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American Coptic Union Calls for U.S. Sanctions Against Egypt

Escalating Oppression Seeks to Destroy Coptic Christians

 

Contact: R. Iscandar, American Coptic Union, 201-798-1451

 

JERSEY CITY, NJ, Mar. 20 /Christian Newswire/ -- The U.S. has turned a blind eye to Coptic Christians, as they continue to suffer human rights abuses under Egypt's regime. In lieu of the escalating violence and oppression against the Copts, the American Coptic Union is asking Congress to intervene on behalf of those victimized, and impose economic sanctions against Egypt. Since the current U.S. foreign policy appeases Egypt's regime actions against Coptic Christians, it will inevitably endanger America's interests in Egypt and the Middle East because the eventual eradication of Coptic Christians in Egypt will cause the U.S. to lose its political leverage in the region.

 

Recent Acts of Violence, Oppression and Subjugation

 

Murder of Copts by Muslims in Cairo

On March 9, 2007, two Coptic Christians were killed by Muslims in Imbabah, Cairo. Atta Attia and his son Magdy, were gunned down in front of their home by a group of Muslims who were waiting to murder them. The District Attorney investigating the case did not prosecute any of the Muslim attackers, but rather accused Attia's second son, Essmat, of carrying a weapon, even though no weapon was found. As usual, the Egyptian authorities sought to protect the perpetrators and punish the victims.

 

Muslims Raid Christian Village in Armant, Qina Province

Christian villages have become the target of systematic persecution and violence by the Egyptian authorities. The most recent of these attacks was on February 22, 2007, when Muslims raided a Coptic Christian village in Armant, Upper Egypt. As a result, many homes and businesses belonging to Christians were set on fire and destroyed.

 

Report by Compass Direct

 

Report by United Press International

 

Direct threats against Copts in the US by the Patriarch and Egyptian Government

As a result of the American Coptic Union's growing support against Article 2 of Egypt's Constitution, Shenouda III, (the current disputed Patriarch on behalf of Egypt' regime and the Muslim Brotherhood), publicly warned Copts against calling for the cancellation of Article 2. Shenouda has said that he fully endorses Article 2.

 

Shenouda's message is disturbing because Article 2 calls for the implementation of Sharia Law as the main source of legislation in Egypt. This law seriously discriminates against Christians, women and non-Muslim minorities, thus encouraging violence against them. Copts have been targeted by Muslims for increased attacks as a result of Article 2.

 

Shenouda has also publicly supported the Muslim takeover of Jerusalem, and has called for America to stop supporting Israel. He has said publicly that the Al Aqsa Mosque should be protected by Muslims and must be taken from the Jews.

 

The American Coptic Union questions Shenouda's motives, as his fiery speeches have only served to spread increased hatred against Copts, and have created an even greater anger among , Christians, Catholic, and Protestant, and Jews. And while aligning himself as a sympathetic and vocally active supporter of Egypt's Arab Muslim agenda, Shenouda has done nothing to protect his flock. He has, instead, aligned himself with despicable actions perpetrated by the Egyptian government by cooperating in the cover up of numerous crimes against the Copts. He has also flagrantly compromised the safety and future security of the Copts by shamelessly aiding and abetting the Egyptian government in its forward movement to destabilize and eradicate the Coptic culture in Egypt, through continued persecution, fear and infiltration.

 

Egypt's Persecution of a Muslim Sympathizer with Israel

During the recent espionage trial of Muhammed Ghunaim Al Attar, a Canadian Egyptian Muslim who was communicating with Israeli Jews, Mr. Hussein Abdu Ghany, Al Jazeera's Cairo correspondent, said "According to Egyptian official sources this trial is a warning to the Copts in the US." Not only was Al Attar arrested, but warrants were issued to three Israelis who were associated with him as well. Al Attar's trial was understood to be a confirmation of this treat by Egyptian authorities against Coptic activists.

 

AHN Media Corp. Global News: Egypt Forbids Christians to Make Easter Pilgrimage to Israel as Egyptian Stands Trial as Spy For Israel

 

United Press International reports that the Egyptian government has banned Coptic Christians from traveling to Israel.

 

Another Coptic Bishop to be exiled by Egypt

Destroying the Coptic culture and religion is an ongoing process by the Egyptian government. Last month, Bishop Kerrolus of Nagah Hamadi, in Upper Egypt, was sent to a trial to excommunicate and exile him from his diocese. Many of his followers attended the trial to protest this action.

 

Bishop Kerrolus is the sixth bishop to be excommunicated and exiled. The other five are:

  • Bishop Armonious of Luxor,
  • Bishop Taklah of Deshnah,
  • Bishop Bafnatious of Samalutt,
  • Bishop Mina of Al Mina,
  • Bishop Mittias of Al Mahallah

 

With the help of Shenouda, Egypt's regime has adopted a policy of excommunication and exile for these bishops who were helping their own parishioners and actively seeking to stop the forced conversion of Coptic Christians into Islam.

 

The American Coptic Union believes that Bishop Kerrolus' involvement in the release of two kidnapped Christian girls by Muslim men in April of 2006 is the reason for his eventual excommunication and exile.

 

While living in Egypt, George Bebawi, a respected Coptic professor and dean of the Indiana Orthodox School for Christian Studies, was also exiled for his outspokenness against the Egyptian Patriarch. Dr. Bebawi, a popular figure among the Copts in both the U.S. and Egypt, has recently accused Shenouda of heresy and of spreading the teachings of Islam.

 

Egypt Continues to Include Article 2 in its Constitution

Despite the call by millions of Christian and moderate Muslims in Egypt to get rid of Article 2 from the constitution, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has joined forces with the Muslim Brotherhood to fight hard to include this article. .

 

The American Coptic Union implores the U.S. government to stop the Egyptian government from the continued violence and subjugation against the Coptic Christians before their presence in Egypt is completely destroyed.