Egypt: Islamists vs. Copts

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Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

As Egypt’s presidential elections come to a close, with the Brotherhood claiming presidential victory, the future of Egypt’s indigenous Christians, the Copts, looks bleak.

Earlier, after the first presidential elections of May 23-24, any number of Islamists denounced them, bemoaning that it was the Copts who were responsible for the secularist candidate Ahmed Shafiq’s good showing.

Even though Shafiq is a “remnant” of the Mubarak regime, which Copts suffered under, he is widely seen as the lesser of two evils. As one Copt put it: “What did they want us to do? Whoever says that supporting Shafiq is a crime against the 25 January Revolution, we ask him to advise us whom to vote for? The sea is in front of us and the Islamists are behind us.”

Regardless, Abu Ismail, the Salafi presidential candidate who was disqualified, expressed “great disappointment” in “our Coptic brethren,” saying that “I do not understand why the Copts so adamantly voted for Ahmed Shafiq,” portraying it as some sort of conspiracy between the Copts, the old regime, and even Israel: “Exactly what relationship and benefit do the Copts have with the old regime?”

Tarek al-Zomor, a prominent figure of the Gama’a al-Islamiyya—the terrorist organization that slaughtered some 60 European tourists during the Luxor Massacre—”demanded an apology from the Copts” for voting for Shafiq, threatening that “this was a fatal error.”

To an extent, of course, Islamist attacks on Copts were due less to Coptic votes for Shafiq, and more to do with the usual animosity for Christians—an animosity that seems to seek any excuse to attack them. By virtue of their greater numbers, many more Muslims did in fact vote for Shafiq than did Christians; even the Islamic Sufi Council of Egypt expressed its support for Shafiq instead of for the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate who advocates Islamic Sharia law.

Realizing that threats—with which Copts are well acquainted—would not prevent Christians from voting for the secular candidate, in a campaign that borders on the comical if not absurd, prior to this weekend’s presidential elections, Islamists began imploring the Copts to vote for the Brotherhood’s Morsi—who some say vows to return the Copts to bondage. Islamist kingpin Yusuf al-Qaradawi himself called on politically-active Muslims to go and meet with the Copts and “explain to them” how they have nothing to fear from an Islamist president, and convincing them that “Shafiq will be of no use to you.”

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  • StephenD

    I pray a hedge around these folks in those dark days which will befall Egypt. Because they will listen to foolish counsel they will suffer the consequences. When their waterways dry and their cotton doesn't grow and there is no work, then you will see the worst of it in Egypt. Starvation on a massive scale and of course, the Zionists, The Americans, the Jin, the Infidels, and everyone else they can think of will be the cause of it but that, not of themselves. It is too bad but I see no other course for them. I hope I'm wrong.

  • Kkkk

    My blessings with these brave people.

  • Coptic John

    And yet the american administration helps these terrorists to seize power … and the funny thing that we know here in Egypt that most of MB are holding the american citizenship. for instance their presidential's candidate son and daughter are americans while many Copts trying to find an opportunity to flee the country … that is the equality and the fairness to treat the oppressor and terrorist like the victim and persecuted

  • Youssef

    Faith in Christ leads judge to annul marriage, forbid seeing kids.

    Read more:


  • WilliamJamesWard

    The Copts in Egypt will have their faith tested sorely by Islam, in fact it may be that they will
    all be martyred for their faith. There will be no just peace in Egypt nor any land that is under
    the sway of Sharia and Islam, either you submit or you are and outcast at best and a target
    for the Islamist faithful and their continuous evil vexations. Could a Coptic leader rise up
    and say "let my people go", hardly, totalitarianism is Islam, the worst is yet to come and
    Obama to his discredit did not help Mubarak keep order and peace……………..William

  • Matt

    When it comes it is going to come from there. And that is what is important. Turning disadvantage into advantage is why we win. I can taste it.

  • sharpsrifle

    More like Arabs vs. the REAL Egyptians.

  • Coptic John

    I wonder how many Copts should die until the international community react and grant them refuge … like christians in Iraq, Sudan, or now in Syria and Egypt " Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard. ( Proverbs 21:13 )

  • amused

    Make no mistake , Egypt is run by it's military ,whether Mubarak , Sadat , or the newly elected Masri , the miltary calls the shots , and that by virtue of the BILLION a year it gets from the U.S.
    And what's this "new concern " for the Copts ? YES , they are persecuted ….just like they have under all preceeding leaders of Egypt . And they will continue to be persecuted , not by the absence of a Mubarak , but because they are a minority in a muslim nation . What …do we now take up the plight of the Copts , why ? Because Mubaraks gone ? It's just muslims being muslims . Had either of the Bush' , Clinton ,Reagan ,Carter , done anything about it ? The billion a year to Egypt has been the tradition through all those Administrations ,including the present one .That is the ONLY leverage we've had or ever will have with Egypt -it's military .Before us it was the Soviets .

  • amused

    I've been through the Suez canal , Alexandria and Port Said . In addition Tel Aviv , Aqaba , Jeddah, Bahrain , Karg Island , Basra , so what's your point ? There's been no war because of that billion a year , which is what I said , thus , the military controls Egypt . Egyptian muslims have been persecting Copts throughout recent history . The absence of Mubarak nor his presence did anything to stop or exacerbate that situation .It will continue . It isthe Egyptian PEOPLE , the muslims who persecute the Copts , it is the Egyptian PEOPLE who at the end of Ramadan rape women while police turn their heads the other way .Change of governments will not change the behavior . The Egyptian People hate Israel , they have been humilaited by Israel by their defeat in war . It is the military that prevents another war .And that is where the Billion a year comes in .