http://www.news.faithfreedom.org/index. ... le&sid=973
The Message of Egyptian Coptic Christians in 2007
Author: NACA on Saturday, January 20, 2007 - 01:39 AM
Printable page Email to a friend
National American Coptic Assembly
Mr. Morris Sadek-ESQ President
Over the past fourteen Hundred years Coptic Christian in Egypt endured all forms of discrimination exerted by Muslim extremists. Since the Arab envision to Egypt in 650 AD, Copts have been always terrorized by Islamists fundamentals
. Copts have compelled by Muslim leaders to relinquish their native Coptic language and adopt the Arabic one. They have been called by Al Azhar (the most prominent Islamic institution In Egypt) as infidels and rouges elements because of religion. They also have been subjected to all kind of hate crimes including, the abduction of young Coptic girls, the killing of Coptic Women and children and the destruction of their places of worship.
Over the past forty years, the government of Egypt has endorsed and fostered an environment of Islamic radicalism to recruit more Muslim fundamentals. This phenomenon played a key role to force Islam on Coptic girls and enhance the isolation of the Coptic community in Egypt. As a result of citing in the constitution that Islam is the main source of legislation in Egypt, Coptic Christians has lost the freedom of religion including the right to build churches and the right to worship free respect.
During the 80s and under the Mubark administration, Islamic militants instigated several violent episodes against the Copts and western tourists, attacked, sacked and burned churches and Coptic businesses.
During the recent package of constitutional reform that took place in 2006, Mubark did not insert any constitutional provisions that enhance the rights of Christians in Egypt. On the contrary, he kept the provision that emphasizing the role of Islam as the main source of legislation.
Enclosed are some of the incidents that demonstrate the violence endured by Copts over the past 25 years:
July 1980: St. Mary church in Cairo has been burned by Islamic Militant
June, 1981: 80 Coptic Christian were slaughtered in there houses, in the vicinity of El zauia El hamra, Cairo, Egypt
July, 1981: St. Mary Church was bombed by Muslim radicals, in the vicinity of Shoubra, Cairo, Egypt. Seven people were killed in the attack.
March 1990: Rumors that Copts are using Muslim girls in a white slave trade prompts two weeks of violence in Abu Quraqa (250 kms s. of Cairo). Churches, shops, houses and cars are firebombed and two Christians are kidnapped but there are no deaths or injuries. (Note: There are constant complaints of harassment by Islamic militants during this period. This harassment includes, as noted earlier, the spreading of false rumors, extortion and violence up to and including murder, often with the tacit approval or even participation of local officials. Such incidents, short of murder, will not be noted here unless they deserve special attention.)
May 1990: Father Bishoy Hanna was killed by Muslim extremists along with his wife and five more people at his church in the province of Alexandria, Egypt.
June 1990: A Christian liquor store owner is attacked by Islamic militants with swords and chains.
1990: In Minshiat at Nassar (310 km s. of Cairo) workers repairing a Church are attacked by Islamic Militants.
September 20-22 1991: Militant Muslims commit a wave of violence against Christian churches and shops in Imbabah, a suburb of Cairo. Police refuse to take reports of many incidents and discourage future reports. Some Copts who attempt to make reports are arrested. Also, after being harassed by a Muslim customer, a Christian butcher shoots and wounds him.
March 11 1992: 3 people are killed and more injured in a gun battle between Christians and Muslims in the village of Sanbau (350 kms. of Cairo).
April 29 1992: A church is stoned in Imbabah.
May 4 1992: 11 Copts and two Muslims attempting to defend them are killed by gunmen, believed to be Islamic militants, in Sanabu. The authorities dismiss this as being part of a local "blood feud."
October 27 1992: Four gunmen, believed to be Islamic militants, kill a Christian jeweler and his assistant.
November 1 1992: Gunmen, believed to be Islamic militants, wound 10 Copts in an attack on a bus returning to Dayrut (310 kms of Cairo) from Cairo.
December 20 1992: A Coptic weekly, Al-Watan, urges the government to stop what is called a new invasion of the schools by Islamic extremists. Headmasters are discriminating against Copts and forcing female students to wear veils. "Fanatic teachers" are also discriminating against their Coptic students. The Article notes that the government is opposed to this but is not doing enough to stop it.
January 4 1993: In two separate assaults, gunmen, believed to be Islamic militants, kill one Copt and wound another.
A Coptic church in Dayrut is firebombed.
