Monday, November 14, 2011

Egyptian Christians abroad tell Secretary Clinton persecution is a 'crime against humanity'

By Michael Ireland
Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

CAIRO, EGYPT (ANS) -- Egyptian Coptic Christians living in the United States have sent a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, imploring her to take more action against what they termed a "crime against humanity" facing the Christian population in Egypt from the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to Joseph Mayton, writing for , the letter, sent on Wednesday (Nov.9) to the State Department, head of the American Coptic Association Monir Dawoud warned the United States government that the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most organized and popular Islamic group, is "attempting to annihilate Christians" and other minority groups in the country.

Copts demonstrating against sectarianism (Photo courtesy
Mayton says the letter came as Clinton appeared ready to give support to Egyptians as they head to the polls in less than three weeks to elect a new parliament that will be responsible for developing and writing a new constitution in the country, some 11 months after a popular uprising ousted the former government.

Mayton says Dawoud called for international protection of Christians in the country as well as an "Egyptian Charter of Rights and Freedoms" that guarantees the rights of all minorities, the disabled, women and children.

"The constitution should be made before any parliament elections to decide the type of government and President beside giving chances to the new political parties to be at the level of competition with the Brotherhood's party and so allowing all citizens to be represented," Dawoud wrote, adding: "We demand that your aid to Egypt should be conditioned on the justice towards Christians and minorities."

Mayton says the controversial leader, who many Coptic Christians in Egypt say does not speak on their behalf, also accused the Brotherhood of wanting to change the American Constitution based on the Qur'an, Islam's holy book.

"A planned destruction to America is going on," Dawoud said. "The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is deadly serious about waging what it calls 'civilization jihad' against the United States and other freedom-loving nations in order to secure their submission to the Islamic totalitarian political-military-legal doctrine called Sharia. The MB's goal in this country is to replace our great Constitution with theirs, namely the Koran. And they regard this task as one commanded by none other than Allah."

Mayton reports the head of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) in the Giza governorate in Egypt, Amr Derrag, said that his party -- an offshoot of the Brotherhood -- wants to guarantee all rights of Egyptians, whether they be Coptic or women.

"Christians were part of the revolution and they deserve the full rights of the Egyptian society," Derrag told at his home on Thursday, denying any "plan" to force out the country's Christian population.
Mayton explains, however, that Dawoud's letter is likely to get some traction in Congress, where repeated calls to stem the popularity of the Brotherhood have been heard.

Mayton reports that a staffer for a leading Republican Congressman told that "many representatives in Washington believe, whether true or not, that the Christians in Egypt are facing a genocide of some kind," adding that this is the result of "the PR campaign being made by the Christian community here in the US."

Dawoud hit home on this fact in his letter, calling on Washington to curtail aid to the country and put stipulations on Congressional aid to Egypt until the situation facing the Coptic community is rectified.
"We demand that your aid to Egypt should be conditioned on the justice towards Christians and minorities," Dawoud said.

"What we are facing today is a Crime against not only the Christian minority in Egypt, but against Humanity, against all what United States stand for, against the constitution that the founders of America have shed their blood for. We appreciate your speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves and defending those who cannot defend themselves, the Christians of Egypt who are facing persecution, impending massacres and ethnic cleansing."

** Michael Ireland is Senior Correspondent for ANS. He is an international British freelance journalist who was formerly a reporter with a London (United Kingdom) newspaper and has been a frequent contributor to UCB UK, a British Christian radio station. While in the UK, Michael traveled to Canada and the United States, Albania,Yugoslavia, Holland, Germany,and Czechoslovakia. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China,and Russia. Michael's volunteer involvement with ASSIST News Service is a sponsored ministry department -- 'Michael Ireland Media Missionary' (MIMM) -- of A.C.T. International of P.O.Box 1649, Brentwood, TN 37024-1649, at: Artists in Christian Testimony (A.C.T.) International where you can make a donation online under 'Donate' tab, then look for 'Michael Ireland Media Missionary' under 'Donation Category' to support his stated mission of 'Truth Through Christian Journalism.' Michael is a member in good standing of th e National Writers Union, Society of Professional Journalists, Religion Newswriters Association, Evangelical Press Association and International Press Association. If you have a news or feature story idea for Michael, please contact him at: ANS Senior Reporter

** You may republish this story with proper attribution.

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