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Contextualizing the beheading of Coptic Christians in Libya

[ by Charles Cameron — in real estate it’s location, location, location — in thought space it’s context, context, context ]

Timothy Furnish offers us context for the newly released video of Islamic State beheadings of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians (screencap in upper panel, below) with two striking images of precedents, one of which I have reproduced in part (lower panel), illustrating how the Ottomans beheaded tens of thousands of Georgian Christians:

SPEC DQ christians beheaded

Furnish’s post is titled ISIS Beheadings: Hotwiring the Apocalypse One Christian Martyr At A Time.


I am saddened to say that this is indeed part of the history of Islamic relations with Christianity.

I am happy to add, however, that it is not the whole story. In the upper panel, below, you see Muslim and Christian at a very different form of battle, as found in the Book of Games, Chess, dice and boards, 1282, in the library of the monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial:

SPEC DQ chess and krishna

Religious tolerance in Islam is illustrated as found today in India, in this picture of a Muslim mother in full niqab taking her son, dressed as the Hindu deity Krishna, to a festival — very probably the Janmashtami or birthday celebration of the child-god (lower panel, above).


It will be interesting to see how President Sisi repsonds to this murderous IS attack on Egyptian citizens.

2 Responses to “Contextualizing the beheading of Coptic Christians in Libya”

  1. Charles Cameron Says:

    It has begun:

  2. Grurray Says:

    In the video, one of the murderers stood with a knife in his hand and said: “Safety for you crusaders is something you can only wish for.”
    So they’re not only ruthless scum, but, unsurprisingly, they’re idiots also.
    The Copts weren’t involved in the Crusades. In fact, speaking of religious tolerance, they and all Eastern Christians were banned from Jerusalem by the real Crusaders because they were considered heretics. The feeling was mutual as the Copts split from Rome in the 5th century over a theological dispute.
    So while Daesh may be drawing from the historic playbook, their real justifications are local, present-day issues.
    The question now is why did they mention the Crusades. Are they just dopes or could it have anything to do with something that was recently in the Western news?

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