I’m not being hyperbolic. The world needs to protect the Christians of Egypt, and it can do so by opening opportunities for them to immigrate. Christians number about 9 million people in Egypt—about 10% of the population—and they’re “the other” standing in the way of a full-blown Islamic state in Egypt (which is obviously coming).
If the Europeans were smart, they would accept as many Christian immigrants from Egypt as are willing to come. And the United States should extend immigration to Egyptian Christians as well. They would make terrific U.S. citizens and would bear witness to what it’s like to be a minority in a society that takes the Quran seriously. And Egyptian Christians would love American freedom.
I have of late been reading the great logician and scientist, Charles Sanders Peirce, and, in an essay titled “The Fixation of Belief” (1877), he describes authoritarianism in a manner unmistakably apposite to the direction in which Egypt is heading:
Let the will of the state act, then, instead of that of the individual. Let an institution be created which shall have for its object to keep correct doctrines before the attention of the people, to reiterate them perpetually, and to teach them to the young; having at the same time power to prevent contrary doctrines from being taught, advocated, or expressed. Let all possible causes of a change of mind be removed from men’s apprehensions. Let them be kept ignorant, lest they should learn of some reason to think otherwise than they do. Let their passions be enlisted, so that they may regard private and unusual opinions with hatred and horror. Then, let all men who reject the established belief be terrified into silence. Let the people turn out and tar-and-feather such men, or let inquisitions be made into the manner of thinking of suspected persons, and, when they are found guilty of forbidden beliefs, let them be subjected to some signal punishment. When complete agreement could not otherwise be reached, a general massacre of all who have not thought in a certain way has proved a very effective means of settling opinion in a country. If the power to do this be wanting, let a list of opinions be drawn up, to which no man of the least independence of thought can assent, and let the faithful be required to accept all these propositions, in order to segregate them as radically as possible from the influence of the rest of the world.
Jarringly, Peirce then observes that it is in this way that community “sympathy and fellowship” serve to “produce a most ruthless power.” In other words, the very impulse to brotherhood endangers those not designated a part of it.
I submit that this is exactly where Egypt is today: the utopian dream of a perfect Egyptian ummah (community of Muslim believers) has gripped a large segment of the Muslim majority population, and they obviously now mean to attain it.
We are, therefore, on the verge of witnessing a new exodus from Egypt. This is something that Barry Shaw, blogging at the Jerusalem Post, predicted back in May of this year, writing the following:
The subsequent rewriting of the Egyptian constitution will convert the country to Shariah law, will reduce non-Muslims to the status of dhimmi citizens, which means being penalized for simply living there as non-Muslims. If places such as Bethlehem are an example, the Christians will face relentless oppression, persecution, violence, destruction, and death as the Islamic majority force them out.
When Shaw wrote this I was dubious, but listening. Now, I agree. The Christians of Egypt are in the same bad position as the Jews of Germany in the 1930s. They need countries that will take them.