Coptic Christians Need Help NowBy Eileen F. Toplansky
If Obama were truly interested in the downtrodden of the world, he would be publicizing the plight of Egyptian Coptic Christians who are being decimated as a result of ongoing pillaging and murder by Muslim jihadists. In Raymond Ibrahim's new book, titled Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians there are, according to baptismal records of the Coptic Orthodox Church, some 16 million Christian Copts in Egypt.
The St. Mark Cathedral in Egypt is "considered the most sacred building for millions of Christians around the world -- above and beyond the many millions of Copts in and out of Egypt." According to Raymond Ibrahim, the St. Mark Cathedral "holds symbolic and historical significance for all Christians," and this is "precisely why it was attacked" on April 7, 2013. In short, "this jihadi attack on St. Mark Cathedral is no different for Copts than a jihadi attack on the Vatican would be for Catholics." Although Egyptian Copts rallied to the defense of the cathedral, government security "intentionally fired 40-50 gas bombs into the compound." Certainly no government intervention was made to assist the Copts who dared to resist their dhimmi status in Muslim Brotherhood dominated Egypt. For a complete list of the atrocities against the Coptic Christians, see here.
Have local churches and pastors all over the United States spoken out against this oppression of their Christian brethren? Retreats will soon begin with young Christians. Will they be educated and influenced to correspond with their elected representatives? Will there be a letter writing campaign reminiscent of the Soviet Jewish refusenik program that galvanized so many in America to fight for the release of Soviet Jews who were persecuted and thrown in jail in the 1970s Soviet Union? Where are the Jackson-Vanik 21st century equivalents who will bring this issue to the forefront? In fact, during the Soviet refusenik movement,
groups often cooperated to organize protests, petitions, demonstrations, and rallies in United States and all over the world. They successfully rallied the involvement of U.S. presidents and other leading politicians in activity on behalf of Soviet Jewry and the Jackson-Vanik amendment. They arranged meetings between refuseniks and U.S. senators before the signing of the Helsinki Final Act in 1975. Their efforts spawned the creation of "The 35", the Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry in Britain, Canada and the United States. They arranged meetings between refuseniks and Jewish visitors to the Soviet Union, who smuggled in material and spiritual support. They sponsored benefit concerts on behalf of Soviet Jewry by performers such as Theodore Bikel and Shlomo Carlebach.
Patrick Sookhedeo writes that in Egypt "Islam is taught in all state schools to all pupils, but Christianity cannot be taught to Christian children. Coptic teachers cannot teach Arabic. Copts are encouraged to convert to Islam, but Muslims who convert to Christianity face harassment and severe persecution." Will American teachers and educators begin correspondence with Coptic Christians to give them moral support and let them know that their cries are being heard? Will concerts by well-known artists be held to publicize their plight and help them financially?
The rising tide of violence by radical Islamists against Copts includes riots, destruction of property, killings, abductions, and forced conversions. Thus, "Christians living in Muslim countries are generally treated as second-class citizens" and "the basis of this lies in the traditional Islamic teaching that Christians and Jews... should be subjugated by force and made to pay a special tax called jizya, sura 9, verse 29 of the Qur'an [.]" Will rabbis, priests and secularists combine forces reminiscent of the Martin Luther King march on Washington, D.C. to provoke a response from the world and to clearly delineate that Americans still value freedom of religion, no matter what emanates from the White House?
In 2012 Avishai D. Don, of Obama's alma mater, wrote in the Harvard Crimson that "the recent democratic elections allowed parties that were previously banned under Mubarak to run freely. This reform was hailed in the West, but the unfortunate result left the Salafists, the very people who had been helping facilitate oppression of Egypt's Copts for decades, in control of approximately a quarter of Egypt's parliament." Thus, a spokesman for the "Salafist Al Nour party declared that it was forbidden for Muslims to send Christmas greetings to Christians."
Then three days later, a "Coptic student was detained for publishing an 'offensive' image of Muhammad on his Facebook-Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that angry Muslim residents from four nearby villages proceeded to firebomb the student's house. And five days before the [Harvard Institute of Politics (IOP) recognition of Mubarak's resignation], a mob of over 3000 Muslims attacked Copts in Alexandria, looting Coptic homes and shops before setting them ablaze."
Yet, "none of these incidents was mentioned at the 2012 Harvard panel" event titled 'Egypt: From Tahrir Square to Today'"!
