Coptic Christian faces torture and death due to religion

The United States intends to deport Mr. Sameh Khouzam back to Egypt on MONDAY, JUNE 18, at the request of the Egyptian government, despite the fact that Mr. Khouzam faces torture and death upon his return.

There is no concrete or verifiable evidence that he committed any crimes in Egypt. Mr. Khouzam fled to America in 1998 after he was detained by the Egyptian government and forcefully “encouraged” to convert from his Coptic Christianity to Islam. After his departure, the Egyptian government informed United States officials that Mr. Khouzam was wanted for unsubstantiated crimes against a Muslim family.

Mr. Khouzam is facing torture and death primarily because he is a member of a religious minority in Egypt. However, the U.S. Government simply will not act to prevent this unless confronted by an overwhelming response of outrage from its citizens. I have just signed an online petition sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Public Policy to save Mr. Khouzam’s life. Please use the link below to add your signature as well.

http://tool.donation-net.net/IRPP/Khouzam.cfm?dn=1088&refer=2000

Comments

  1. Dean Scourtes says:

    Here is a perfect example of how the U.S. government’s new, more lenient attitude towards torture, or “enhanced interrrogation techniques” has undermined the ability of the United States to promote respect for human rights in other nations.

    Can anyone really expect the same United States government that secretely flies terrorism suspects to Egypt under the policy of extraordinary rendition, to be tortured by a proxy state outside the reach of the US judicial system, be taken seriously when it asks those same Proxy States not to torture others?

    Egypt is one of the Proxy States that both the Clinton and Bush administration have used to torture people. Two years ago the British newspaper, The Guardian, reported:

    Destination Cairo: human rights fears over CIA flights

    Iqbal, 24, had become the latest terrorism suspect to fall into a system known in US intelligence circles as “extraordinary rendition” – the apprehension of a suspect who is not placed on trial, or flown to Guantánamo, but taken to a country where torture is common.

    These suspects are denied legal representation, and their detention is concealed from the International Committee of the Red Cross. The most common destination is Egypt, but there is evidence of detainees also being flown to Jordan, Morocco, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Syria.

    Precise numbers are impossible to determine. A report on renditions published by New York University school of law and the New York City Bar Association suggests that around 150 people have been “rendered” in the last four years, but that is only an estimate. A handful have emerged from what has been labelled a secret gulag, and have given deeply disturbing accounts of horrific mistreatment.

    We will have to find some method for persuading the Egyptian government not to persecute and abuse it’s Christian population. But unfortunately the moral authority to tellm other countries not to torture people because its evil and wrong, is something we forfeited in the name of expediency.

  2. Michael Bauman says:

    Dean, the disease of which you speak is far deeper than current politics. I do not know of a single instance where the U.S. or any western power has stood up to a Muslim government on behalf of Christians since Thomas Jefferson 200 years ago. (Even he did it primarily for trade and pride).

    If there is even one, I’d like to know about it.

  3. Dean Scourtes says:

    It is really a disgrace.

    Just last week Bush was ready in Europe promoting independence for Kosovo, and selling out the Kosovo Serbs.

    In Turkey, the authorities continue to pressure the Patriarchate, threatening the Partiarch with physical harm, confiscating Church property and refusing to allow the seminary at Halki to reopen, for no legitimate reason. Despite a significant Orthodox Christian population in America the US government has nothing to say about this.

    Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians are now refugees in Syria receiving no assistance from the United States, whatsoever. The widowed and orphaned females are especially in a vulnerable and precarious position.

    Real Christians belonging to the churches that Saint Paul founded apparently are inconvenient and not worth saving. They interfere with the plans of the Pro-Israel Neo-Cons and their allies, the Last Days fundamentalist yahoos who want as much chaos in the middle-east as possible to bring about Apocalypse.

  4. Jacobse says:

    Dean, your last paragraph in particular, shows why, even though you might have some things correct, your sentiments are so fundamentally untrustworthy.

    The American policy toward Kosovo Serbs is one of the great injustices perpetrated by American foreign policy in a long time, but it reaches back several decades into both Republican and Democrat administrations. In fact, Clinton’s legacy, if things become dire in Europe, will become this: His adminstration established a Muslim state in the heart of Europe.

    Get more information here: The American Council for Kosovo.

  5. Dean Scourtes says:

    Father: You are correct and I will admit it. In my post in Number 2 I did initially wanted to blame Bush for the policy of extraordinary rendition, but while researching the topic learned that it actually began under Clinton.

