While many in our nation are rejoicing over the uprising in the Middle East, I’m quite worried. What is the future of religious liberty in Egypt? It hasn’t been great in the past, but it’s a place where it was possible to be a practicing Christian. Will it be much harder in the near future?
In spite of his obvious problems, Pres. Mubarak was an ally of the United States and a supporter of the peace with Israel. Can we throw him under the bus so readily? He oversaw and helped preserve decades of peace and some degree of religious toleration. Is there any chance that such conditions will remain under the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood? Is it so difficult to see that under the influence of Iran and other Islamic extremists, that the vacuum created by Mubarak’s fall will be used by radical forces that may threaten Israel and perhaps even us? Are we really supposed to trust the Muslim Brotherhood in spite of their ties to Hamas and terrorists of the past, and their stated goal of establishing Shariah law? Abandoning the Shah of Iran in favor of the radical Khomeini was one of our most tragic foreign policy crimes (“blunder” is far too generous a word). Will the new Egypt be a puppet of Iran?
Iran is gloating over the events in Egypt, while Israel is worried and disturbed by the position the U.S. has taken. After all, they couldn’t help but notice a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood calling for war against Israel. The Coptic Christians in Egypt–yes, Christians in a Middle Eastern nation–are worried about their future. We should be too. Will peace be threatened? Will religious liberty be further eradicated? These are fair questions to ask.
Pray that there might be peace and genuine liberty in Egypt. The imagery of looting, destruction, and calls for war and vengeance don’t bode well for the future, though. Yes, idealistic young students yearning for liberty and opportunity have been involved–a group that is not too difficult to manipulate, especially in times of economic distress. I fear that many of them will be surprised at what rises from the ashes they create.