is to do it as a backhanded slap. What Jesus is speaking about here is not letting someone pummel you into a pile of broken bones. Rather He is talking about taking an insult. A backhanded slap is just that.

    In Jesus time and place in history, the left hand was used for “unclean” purposes (I won’t go into the details… but you can probably guess some of them — imagine a time with no soap and limited water). You wouldn’t use your left hand to purchase food, shake someone’s hand, OR even strike someone. It would be a shameful act to use your left hand for these things.

    Also, if you were to strike someone, you would use your BACKHAND to assert dominance and authority. If you instead used your fist or slapped with an open hand, this would mean the person you were striking was your equal (or even your superior!).

    OK, did you follow that? It might help to get a partner and act this out (don’t really slap them!). Try pretend striking them while 1. not using your left hand and 2. using your backhand to assert your dominance. You’d be using your RIGHT hand, backhanding your inferior and striking them on their RIGHT cheek.

    Aha! “If someone strikes you on the RIGHT cheek, turn to him the other also.”

    Try it. Now, only the LEFT cheek is exposed. In order to strike your inferior on their LEFT cheek you have to either use your right forehand or punch them (this would make them your equal) OR use your left backhand (this would shame you in public).

    Jesus’ call to “turn to him also the other” or as is often quipped “turn the other cheek” is NOT a call to simply ignore the insult. It is telling us to DEMAND EQUALITY! Stand up to your oppressor! Don’t take insults and attacks lying down!

  20. Steve Says:

    When someone strikes you on the RIGHT cheek — as a master would backhand a slave to publicly shame them — turn the other cheek. That is, invite them to hit you again AS AN EQUAL, because your oppressor can’t backhand you on the left cheek with the right hand, and the left hand is not used for food or human contact in Eastern cultures. That is: you are challenging your oppressor to treat you as a person and not a possession.

  21. Steynian 423st « Free Canuckistan! Says:

    [...] ~ SANDMONKEY SANITY– Out of the Sectarian Closet; What terrifies me isn’t the violence; The Lesson the people of Berlin taught me; In Egypt, sectarianism is alive and well, because the people are mostly stuck on stupid …. ( [...]

  22. on self defense and christian thought. « Says:

    [...] When someone strikes you on the RIGHT cheek as a master would backhand a slave to publicly shame them  turn the other cheek. That is, invite them to hit you again AS AN EQUAL, because your oppressor cant backhand you on the left cheek with the right hand, and the left hand is not used for food or human contact in Eastern cultures. That is: you are challenging your oppressor to treat you as a person and not a possession. [...]

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