Clear-Eyed Coptic Bishop Rejects Islamic ‘Tolerance’
In a brave, refreshing display of “anti-dhimmitude,” Msg. Barnaba el Soryany, Bishop of the Coptic Church in Rome, rejected any presence of representatives of Rome’s Muslim community — either religious or political — at a demonstration to commemorate the Coptic victims of the recent Alexandria bombing massacre. While openly embracing the participation of many other religious communities and institutions at the commemorative event, Msg. Soryany was “unafraid” to voice his rejection of Muslim participation, and further dismissed as propagandistic “exploitation” the claim by Egyptian investigators that the Alexandria attackers somehow came from outside Egypt.
Msg. Soryany’s clear-eyed statements recall the global assessment of Islam’s devastating impact on Middle East Christianity made by the late Father Michel Hayek (1928-2005)
Father Hayek was a Lebanese Maronite scholar who produced a corpus of work that included over forty published books, scores of treatises, and innumerable articles. His 1959 book Le Christ de L’Islam has been re-published in two revised editions, and remains an important reference work. Following its initial publication in 1959 — reflecting the profundity of his understanding — Father Hayek became a widely sought after lecturer for talks and conferences on Muslim-Christian relations.
During a lecture entitled ‘Nouvelles approches de l’islam,’ given on March 6, 1967, (recorded in Les Conférences du Cénacle, Beirut, 1968, Nos. 9-10, XXII année, p. 11; English translation by Bat Ye’or), Father Hayek, spoke plainly about the enduring historical impact of the continuum of Islamic depredations upon Middle East Christians of all denominations, and Christianity itself. His comments place the predicament of Egypt’s Copts in a larger historical context, made all the more acutely threatening by the global resurgence of Sharia-based, jihadist Islam.
Why not admit it clearly, so as to break a taboo and a political interdict, which is felt in the flesh and the Christian conscience — that Islam has been the most appalling torment that ever struck the Church. Christian sensibility has remained traumatized until now.”
Hat tip Ned May.
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