February 23 1993: In a Reuters article, Copts complain of discrimination including: job discrimination; discrimination by government both in the awarding of scholarships and upper government jobs; an informal Muslim boycott of Copt stores; discrimination and segregation by teachers and school officials; and the removal of all reference to Copts and Christianity from many school curriculums. This has resulted in the emigration of as much as a half million in the past ten years. Although the government protects the Copts from physical threats, the Copts complain that most government action is due to the threats to the state and foreign tourists rather than any concern for the Copts.
March 1993: A report issued by the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights accuses the government of abdicating its responsibility to protect Christians from Islamic extremists. It notes that attacks occur in the sight and sometimes with the help of security and local government authorities. It further accuses the government of doing little about such incidents until it became clear that they were also a threat to "the political system and the lives of those in power."
March 1 1993: Egypt bans from mosques "scholars preach militant thoughts" due to attacks upon tourists and Christians. (Note: the government has been engaging in increasing levels of repression against Islamic militants throughout this period. This ranges from arrests to gun battles involving hundreds of police, government troops and Islamic militants. For the most part, the details of these actions are not documented here. Also, as noted earlier, many believe that this government action is due to the threat the militants pose to the state and foreign tourists rather than any wish to protect the Copts.)
April 20 1993: A Copt school teacher is shot and wounded in Dayrut by gunmen, believed to be Islamic militants. Five Islamic militants are arrested in Aswan for planning to violently disrupt a non-Muslim festival which coincides with the Coptic Easter.
April 24 1993: Assailants, believed to be Islamic militants, attack with knives and wound two Coptic high school students.
May 19 1993: In a roundup of Islamic militants, the government seizes numerous books, cassettes and videotapes calling for violence and discrimination against the Copts.
July 22 1993: A Copt physician is shot by gunmen, believed to be Islamic militants, in Manfalout (350 km south of Cairo).
August 8 1993: Gunmen, believed to be Islamic militants, in Dayrut wound a Copt in his brother's pharmacy.
August 24 1993: Gunmen, believed to be Islamic militants, kill a Christian student in Anboub (300 kms of Cairo).
September 21 1993: Gunmen, believed to be Islamic militants, kill a Copt schoolteacher in Dayrut.
October 20 1993: Gunmen, believed to be Islamic militants, open fire in a Christian owned pharmacy killing one and injuring two.
January 27 1994: A senior Copt police official is wounded in an attack by gunmen believed to be Islamic militants. His driver and bodyguard are killed.
April 25 1994: Egyptians are upset at an upcoming convention on minorities in the Middle East. They say that the Copts are not a minority and are an integral part of Egyptian society. They attribute the conference to foreign interference.
March 4 1994: An Islamic militant, believed to be guilty of two shooting attacks on Coptic churches in Mir (300 kms of Cairo) in the previous week, is arrested.
March 11 1994: Gunmen, believed to be Islamic militants, kill 5 including two monks outside a church in Qussiyah (300 kms of Cairo).
June 26 1994: A Coptic weekly accuses the government of working to increase the wave of bigotry, antipathy and hatred against Copts.
July 17 1994: Pope Shenouda III of the Egyptian Coptic Church in an outspoken interview complains of discrimination against Copts in Egypt. He says that Copts play little part in public life and face problems building and repairing churches. He complains that Copts have trouble obtaining voting cards from police, thus preventing many of them from voting. He also refers to Copts being killed by Islamic militants in southern Egypt and Copt houses being destroyed without compensation from the state.
September 1 1994: Islamic militants shoot dead 2 policemen guarding a Coptic church in southern Egypt. Note: In general the government actively opposes attacks by Islamic militants on Copts and prosecutes the perpetrators of these attacks to the full extent of the law. This is probably more a result the fact that the Islamic militants oppose the government than a desire to protect the Copts.
November 11 1994: Islamic militants kill 2 men in southern Egypt including a Christian government official.
November 22 1994: Suspected Islamic militants kill a Christian security guard in the southern Egyptian province of Minya.
February 25 1995: Suspected Islamic militants shoot dead a Christian civilian and wound another in a southern Egyptian village.
March 11 1995: Suspected Islamic militants shoot dead a Copt village elder in southern Egypt.
June 4 1995: Islamic militants seeking to avenge a dead relative kill 9 people, including 3 Copts, in 4 separate attacks in southern Egypt.
June 8 1995: Suspected Islamic militants shoot dead a wealthy Copt pharmacist for making a donation of property to his local parish.
August 13 1995: 6 are killed after a fight breaks out over a Copt girl who converted to Islam in a northern Egyptian province.
August 29-30 1995: In 2 separate incidents, suspected Islamic militants shoot dead 4 Copts in southern Egypt.
September 2 1995: Suspected Islamic militants shoot dead a Copt who works for a local council in southern Egypt.
