Skip to comments.Coptic Christians are deliberately and arbitrarily executed by al-Gama’a al Islamiya (Sep. 1998)
Posted on 01/25/2004 10:32:41 AM PST by miltonim
On November 17, 1997, fifty-eight foreign tourists and four Egyptians were killed in a massacre of tourists in the temple of Queen Hatshepsut in Deir el-Bahari, near Luxor.
The Luxor massacre was the culmination of a five-year war by the Muslim extremists, al-Gamaa al Islamiya, against the tourist industry in Egypt, a war intended to pressure the Egyptian government into submitting to the extremists demands for Egypt to be an Islamic state based on Sharia law. But the Egyptian Muslim extremists are also waging another war. Egypts Christian minority is terrorized by al-Gamaa al Islamiya and the Egyptian government is complicit in this war.
Coptic Christians are deliberately and arbitrarily executed by al-Gamaa al Islamiya, primarily in the Upper Egypt governorates, as the group advances its aim of a pure Islamic state. Christian youths, farmers, businessmen, doctors, pharmacists and jewelers have been murdered, in fact whole families and congregations have been massacred.
Egypt is the most populous of all the Arab nations, with around fifty-nine million people and a Christian population estimated at about eight million. The Coptic Christian Church is the native church of Egypt, founded by Saint Mark when he visited Egypt during the days of Nero, in the earliest days of Christianity. By the 6th century the Coptic Church included most of Egypt, however numerous Arab and Turkish invasions and forced conversions under threat of death produced the Arab Muslim nation of Egypt we see today.
One form of terrorism inflicted upon the Copts by Islamic extremists under the very nose of the Egyptian government is the kidnapping of their daughters.
The International Coptic Federation (ICF) has documented over three hundred cases of kidnappings of Coptic girls in this past year. One ICF representative reports that many believe the figure could be as high as twelve hundred per year.
The girls are kidnapped, raped and forced to marry Muslim men. Girls fortunate enough to effect an escape from their captors are arrested by the police and locked up for their protection until their husbands can collect them. Families of these girls are denied access to their daughters. The ICF believes the Egyptian government is making no effort to catch the kidnappers or find the stolen girls. The police have told Bishops and families that there is no hope and they should forget about finding the girls.
Today Egypt exists in a state of emergency with Emergency law that permits arrests and detention on the basis of suspicion or on the basis of an individuals or groups real or perceived threat to public order and security. The most recent abuse of this power by the security forces (SSI) is the arrest of over one thousand two hundred Coptic Christians in Sohag, on the 15th of August 1998.
Two Christian youths, twenty-five year old Samir Aweda Hakim and twenty-seven year old Karam Tamer Arsal, had been murdered by Muslim extremists on the night of the 14th of August 1998, in the village of El- Kasheh, Dar Al-Salam, Sohag.
H.G. Bishop Wissa, bishop of El-Baliana, Sohag, is a sixty-year-old Coptic Bishop who wears the traditional long beard and black vestments of the Coptic clergy. According the Bishop Wissa, the killers belong to family of gangsters with a family member who is an influential member of the secret police. Bishop Wissa reported their names to the National Security Inspector of the Sohag Governorate. Town residents supported his testimony. Using the Emergency laws, the security forces arrested over one thousand two hundred Christians on the supposed basis of preventing sectarian strife. The police feared that arresting Muslims would cause severe unrest so they have been attempting to frame a Christian suspect.
The detained Christians face horrendous tortures, says Bishop Wissa, of electric shocks to the genitals, whipping, and being suspended from the ceiling by hands that are cuffed behind the victim s back. In the courtyard of the Church of the Angel in Al-Kosheh, hundreds of residents gathered to show their rope burns and bruises and tell of electric shocks to ears and genitals.
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) has reported widespread use of torture and ill treatment in police stations and prisons, where torture is used by police to coerce confessions and obtain information. In the past five years, twelve deaths from torture at the hands of the police have been reported. The violations of human rights by the police and security forces in Egypt is a national problem, not just a Christian one, said Mr. Abo-Saeda, the general secretary of the EOHR.
Mr. Michael Meunier, the Executive Director of the International Coptic Federation, reported in an October 10th press release, that Bishop Wissa and two other Coptic priests, Fr. Antonios and Fr.Shenouda, had been interrogated for several hours by the general prosecutor of the Governorate of Sohag. The three clerics have been charged with charged with crimes that relate to Egypts antiterrorism laws and contain five counts pertaining to threatening national security and spreading extremist ideas to cause sectarian strife, and are punishable by death.
Hafez Abo-Saeda, general secretary of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights said, This is a dramatic case of random arrest, torture and degradation of hundreds of people. We have never seen a case as widespread and systematic as this.
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