A women discussing her baby’s erratic sleeping habits revealed why: the mosque next door, which always blasts Koranic verses on the megaphone around 4 a.m., constantly wakes him up in terror and tears; and though the baby does not understand the words, the mother does, pointing out that most of the verses being blared are especially hostile to Christians, like 5: 17, 5:51, and 9:29.
Any number of Copts looked at me incredulously when I inquired why a well qualified Copt did not bother applying to an important post in Egypt that seemed almost tailor-made for him: I was duly informed—that is, reminded—that best jobs are reserved for Muslims.
One refined-looking woman expressed her resignation: though a Christian, she sometimes wears the burqa in Egypt, simply so she can go about her daily business without being sexually-harassed, molested, called derogatory names, or spat upon (this recent story certainly validates her reasoning).
Some anecdotes were spoken in jest: one rather colorful Copt I bumped into in the restroom told me—between fits of laughter—how he once tried to use a mosque bathroom in Egypt; when the Muslims discovered he was a Christian, they chased him out, throwing shoes at him and calling him a “son of a bitch.”
Indeed, a resigned sense of humor seemed to pervade many of these stories—as if to say, “Since there’s nothing we can do about it, let’s make light of it.”
Other stories were spoken with stoic reserve. I have in mind the cigarette-puffing Assyrian couple from Iraq, who had lost everything to the unloosed forces of jihad—their home, their relatives, their business, their savings—and are trying to begin anew in America. Interesting was the man’s lament, that gone are the “good old days”—under Saddam—when Christians were afforded some protection.
As I listened to all these stories, I thought to myself, here is the great and unfathomable gap between the few formal reports on Christian persecution reaching a few American politicians, and the daily reality experienced by millions of Christians under Islam.
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