Update 26 March 1997
7 November 1995: According to the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, within the past 10 months, Islamic extremists have assassinated 74 police and 24 Copts in southern Egypt.
4 December 1995: Gunmen in a car shot dead three Coptic Christian men and wounded two others in a hit and run attack near the town of Abu Qurqas, In a separate attack in the same area and at the same time, gunmen shot and killed policeman Mustafa Khalil Mohamed.
9 December 1995: Forty people were killed and between 400 -700 injured during Egypt=s general elections. Thousands of Christians could not find their names on the lists and constituencies where Copts ran as candidates, their rivals distributed leaflets saying Moslems should not vote for non-Moslems.
12 December 1995: President Mubarak appointed 10 MPs and the Speaker using his constitutional privilege to enlarge the assembly with women and members of the Coptic community.
12 January 1996: A Christian farmer was killed by unidentified gunmen in the village of Abu Obeid in Minya Province.
26 February 1996: Eight Copts and three others were killed in Assuit Province in Southern Egypt. At least 47 people have died in the past two moths in Assuit and Menia Provinces. Most of these were policemen and suspected police informers (non-Copts). In a separate incident mobs set fire to 41 houses in a predominantly-Christian village in the governorate of Sharqiya after a row over a reported Church expansion. Four were injured and 50 arrested in the incident.
7 August 1996: The body of a Coptic student was found in the vicinity of Abu Qurqas.
26 August 1996: Four, including three Copts, were killed in the southern village of Nazlet Roman near the town of Abu Qurqas in Minya province. One Copt was also wounded in the attack. The five were members of the newly-formed patrols encouraged by the government to help police hunt militants using nearby fields and mountains as hideouts. A total of 23 people, not all of them Copts, have been killed in attacks during August.
4 September 1996: The American Coptic Union urged the U.S. Congress to investigate the killings of Christians in Egypt and to postpone aid to Egypt until basic rights and security were secured for all citizens.
24 January 1997: A new political party, al Wasat, was launched. Its members are Copts and former members of the Muslim Brotherhood and its goal is to heal the breaches between the two religions. It is not viewed as strong or very likely to have much influence over Egyptian politics.
February 1997: The State Department=s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1996 reported that during 1996 at least 22 Copts were killed in upper Egypt where 30-40% of the population are Christians. There were also reports of acts of violence against Coptic Churches and Copt-owned businesses.
Government discriminatory practices against the Coptic community included: suspected statistical under representation of the size of the Christian population; anti-Christian discrimination in education; production of some Islamic television programs with anti-Christian themes; job discrimination in the police, armed forces and other agencies.
12 February 1997: Ten Coptic youth were killed in an attack on a Church in southern Egypt. The youth were attending a prayer service at the Church. Police believed the killings were orchestrated by the group Gama'a al-Islamiya, the largest of the militant Islamic organizations in the country. The Gama'a has attacked the Coptic community only sporadically, concentrating attacks on police and police informers regardless of religion, and they denied involvement in this attack. Moslem and Christian community leaders have unanimously condemned the attacks. It was the worst attack on the Coptic community in almost a year. Police also suspect the same gunmen in an attack which killed three Coptic Christians. They were found dead near Abu Qurqas in Minya Province.
15 March 1997: Gunmen killed 13, including nine Copts, in a predominantly Christian hamlet 300 miles south of Cairo. Though attacks on the Coptic community have increased in recent months, the overall level of violence has sharply decreased from a peak of 415 deaths in 1995 to 187 during 1996, and Islamic militants are clearly on the defensive.
Update June 1999
March 22 1997: A total of 21 Copts were killed by Islamic extremists in February and there was a growing fear that there could be a migration of Copts from Southern Egypt because of the growing fear of attack. (AP)
April 10 1997: Copts were killed in two attacks. A total of 13 Copts were killed by Islamic militants who released a statement clarifying that the Copts had not been targeted specifically. (Facts on File)
May 3 1997: The Interior Minister said that one of the faults of the Moslem brotherhood was that they want to segregate the Copts. (BBC)
October 14 1997: Two Copts and nine police were killed by militants in the South. (New York Times).
November 1998: four Policemen tortured seventy Copts because of their religious affiliation, El Kosheh, Shouag Egypt.
December 2000: 20 Copts burned to death by Muslims in El Kosheh, Shouag Egypt
January 2006: Muslim Youth Attack Copts in a Village near Luxor, Egypt
April 2006: Muslims stormed four churches in Alexandria and kill one person.
We, as Coptic Christian urge all the governmental and nongovernmental institution worldwide to pay more attention to the daily suffering of Christians in Egypt.