by Khaled Abu Toameh
The Muslim terrorists behind the New Year church massacre in Alexandria, Egypt, must be laughing their heads off as they see and hear an increasing number of Egyptians and Arabs point an accusing finger at the Mossad and Jews.
What is disturbing is that these allegations have now made their way to the mainstream media in Egypt and the rest of the Arab world.
While many Arabs are now busy trying to figure out how the Mossad and Jews managed to blow up the church, the terrorists are able to safely plan their next attack on Christian targets.
Leaders of the Christians in Egypt have long been complaining about severe government restrictions on the construction or renovation of churches. Moreover, they have been complaining that the government has been doing its utmost to keep them away from senior positions in the public sector.
Christians who apply for a license to build a church often have to wait for years before their request is approved, if at all. In contrast, Muslims are building new mosques almost on a daily basis and without a permit from the government.
Last November, Egyptian authorities intervened to stop renovation work at a church, triggering a violent confrontation between angry Christians and security forces. On the other hand, no one has heard of a single case where the government stepped in to halt construction of an illegally built mosque.
The terrorists have nothing to fear because Arab leaders and media are telling their people that the identity of the culprits has already been established.
Waheed Ra'fat, one of the managing editors of the Al-Watani Al-Yom publication, which belongs to President Hosni Mubarak's ruling National Party, wrote this week: "Mossad is the accused because it stands to benefit most from distracting Egypt's attention from what is going to happen in South Sudan on January 9. The Mossad has a strategy of instigating fitna [civil war, disagreement and division within Islam]."
And what proof does Ra'fat have for his conspiracy theory? "Al-Qaeda only strikes against Muslims and Christians and never comes close to Jews in Egypt, Iraq, the US and Europe and because the Mossad is capable of copying Al-Qaeda's operations and has a grudge against Egyptian security for uncovering [Israeli] spies."
Al-Ahram, another newspaper that serves as an organ for Mubarak's regime, went so far as to state that Mossad had succeeded in infiltrating Al-Qaeda and was using Muslim terrorists to launch deadly attacks.
The fact that such allegations are coming from the mouth of one of Mubarak's newspaper editors carries extra significance: it reflects general thinking in Mubarak's palace and the corridors of his regime.
This is the same regime whose representatives recently blamed the Mossad and the Jews for a shark attack that killed a female tourist in the Red Sea resort of Sharm a-Sheikh.
By blaming the Mossad and the Jews for the church attack, the Egyptian leadership is trying to shift attention from the plight of the Coptic Christian minority, which has long been suffering from a systematic policy of discrimination.
Fortunately, most Christians in Egypt and the Arab world do not seem to buy the ridiculous conspiracy theories that their governments are trying to sell them regarding the involvement of Jews in terror attacks.
But the sad news is that many Muslims, especially those who are illiterate and live in poverty under their corrupt dictatorships, continue to believe the poisonous and hateful propaganda they are being fed -- which is why many of them will continue to join Al-Qaeda and other fundamentalist groups.
Khaled Abu Toameh
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