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Robert Spencer Fail: Tries to Use Death of Pope Shenouda III to Promote Sectarianism and Islamophobia

JihadWatch’s anti-Muslim fear-mongering director Robert Spencer likes to selectively highlight the most egregious and sectarian statements by Muslims to further his hate agenda against Islam/Muslims.

In the wake of the death of the Coptic Pope Shenouda III he posted a piece about how a cleric named Wagdi Ghoneim said that the death of Pope Shenouda was a “relief” because the Pope caused “sectarian strife” and sought to make Egypt into a “Coptic state.”

To address that specifically, I wonder if the irony is lost on Wagdi Ghoneim, he accused Pope Shenouda of having furthered “sectarian strife” but by writing what he did he himself engaged in “sectarian strife.”

While there are small fringe groups of Copts who wish to turn Egypt into a Coptic state, trying to push this concept as emerging from the Pope, or the mainstream of Copts is similar to the “Islamization” myth that ironically Spencer and his acolytes regularly engage in. The Pope himself was a nationalist and opposed “foreign intervention” and stated that while Copts are “marginalized” in Egypt they are not “oppressed.”

That said, the main point I want to highlight is the fact that Robert Spencer is attempting to shift focus from the overwhelming support and expressions of condolences and grief from Muslims for the passing of the Pope. He chooses one cleric and tries to attribute it as the general feeling of Muslim Egyptians.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

High ranking Muslim politicians, scholars, clerics, intellectuals and lay people expressed their sympathy and sadness at his passing.

“His holiness lived and died as a loyal patriot to his country,” Parliament Speaker Saad el-Katatni, an Islamist, told a joint meeting of the two chambers of parliament Saturday.

Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, Grand Imam of al-Azhar, the highest seat of religious learning in the Sunni world, offered his condolences to the Egyptian people for such a great loss, saying,

“Egypt has lost one of its rare men at a sensitive moment when it most needs the wisest of its wise – their expertise and their purity of minds.”

Egypt Mufti Sheikh Ali Gomaa also mourned the deceased pontiff as a great Egyptian and patriot, saying,

“His death is a tragedy and a great loss for Egypt and its people of Muslims and Christians.”

Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm and the party with the largest majority in parliament stated,

“The Freedom and Justice Party sends its deepest condolences to the Egyptian people and our Christian brothers over the death of Pope Shenouda III,” FJP leader Mohamed Mursi said.

Presidential contenders such as Amr Moussa and Ahmed Shafiq also expressed their sadness,

Presidential aspirant Amr Moussa said he was saddened by Pope Shenouda’s death.

“We have lost a great value and a pre-eminent pope,” said Ahmed Shafiq, another presidential contender, and a Mubarak-era prime minister.

For more see: Egypt Muslims Mourn Pope Shenouda’s Passing

Here is a picture of Egyptian Christians expressing their thanks and reciprocating the “love” they received at the death of their leader:


Egyptian Christians stand in front of a picture of the late Pope Shenouda III after receiving condolences from both Muslims and Christians. Signs read in Arabic (H/T: ZH): “We feel your love. Thank you, Muslim brothers and sisters”

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    • dominicdecocco

      @Pat Condell

      Mr. Condell has proven through his Vlogs that he is incompetent at thinking. The major crises that are effecting the UK are related to horrendous socio-economic management of which Muslims are not the problem: we have not caused unemployment and saturated education system nor did we cause the recession!

      If Condell gave a damn about the UK and the rest of the world, he would advocate on tackling these issues not non-existent threats that Muslims are trying to takeover the world.

    • Just Stopping By

      @CriticalDragon1177 and @Solid Snake:

      I believe that you are misreading Pat Condell. He states, “I[‘]m glad that this site exists, [as it] is proof of what [re]tards the Islamophobia industry are [sic]” meaning that he believes that those in what he would call the industry of exploiting Islamophobia are mentally deficient. (Compare to Finkelstein’s “Holocaust industry” as a group said to exploit something real and negative.)

      I don’t know Mr. Condell’s comedy, but I wonder if it is as difficult to parse as his comment above. To be a good comedian, one should be a wit. Based on the clarity of his writing here, Mr. Condell may be only half that.

    • Solid Snake

      @Pat Condell

      Not sure if sarcasm or change of heart…what’ll it be Mr. Comedian?

    • Pat Condell

      Im glad this site exists, proof of what tards the Islamophobia industry are.

    • Géji

      @Arab Atheist Says: atheism “cult”?

