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Free World has an obligation to protect Egypt ‘s Christian Community and the Middle East minorities

Los Angeles Chronicle

Elias Bejjani
April 15

On behalf of The Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF), I strongly condemn the barbaric, savage and fundamentalist attacks that targeted today three Egyptian Coptic churches in the northern Mediterranean city of Alexandria . The assailants, three fanatic Muslim extremists who were equipped with swords and knives, attacked the Christian civil and peaceful parishioners during their celebration of the Good Friday Masses on Friday. One parishioner was killed and twenty others were seriously injured. Two of them are in hospital on the verge of death.

This vicious assault reaches the realm of a series of similar ongoing fanatic attacks against Egyptian Christians and their churches unveils, without a shred of doubt, the shameful biased stances and the blind-eye attitude adopted by the Egyptian authorities against Egypt’s fifteen million Christians.

Today’s crime in fact uncovers Egypt ‘s harsh, blunt and ongoing anti-Christian policies, laws and practices that openly infringe on Christian basic human rights, properties, and freedom of beliefs and expression.

The Egyptian Christian human rights status is extremely traumatizing and worrisome as well as their physical safety. The same humiliating and persecutory status is inflicted on the minorities in the majority of the Middle East countries in general and in the so-called Arabic world in particular ( Egypt , Iraq , Sudan , Algeria , Libya etc). The persecution against Christians and other minorities in these counties is an official and formal practice legitimized by biased laws and regulations.

This phenomenon of anti-human rights practices is widely encouraged, nurtured and cultivated through education of hatred, fundamentalism, rejection of the other and ignorance. What is unfortunate, pitiful and sad is that the governments of the above mentioned countries adopt such practices while the free world keeps a blind eye or in the best scenario limits its condemnation to mere rhetoric levels.

Our Canadian Lebanese Community and Lebanese members who support the Human Rights Federation objectives and mission denounce the Alexandria’s barbaric assaults and call on the free world countries, the United Nations, the Vatican and on all the Human Rights organizations to be loud in their public stances of condemnation and to develop a world wide plan and strategy to protect the Middle East Christians as well as all other minorities.

Background

April 14, 2006 UPI – CAIRO — Muslim extremists posing as beggars attacked three churches in north Egypt on Good Friday, killing one worshipper and injuring 16 others. A security source told United Press International that the incident occurred in the morning as worshippers attended mass in the churches of Saint Georges, the Two Saints and Abu Keer in the city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea . The source said the three attackers wearing rugged clothes used swords and knives in their attacks, before managing to flee. Police imposed a cordon around the churches and began a thorough search for the attackers. Hundreds of policemen were deployed in Christian-inhabited areas to prevent any possible retaliation that could lead to sectarian violence. Friday’s incident is the second piece of sectarian violence to rock Alexandria in less than a year. Last October, sectarian clashes erupted when thousands of Muslims besieged the church of Saint Georges following rumors about the distribution of video tapes of a play filmed in the church in 2002 which contained slandering of Islam. A nun was killed and parts of the church were burned. Muslims constitute the overwhelming majority in Egypt , which also has a minority Christian Copt community of no more than 10 percent of the population