Aziz added, “The most horrible scene was when one of the vehicles ran over the head of a Copt, causing his brain to explode and blood was all over the place.” He concluded by saying that “We got a clear message today that we are not first class citizens.”
Michael Munier, head of El Hayat (Life) Party, said that what happened to the Copts today was a massacre. He questioned why it was that the authorities killed the Copts who were protesting peacefully for their rights, while the Salafists, who blocked the trains in Qena for 10 days protesting against a Copt being nominated for governor of the city, were not harmed or threatened in any way.
Interviewed by the Voice of Russia on June 29, 2011, Waukee Yakub, a human rights activist in Egypt, described the situation between Coptic Christians and Muslims thusly: “After the revolution of January 25th Salafis came to power. And the only side with which they conflict a lot with is the Coptic Orthodox Christians. They know we are peaceful people and we don’t hurt anyone and they started attacking churches, stop attacking even other Muslim people – the Sufi Muslims that they don’t like. What’s happening now is that it seems like the Military Council that rules the country right now is totally involved with them and constantly agrees with them. We have videos and lots of pictures that prove that they do nothing when it comes to attacks on Christians.”
As a result of the increased persecution of Christians since the overthrow of President Mubarak, Christians have been fleeing Egypt. The Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organizations (EUHRO) published a report on this emigration and notes that nearly 100,000 Christians have emigrated since March 2011. The report, which was sent to the Egyptian cabinet and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), warned that this emigration has been prompted by the escalating intimidation and attacks on Christians by Islamists.
EUHRO director Naguib Gabriell said that “Copts are not emigrating abroad voluntarily, they are coerced into that by threats and intimidation by hard line Salafists, and the lack of protection they are getting from the Egyptian regime.”
The lack of worldwide Christian solidarity has encouraged Muslim attacks on Christians, including apostate Muslims. While Western Christians make “politically correct” gestures, always afraid to offend Muslims, the Salafists march along cleansing the Middle East of Christians, hoping to achieve with the Christians what they succeeded in doing with the Jews in the Middle East, who eventually fled to Israel.
There are measures both the European and North American governments can take. Egypt, for example, depends on U.S. military and economic aid. This must be leveraged on behalf of the Coptic-Christians in Egypt. The same is true in Iraq, where the U.S. sacrificed thousands of lives and untold billions in taxpayer dollars to prop up the Shiite-led regime of Nouri al-Maliki.
Muslim Salafists are contemptuous of the West’s inaction, which they perceive as weakness. The Salafists are thereby encouraged to believe that Islam is triumphant and that God or Allah is on their side. Only a strong Western reaction will convince them otherwise.
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