Egyptian Islamists: Persecuting the Copts

by Crocker on September 25, 2011, 4:31 pm

in Foreign Policy,Health Care,Politics,Religion

In the theology of Islamic triumphalism, all land in the Middle East and North Africa is “Muslim Land” even though the indigenous Christian and Jewish populations were exterminated or terribly persecuted to realize the fantasy.

One such Christian group that has successfully resisted religious cleansing are the Copts of Egypt. The Coptic church is very ancient, going back to at least the Second Century A.D. The Coptic language is unique in its grammar and constructions and predates even the Christian era. Currently, the Copts account for 10% of Egypt’s population.

In Mubarak’s Egypt, there was some measure of protection even though Muslim mobs would periodically attack Coptic homes, businesses and churches on the flimsiest of pretexts, such as a rumor that a Christian had tried to convert a Muslim. In fact, it was fairly standard practice for Muslims to kidnap Coptic women and forcibly “marry” them, thereby placing the Muslim brand on the Copts in a most degrading way.

But Mubarak is gone and the Islamists appear to be in the driver’s seat. This is bad news for the Copts and they apparently know it. According to the Egyptian Federation for Human Rights (a NGO), 93,000 Copts have left the country since March and the pace seems to be accelerating.

Nearly 93,000 Coptic Christians have left Egypt since 19 March, a report by an Egypt-based Coptic NGO has said.

The number may increase to 250,000 by the end of 2011, according to Naguib Gabriel, the head of the Egyptian Federation of Human Rights, which released the report.

The current trend of Coptic immigration endangers the structure of Egypt’s population, Gabriel told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Sunday. He urged the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the Egyptian cabinet to work on curbing the phenomenon.

Gabriel based the data stated in the report on information from Coptic churches and communities abroad.

“Nearly 16,000 migrated to California, while 10,000 moved to New Jersey, 8000 to New York, and 8000 to other American states,” according to Gabriel. “Around 14,000 left to Australia, 17,000 to Canada, and 20,000 settled in the Netherlands, Italy, England, Austria, Germany and France.”

Gabriel attributed the Coptic emigration to hardline Salafi groups seeking to apply Islamic law, deny Copts senior government posts, and reduce incoming tourism. He also blamed attacks on Coptic churches and the government’s failure to bring attackers to justice.

I suppose it’s too much to ask for the President and State Department to speak up for the Copts. Unfortunately, that would cloud the “Arab Spring” fantasy, er, narrative.

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