Systematic discrimination and harassment against religious minorities in Egypt and the surrounding region often goes unreported as it does not catch international headlines such as stories of brutality and violence. The broader picture of life for minorities in Egypt is one of daily submission under Islamic Sharia. It has rightly been called daily martyrdom.
To lose one’s life for your faith is far more glamorous than daily persevering for your faith. Yet, such is the case for the vast majority of Egypt’s Christians. Imagine waking each day to the knowledge that you do not have the same rights as your neighbors in worship, at work, in school, and even in the privacy of your home. Such is their life.
The following is an urgent call for help, circulated in a number of sites and posted by the prominent secularist writer Khaled Montaser in his Facebook page. Far from being unique, it highlights the struggle of a courageous Coptic young woman against attempts of forced conversion to Islam.
After the peace and salutations for yourselves: I'm Lisa Nessim Bushra Abdul Malik national ID number 2840126240261 province of Minya, Matai district, (resident) in front of the youth center.
In a move that has many forward-looking Egyptians concerned, the government recently allowed the Salafis to return to preaching in mosques and on television.
Soon after the June 2013 revolution in Egypt, which saw the ousting (and subsequent imprisonment) of the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamist groups—chief among them the Salafis—were banned from preaching. The logic was that they were the primary actors responsible for inciting the nation’s more zealous Muslims to attack the government targets, Coptic Christian churches, etc.
According to Dr. Muhammad ‘Afifi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Culture in Egypt, the Islamic State does not acknowledge the sovereignty of any state or their boundaries and seeks to take advantage of the tenuous situation of many Arab nations.
‘Afifi made his comments during a seminar titled “How to Confront the Islamic State in Egypt.” Among other things, he said that “There is a crisis facing states in their confrontation with radicalism, and it is imperative for us to confront it honestly because the Islamic State is threatening Egypt.
Coptic Solidarity is a U.S. public charity organization under section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are deductible under Section 170 of the Code.
Coptic Solidarity 2014 Conference
The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 26-28, 2014.