Graduates of Harvard University should refuse to donate money to their alma mater until Harvard, once hailed as a bastion of free speech, stops accepting money from the archterrorist state of Saudi Arabia? When Mayor Rudy Guiliani returned blood money from the Saudis after 9-11, he sent a forceful message that needs to be repeatedly replicated.
According to Michael Ireland of Christian News Today, at least 100,000 Coptic believers have left Egypt since March 2011 following the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Copts are coerced into emigration by "threats and intimidation of hard line Salafists, and the lack of protection they are getting from the Egyptian regime." Thus," if emigration of Christians continues, it is possible that within ten years a third of the Coptic population of Egypt [will] be gone."
The Dutch government has agreed "to allow Copts to emigrate to the country without their having to prove that they were being persecuted in Egypt." In fact, "Coptic lawyer Mamdouh Ramzy said 100,000 Copts have applied for emigration to the US, and others have applied to go to Scandinavian countries. Ramzy ...rejects foreign intervention in the affairs of Egyptian Copts, calling instead for the full implementation of the principle of citizenship in Egypt." But given the Muslim Brotherhood installation of shariah law throughout the region, this is unlikely.
At Hillsborough Community College, Krista Byrd, editor-in-chief of The Hawkeye, highlighted an April 18, 2013 march on Capitol Hill to protest the killing of Christians in Egypt. The protestors expressed anger that President Obama is allying himself with the Muslim Brotherhood.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a 2013 annual report which documented the "many examples of the contempt that governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have toward freedom of religion or belief." The report stated that the Egyptian government "has failed to protect its religious minorities, particularly Coptic Christians, from sectarian attacks. Egypt's police and security forces have even aided and abetted the violence." Two years ago President Obama claimed that "...freedom of religions is not a secondary interest... it is a top priority that must be translated into concrete actions [.]"
Unfortunately, we have a president who mouths the words only, because allying with the Muslim Brotherhood and attempting to have freedom of religion is mutually exclusive. Obama's concern with illegal immigration is not about helping people under siege; it is about enlarging his Democratic base.
But we, the people, must nevertheless, "speak out with far more frequency on religious prisoners of conscience." Moreover, Toby Westerman of Renew America asserts that "[i]t is time for the U.S. mass media to acknowledge the persecution of Christians around the world, and to identify those who commit these crimes." Avishai D. Don writes that "for the sake of religious freedom for Egypt's Coptic Christians, America cannot afford to be silent."
Our First Amendment rights still remain and it behooves people to write letters to the editor of the mainstream media. Call them out on their indifference. Demand accountability.
At the Children of Holocaust Survivors site, Frank Crimi highlights a 2012 report commissioned by Christian Solidarity International describing "500 cases of Coptic females having been kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam." Furthermore, the article goes on to explain that Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II has called the kidnapping and forced conversion of Christian girls a "disgrace for the whole of Egypt," while also asking, "[c]an any family accept the kidnapping of their daughter and her forced conversion?"
Crimi writes that "...while many Christian families may not be accepting of this horrendous practice, it may be safe to assume that the Obama administration is, given its recent decision to send over $200 million to Egypt in financial assistance." In fact, "[t]hat money, which is part of more than $1 billion in US financial aid promised to Egypt by President Obama in 2012, was reportedly contingent upon the Egyptian government's promises of economic and political reforms, a benchmark that the Obama administration apparently believes has been met."
When will a larger segment of the American populace see through the charade of Obama's outreach to women when he patently neglects what is happening to women under the domination of shariah law across the Islamic Middle East? Feminists -- where are you? If the feminists of the first and second wave refuse to speak out, then this new generation of liberated women must understand that true feminism is really humanism of the highest order.
Military families and determined American patriots must insist that we define who an avowed enemy is so that we can properly fight them. The Associated Press needs to hear from people about their erasing the terms illegal immigrant and Islamist from their stylebook. Each piece of correspondence does count. Pushback must hold these reporters and editors answerable for their actions.
Homeland Security can no longer hide behind political correctness. Newspapers need to be bombarded by readers who demand integrity in the reporting. And Americans must educate themselves and understand the total outreach of the Muslim Brotherhood movement as they now strive to "connect all U.S. Schools" under their mantra -- a horrifying possibility! Parents must insist on detailed explanations of the insidious programs that are being used to educate their children.
This will be a harder fight since Washington is a very different place than it was in the 1970s. The few representatives with moral scruples have an uphill fight; but, then it makes the fight that much more important.
The Coptic Christians need our help now and, frankly, America needs to find its glorious voice once again.
Eileen can be reached at email@example.com
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