    The “realist” school of US foreign policy that I admire as so more mature than neoconservatism is not without it faults. It was seeking to dismantle Yugoslavia as early as 1990 and helped set a lot of events in motion that led to the bloody disintegration of that country. The US hastily recognized Croatia and Bosnia without any consideration for the highly ethnically mixed composition of those areas – which was a recipe for the bloody disaster that followed.

    This means that while Bush II may be guilty of not fully understanding the ethnic and religious divsisions in Iraq, Bush I and Clinton committed the same major error in Yugoslavia.

    The US helped train and arm Croatia in 1995 knowing full well that they would move against the Krajina Serbs with genocidal fury. We didn’t care. During our Kosovo intervention we applied “collective punishment” against the entire Serbian people as well, destroying bridges and power plants so as to cripple their economy, and littering their country with depleted uranium from our armament.

    Certainly, Milosovich was a ruthless dictator and sociopath who needed to be replaced. His actions are a stain on the history of Serbia. But in dealing with Milosovich we were insensitive to the historical reasons why the Serbs had become so xenophobic and fearful of their neighbors in the first place. By treating the entire Serb nation as the enemy we exacerbated those feelings of isolation and xenophobia causing them to rally around Milosovich when they might not have otherwise.

  6. Nancy L. says:

    Dean Scourtes writes:

    Real Christians belonging to the churches that Saint Paul founded apparently are inconvenient and not worth saving. They interfere with the plans of the Pro-Israel Neo-Cons and their allies, the Last Days fundamentalist yahoos who want as much chaos in the middle-east as possible to bring about Apocalypse.

    Father Hans, I realize you thought this sentiment was over the top but I understand the frustration. If ‘knowledge is power’ and removes some of the frustration, I want to share some here. First off: Dean is spot on the money. He sees clearly – from the outside. Whereas with the Zionists it is only latent in their thinking. Why don’t they consider the Eastern Orthodox churches? Why are they myopic on Israel? Do they want to bring about the Apocalypse?

    See this very brief statement: The Dispensational Kook Factor

    If you or anyone would READ, MARK, and INWARDLY DIGEST the following article, you will be well-armed to speak to all Zionists/Neo-cons. The Christian Jerry Falwell* and Hal Lindsey types *do not understand* what is truly latent in their thinking. You can point it out to them.

    Who are these Christian Zionists?

    For those who don’t know, they are generally not from either camp of the Magisterial Reformers, Luther or Calvin – whether of the apostasy (NCC) or of the remnant. Generally, you could say they are “everyone else.” Some of the Baptists are returning to their roots in the London Baptist Confession 1644, essentially Calvinist.

    John Piper is an example — he is not in the Zionist camp. Spurgeon, noted Baptist of Victorian England — was also *opposed* to the forerunner of all Zionism, the movement of J.N.Darby, Plymouth Brethren. Plymouth Brethren theology is the exact origin of Dispensationalism/Zionism.

    Please see:

    The Unannounced Reason Behind American Fundamentalism’s Support for the State of Israel

    Also:

    Fundamentalism’s Bloody Homeland for Jews

    * personal note,
    J.F., be in God’s rest. For many other
    reasons I believe you to be one of the
    greatest men who have lived.

    I attended his funeral & visit his grave.

  7. Note 6. Dean writes:

    But in dealing with Milosovich we were insensitive to the historical reasons why the Serbs had become so xenophobic and fearful of their neighbors in the first place. By treating the entire Serb nation as the enemy we exacerbated those feelings of isolation and xenophobia causing them to rally around Milosovich when they might not have otherwise.

    You still don’t get it. The point is not that in treating the Serbs as pariahs drove them into the hands of Milosovec (the history is much more complicated; not all Serbs supported Milosovec, etc.). The point is that America supported Albanian Muslims against Christian Serbs who have been staunch allies of the United States throughout our history.

    And this anti-Serb animus draws from the school of Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter’s former Secretary of State, who divides Europe along the old Cold War lines although calling them now secular vs. Orthodox Christianity. It’s a battle waged from public view and beyond the sophistication of the media who, in matters of religion, are largely reflexive.

    But you don’t know these things as you indicated in note 6, which makes your conclusion (and the focus of my initial criticism) . . .

    Real Christians belonging to the churches that Saint Paul founded apparently are inconvenient and not worth saving. They interfere with the plans of the Pro-Israel Neo-Cons and their allies, the Last Days fundamentalist yahoos who want as much chaos in the middle-east as possible to bring about Apocalypse.

    irresponsible.

