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El-Sissi: Egypt Will Give any Support Required in Fight Against ISIS
By Associated Press

“Brotherhood followers could participate in politics in in the future if they renounce violence.”

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi told The Associated Press on Saturday he is prepared to give whatever support is needed in the fight against the Islamic State group but called for a "comprehensive strategy" to tackle the roots of extremism across the region.

The Islamic State’s Jihadi Logic
By Charles Krauthammer - WP

What was the Islamic State thinking? We know it is sophisticated in its use of modern media. But what was the logic of propagating to the world videos of its beheadings of two Americans (and subsequently a Briton) — sure to inflame public opinion?

Is Syrian Army US’ Best Option Against IS?
By Al-Monitor

Too many uncertainties about "moderate" Syrian rebels make them the least effective option for confronting the Islamic State, leaving the Syrian regime the only realistic alternative.

As the US military campaign ramps up in Iraq against the Islamic State (IS), many important questions remain unanswered in regard to the operation's imminent counterpart in Syria.

Religion Still Leads the Way in Post-Morsi Egypt
By Patrick Kingsley - The Guardian

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is not afraid to use faith to push the state's narrative – but the climate and the rhetoric have cooled

When protesters successfully called for the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi last year, part of their rhetoric played on fears that Egypt's first democratically elected president and his Muslim Brotherhood were seeking to turn the country into a theocracy. Yet 14 months on, religion and politics are as interwoven as ever – and Morsi's successors in government are leading the way.

War Against ISIS Headed for Failure

This was not a coalition that will defeat ISIS; it was a coalition that will end up reinforcing Islamic State as the one true answer to the crimes being committed against the Arab people by its own leaders.


Two Christians Killed in Egypt by Muslim Racketeering Gang

A Christian man and his son were shot dead in Egypt when he refused to pay extortion money demanded by a Muslim racketeer, who has been kidnapping Christians for ransom.

The offender went to the home of Moawad Assad, a building contractor, in Nag Hammadi on 26 January to collect the money that he had demanded three days earlier. The Christian refused to go to his car for fear of being kidnapped. Four men armed with machine guns then got out of the vehicle and opened fire on Moawad and his 26-year-old son Assad Moawad, an engineer. They were both killed instantly.

The racketeer and his gang have been extorting money from Christians and kidnapping their children for ransom for some months; eleven Christians were seized between 11 August and 24 December 2011 in Nag Hammadi and neighbouring Farshoot and Bahgoura.

A senior Christian leader in Nag Hammadi said all the incidents had been reported to the police. He questioned why the ringleader, who is well known to the police, has not been arrested and called on the authorities to protect Christians in the Nag Hammadi area, “who are continuously being subjected to terror and kidnapping”.

Mob attack

Elsewhere in Egypt, a mob of Muslims attacked Christians and their property in the village of Kobry-el-Sharbat in Alexandria on 28 January. Two Christians and one Muslim were injured in the violence; homes and shops were looted before being set ablaze.

Muslims descended on the village after a rumour spread that a Christian man had taken photos of Muslim women. A Christian activist said that the allegation was made by a Muslim man when the Christian man refused to pay extortion money that the former had demanded from him.

The Christian’s home was looted and torched, and the homes of a further 11 Christian families attacked.

Eyewitnesses said that the perpetrators were Salafists and some were from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Reconciliation meetings were held in the village in which the aggressors demanded the forced displacement of Christian residents and refused to approve any compensation for the victims.

No arrests were made in connection with the attack.

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Barnabas Fund

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