Analyst blames Mubarak regime for persecution of Christian Copts
A Middle East analyst accused recently the regime of Egypt’s President Mohammad Hosni Mubarak of inflaming violence and hostility by the Muslim majority against Christian Copts.
Raymond Ibrahim, a lecturer of the National Defense Intelligence College, accused the Mubarak regime of spearheading the Muslim Brotherhood and supporting the “severe persecution” and intimidation of the nation’s eight million Christian Coptic minority, according to World Tribune.
Ibrahim, who is also associate director of the Middle East Forum, said in a piece he wrote for the Hudson Institute that as Egypt quells pro-democracy opposition, it has simultaneously resorted to “medieval persecution of the Copts.”
The World Tribune cites accusations made by leading Egyptian scholars that link the Copts with Israel and who claim they are hoarding ammunition and weapons in monasteries. A leading cleric, Mohammed Al Awa, told A-Jazeera satellite television, “Israel is in the heart of the Coptic cause, preparing to wage war against Muslims.”
Al Awa urged Muslims to obstruct the growth of Egypt’s Coptic Church, warning that unless they act, the “country will burn,” and saying that the country’s security forces are banned from searching the monasteries and churches for weapons, World Tribune reported.
Ibrahim wrote in Hudson New York that such a claim is “amazing” because “Coptic monasteries are not only at the mercy of the state, but easy prey to Islamist and Bedouin attacks.” He noted that Copts make up only 12 percent of the population.
The Hudson New York piece also said Muslim leaders have been sending out rumors that Pope Shenouda III and the Copts “kidnap” Coptic women who convert to Islam, then torture and re-indoctrinate them to Christianity in desert monasteries. However, the women publicly deny ever having converted to Islam.
The Front of Islamic Egypt in a statement said Copts will experience a “bloodbath.” Last month over 10 mass demonstrations were held by thousands of Muslims shouting, “Shenouda, just wait, we will dig your grave with our own hands,” and other threats against Copts, the Hudson New York said.
Questioning why the Mubarak regime did not simply investigate the monasteries and clear them in order to defuse tensions, Ibrahim noted, “The Copts find themselves again in a period of severe persecution,” World Tribune reported.
The World Tribune noted that Copts in Washington have also been lobbying in Congress on behalf of Egypt’s Coptic Christians, noting that the U.S. annually gives Egypt $1.3 billion in military aid.
For more information go to http://theundergroundsite.com/index.php/2010/09/uscirf-says-egypt%E2%80%99s-reconciliation-talks-worsen-abuse-of-christians-13799 and http://theundergroundsite.com/index.php/2010/08/coptics-seek-arrest-warrant-against-muslim-cleric-for-hate-speech-13325 and http://theundergroundsite.com/index.php/2010/06/egyptian-couple-will-drop-attempted-murder-charges-if-they-can-build-church-12536.