Even though Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohammed Morsi is no longer in power, Egypt’s Christian minority continues to face violence at the hands of Morsi’s Islamist supporters.
The latest example: hundreds of Morsi supporters converged on Christian church last weekend in central Egypt and raised the Al Qaeda flag on the building.
According to a report in the Egyptian publication Shorouk and translated by Coptic Solidarity, the Muslim Brotherhood supporters on Saturday evening gathered in front of Mar Guirgis (St. George) Church in the Nile River city of Sohag. As they raised the Al Qaeda flag, they chanted, “Islamic (state) despite secularists (wishes).”
Coptic Solidarity reports, “The church immediately closed the doors and prevented the entry or exit of any one of its members.”
Elsewhere in Egypt, Shorouk reports that in the village of Banawyt, Islamists targeted the homes of Coptic Christians, destroying crosses on doors and windows.
“Security services eventually managed to control the security situation,” Shorouk reports.
The Egyptian paper quotes Salafi politician and Secretary of the Construction and Development Party Alaa Saddiq saying, “We are waiting for victory from God. We are fighting a war of identity against Christians and secularists who wanted bloodshed and declared war on Islam.”
Indicating that some of these attacks are being actively encouraged from above, Raymond Ibrahim writing in the Gatestone Institute’s blog reports, “Days ago, al-Qaeda’s Egyptian leader, Ayman Zawahiri, portrayed the overthrow of Muhammad Morsi and the Brotherhood as a ‘Crusader’ campaign led by Coptic Pope Tawadros II who, according to Zawahiri and other terrorists, is trying to create a Coptic state in Egypt.”
This follows a recent video by influential Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, in which he said that “Christians” and others “were recruited [by Egypt’s military] to kill innocent Muslims.”
Ibrahim, author of “Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians,” characterizes the attacks against Egypt’s Christians as an “open season” on Christians “unprecedented in the modern era.”
Addressing the Al Qaeda flag-raising, Ibrahim points out: “Considering that it was al-Qaeda linked terrorists who initiated one of the bloodiest church attacks in recent history, the 2010 Baghdad church attack in which nearly 60 Christians were slaughtered, al-Qaeda’s singling out Egypt’s Christians looks alarming.”
“Due to the risk to Christian lives, many churches are no longer holding regular worship services,” Ibrahim notes.