Monday, September 17, 2012

The Coptic give-away

"Whose Innocence?: Thoughts on Copts, Muslims, and a World Gone (Temporally) Mad" by Anthony Shenoda"
"When I first watched the "film," or the trailer, or whatever it is, I had little doubt that Copts, or someone quite familiar with Coptic historical meta-narratives, were behind it. Many of the slanderous comments against Islam and the Prophet Muhammad in the film are made by all manner of right-wing Christians and Jews, but the Coptic give-away in that 13 minute clip was the bit about the Egyptians believing in one god some five thousand years ago. This is a typical modern move on the part of many Copts and the nineteenth century Orientalist scholarship of things Coptic from which these narratives have frequently drawn authority. If, once upon a time, Egyptian Christians were engaged in the destruction of a pagan Egypt, now they are concerned to show how Christianity in Egypt was the natural evolution of an Egyptian religiosity that already hinted at a triune godhead, resurrection of the dead, and eternal life. This largely has to do with a desire on the part of many Copts to secure their national and Egyptian territorial belonging. Other scenes in the available clip also supported my thinking that Copts might be involved: The scene in which the doctor is educating his daughters (?) on the ways of Muslims shows an image of Jesus that is extremely popular among Copts, an image that I have not seen popularly among other Christians. And the Syrian monk, Bahaira, who makes a later appearance, is an indication that whoever made this “film” 1) has a pretty good sense of contemporary Coptic monastic garb and 2) is aware of the very commonly held view among Copts (but also the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians that I have met) that the Quran was written by a (fallen) Christian monk. People who are aware of Islamic history know that Muhammad had met a Syrian monk called Bahaira. Many Copts hold that this monk is the “true” author of the Quran."
The Mossad-did-it theories are worse than useless. There is absolutely no evidence that the Mossad was involved. The Mossad thesis is connected to the idea that the Muslim unrest is supposed to hurt Obama's reelection. On the contrary, Obama will be able to have all the electoral advantages of having a war - Americans love wars, and love to vote for Presidents waging them - without actually having to wage a war. He just needs to drone kill some Libyans and then announce he's killed more American enemies, just like he killed Osama. Instant hero. Of course, once that happens the usual suspects will announce that this proves that the Mossad was behind the film, as they were really trying to help Obama get reelected!
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