On Monday March 12th, the new Islamist-dominated Egyptian parliament unanimously voted to expel Israel’s ambassador in Cairo and to stop all natural gas exports. Secondarily, the Egyptian parliamentarians resolved that Egypt would never [no longer?] be a friend, partner or ally of the “Zionist entity.” [Note: Islamists can’t bring themselves to say the word “Israel” because it contradicts their worldview.] Thirdly, that unmentionable neighbouring nation with whom they currently have a legally binding peace treaty is to be labeled henceforth as Egypt’s “number one enemy.” Finally, the parliament requested the governing military administration review all agreements with the “Zionist entity” with the implied desire to repudiate them. This news report by the Associated Press was filed by Hamza Hendawi this week.
So, here we are! About a year after the “Arab Spring” in Egypt resulted in the overthrow of the authoritarian government of Hosni Mubarak, the flowers of ethnic hate and future conflict are beginning to blossom once again in the land of the pharaohs.
For 33 years Egypt and Israel have been at peace following the treaty signed by the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and the late Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. For this diplomatic good work both leaders were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, as the world breathed a sigh of relief. During Sadat’s acceptance speech for his Nobel recognition, Sadat emphasized the importance of rejecting the way of hate and violence in the Middle East:
Let us put an end to wars, let us reshape life on the solid basis of equity and truth. And it is this call, which reflected the will of the Egyptian people, of the great majority of the Arab and Israeli peoples, and indeed of millions of men, women, and children around the world that you are today honoring. And these hundreds of millions will judge to what extent every responsible leader in the Middle East has responded to the hopes of mankind.”
Though genuinely popular with many Egyptians at the time it was signed, the peace treaty, however, remained deeply unpopular among Egyptian Islamists who darkly nursed their grudges against Israel and the Jews during the last three decades that they were out of power. They were persecuted by the Sadat and Mubarak government and left idly sitting on their hands. Some even cooled their heels in prison. But you know what they say, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.
About 2 ½ years after the signing of the peace treaty with Israel, Egyptian Islamists hatched a plot and assassinated Anwar Sadat. They murdered Egypt’s only Nobel peace prize-winner. This murder was encouraged by an Islamic religious legal interpretation written by a Muslim cleric who hated Sadat for violating Islamic precedent by making a real peace treaty with an enemy.
Obviously, the founder of Islam, Mohammad, neither said, nor taught, nor believed the spiritual concepts of “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God” and “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:9, 44). The historical record and even the testimony of Islam’s own “sacred writings” reveal that Mohammad was a bloody man who waged war against and slaughtered many thousands who opposed him and his religious ideas. And he encouraged his followers to do exactly the same murderous things.
Mohammad and his followers are not the Arabic equivalent of Jesus and his disciples. One of Jesus’ most important followers was the Jew known to us as the Apostle Paul. When it came to the subject of using violence to deal with enemies, Paul wrote this:
If someone has done you wrong, do not repay him with a wrong. Try to do what everyone considers to be good. Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody. Never take revenge, my friends, but instead let God’s anger do it. For the scripture says, I will take revenge, I will pay back, says the Lord. Instead, as the scripture says: If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them a drink; for by doing this you will make them burn with shame. Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good (Romans 12:17-21 Good News Translation).
This subject is but one of the many that reveal how greatly the teachings of Jesus and his disciples differ from those of Mohammad and his followers.