    Also, under Clinton, the US funded Al Qaeda units against the Christian Serbs, a fact largely hidden from view even today.

    Al Qaeda in Kosovo

  8. Missourian says:

    Dean’s theory of causation and moral responsibility

    By treating the entire Serb nation as the enemy we exacerbated those feelings of isolation and xenophobia causing them to rally around Milosovich when they might not have otherwise.

    Dean has a strange theory of moral responsibility. Those people who rallied around Milosovich are solely responsible for that choice, no one else is.

    Anyone claiming moral integrity cannot foist off on others the responsiblity for their choices, that is why making the moral decision is often so difficult, precisely because it is seldom supported by the majority of people around you.

  9. Dean Scourtes says:

    Milosovich was a clever demagogue who played on the fears of the Serbian people. His audience was a generation of Serbs who grew up on stories of how their ancestors fought off Turks, Muslim Slavs, Austrians, Hungarians and Croatians. Over a quarter million Serbs died in World War-One.

    While children on their parents knee, the post World War-Two generation heard stories of how the German SS and their enthusiatic henchmen, the Fascist Croatian Ustashe, helped round up and kill 750,000 Serbs, Jews and Gypsies..

    Then as Yugoslavia was breaking up, Milosovich told the Serbian people that it was happening again, that their enemies were on the move, and their countrymen in the lands being carved out of Yugoslavia were being targeted for persecution. A nation under seige rallies patriotically around the flag and their leader, just as the American people rallied behind President Bush after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

    When the international press began reporting stories of the crimes being carried out by ultra-nationalist Serb paramilitaries, the Serbian people back home dismissed them as anti-Serb propaganda. Gradually the evidence of those crimes became to great to deny, as well as the damaging effects of Milosovich’s war like policies, the Serbian people turned against him.

    Those Serbs who turned bombed innocent civilians in Vukavar and Dubrovnik, and who committed atrocities in Bosnia and Kosovo should be arrrested and punished. But if you are going to say that every single Serb who supported Milosvich out of misplaced patrotism is complicit in his crimes, then by the same standard, every American who who voted for George Bush is complicit in the torture at Abu Ghraib and the death of every Iraqi civilian who has died as result of our unprovoked, immoral and illlegal invasion of their country.

  10. Missourian says:

    Dean’s wonderful world of causation excuses Islamic barbarism

    every American who who voted for George Bush is complicit in the torture at Abu Ghraib and the death of every Iraqi civilian who has died as result of our unprovoked, immoral and illlegal invasion of their country.

    The “torture” at Abu Ghraib was in fact a form of prisoner abuse. No one died and no one was physically injured. A number of low-grade sociopaths used the power they had over over people to entertain themselves. For true torture I refer you to Al Quaeda, Fatah and Hamas for starters.

    As to the deaths of Iraqi civilians, it is clear that the United States is not the one killing them. First, you have to set aside the active members of Iraqi militias that are warring with each other. These hatreds pre-dated the United States involvement with Iraq. As the fatuous Condi Rice said “it is time for Shii’a and Sunni to stop fighting.” How clever of our Secretary of State, she has declared an end to one of the world’s longest standing fueds, one that makes the Irish-English feud look like a spat. Thank you, Condi. Again, Dean has a curious theory of causation. If an Arab dies and an American is within 50 miles of the Arab, it is the American’s fault.

    Iraq and Gaza have shown the world the barbarity and savagery of the Muslim world. Gaza is what you see if Islam concentrated, folded back on itself and allow to reign free of civilization. Islam is barbarism. This is what
    Ataturk fought against, he fought against Islam and used the power of the military to drag Turkey kicking and screaming into the 20th century. It is now reverting.

    As to the illegality of the Iraq war, Dean is, again, misinformed. Saddam Hussein took on the burden of proof of disposal of the weapons he declared himself to have as a condition of the cease-fire of 1991. Saddam violated the terms of that cease-fire and we had every right to use militlary force to finish the Gulf War.

    Muslim Arabs are virtually incapable of Western style democracy and we should not try to force it down their throats. They have shown that they reject it and don’t want it. Their eternal feuds are more important than moving forward. See Lawrence of Arabia, a classic movie with Peter O’Toole.
    The Beduoin culture resists modernization, its tribal and always will be. We should have deposed Saddam, put in our own dicator, and kept military bases in Iraq to defend our interests.

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