Muslim Mob in Egypt Attacks Christians, Parades Elderly Naked Woman

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The Associated Press has reported that last week an armed Muslim mob attacked Coptic Christians in Karma, Egypt, looting and burning seven homes and parading an elderly woman naked through the streets. The mob formed after a rumor circulated that the elderly woman’s son had an affair with a Muslim woman.

Autopsy of a Revolution

A long Egyptian flag is held by the crowd around Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Friday Feb. 18, 2011

Edward Said once famously took the scholar Bernard Lewis to task over the history of the Arabic word for “revolution”—thawra. In an essay called “Islamic Concepts of Revolution,” Lewis had traced the term’s usage back to the classical period of the language, and presented evidence showing that it had acquired its current sense only in the 19th century. Before this, Lewis had argued, it would have been more accurately translated by the English terms “excitement,” “uprising,” or, at the most, “rebellion,” having originated in a verb form which literally meant “‘rise up’ (e.g. of a camel).”