      Come on Arab Atheist, when did atheists become overly sensitive as religious nuts tend to get?? would it be that maybe after-all Atheism is just “the new” religion on the block? — But anyway, I do see Atheism as a cult, just like I do see religions are themselves. Don’t take it the wrong way, I certainly did not mean as “insulting” way or anything, I know the word “cult” often get a bad reputation and a negative connotation, but there is also a neutral definition of the word, that state any ideology that cultivates it’s own “Believe” system, including of course Islam, can be called a cult, and it doesn’t necessarily mean in negative sense, of course others may disagree with me on this, but that’s how I see it.

      > “To me, my religion, to you, yours”

      For sure Arab Atheist, for sure, and I never suggested otherwise in my previous post, peace be with you brother.

    • Arab Atheist – ملحد عربي

      @Géji atheism “cult”? لكم دينكم ولي دين To me, my religion, to you, yours

    • Géji

      It’s funny how the Christian nuts like Spencer always see Islam as the ‘big threat’ to their ideology and the one that most likely ‘convert’ Christians, not realizing it is actually the atheism cult that has done far more damage to Christianity in taking big junks out of European Christians to make it it’s own. Aren’t like half of Europe secular atheists?

    • @Emperor,

      Actually come to think of it, the man has been betraying those principals since day one of his bigoted crusade.

    • @Emperor

      I’m so glad I now see Spencer and his ilk for what they really are. Spencer betrays the very principals he claims to hold dear by doing this.

    • Zakariya Ali Sher

      I doubt Spencer wants a Coptic state in Egypt. Yes, he is a Christian nut, but he is also a decidedly sectarian one. I don’t see him recognizing (or respecting) the sanctity of the Coptic Pope’s title. He wants to bring everyone into communion with Rome, with the Roman Pope as first among equals. While Spencer may try to portray himself as sympathetic towards Copts and Assyrians, it is only because they are surrounding by a Muslim minority. You’ll notice he doesn’t go around supporting the Russian, Bulgarian or Finnish Orthodox Churches. Indeed, his cohorts and counterparts in Europe seem to be anti-Slavic immigration as well.

    • crow

      I’m tired of Spencer and the white trash that post on his site. It makes me sick when I see the violent garbage they post while claiming to be “Christian” or talk proudly about teaching their family to hate Muslims.

    • Abdul-Rahman

      Spencer is a lying, hatemonger of course. The vast majority of Egyptians of all backgrounds have always promoted inter-religious harmony in Egypt. That is why after the Coptic church was bombed in January 2011 in Alexandria there were huge mourning rallies of Egyptian Muslims condemning the bombing and standing with their Coptic brothers and sisters (often holding banners with the Crescent and Cross intertwined). It was also widely reported that many Egyptian Muslims then volunteered to act as “human shields” at different Coptic churches throughout Egypt as a symbol of unity, and many of these volunteer “human shields” were Egyptian Islamic scholars and religious students from the Muslim al-Azhar University in Cairo.

    • Garibaldi

      @Cloud, you are correct he has said as much, he fears Islam as a threat to his faith:

      “Islam itself is an incomplete, misleading, and often downright false revelation which, in many ways, directly contradicts what God has revealed through the prophets of the Old Testament and through his Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh… For several reasons… Islam constitutes a threat to the world at large.” [5]

      “We wanted Catholics to become informed about Islam because not only is Islam the church’s chief rival in terms of religion but Islam is a serious threat to the peace and well-being of the Western world in general,” [6]

      I agree he does want to see a Coptic state in Egypt as surely as he wants to see a Christian state in the US.

    • cloud

      Robert Spencer would love to see a Coptic state in Egypt, I’m sure he would also love to see a Christian state here in the U.S, people forget that apart from being an Islamophobe he’s also a religious nut. He tries to hide his pro Christian bias by saying things such as Islam is anti-freedom, anti-human rights, anti-women etc. but the real reason is that in his mind he feels that Islam is a threat to his own religious belief, but he knows that if he frames his argument around that no one would take him seriously. At the end of the day Robert Spencer and his silly views are irrelevant and as one academic put it. they will end up in the dustbin of history.

    • Al

      Silly Spencer…

    • Garibaldi

      Good point @Just Stopping By.

    • mindy1

      RIP sir, and may peace reign in Egypt

    • Just Stopping By

      “I wonder if the irony is lost on Wagdi Ghoneim,…”

      Actually, the real irony is that Spencer is having a fit that someone is accusing a minority religous group of trying to take over a country and remake it in its image. It would be nice to think that Spencer now sees how wrong such accusations are, but I won’t hold my breath.

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