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Coptic Christians Ask America To Withhold Funding From Egypt
For the full article, go to the NY Sun
April 25, 2006

( New York ) Several hundred of the area’s Coptic Christians yesterday called on the American government to withhold funding from Egypt until President Mubarak agrees to make a serious effort to protect the rights of Christians.

The demonstrators, many of whom wore T-shirts bearing the message “Stop Killing Christians In Egypt” written on the front, said persecution in Egypt had escalated in recent years. Christians have been raped, killed, and discriminated against without the perpetrators being brought to justice, the president of the International Christian Union, Monir Dawoud, said.

“We don’t want our tax money going to kill our people in Egypt ,” he said.

America gave $1.87 billion in foreign aid to Egypt in fiscal year 2004, ranking third on the list after Iraq and Israel , according to State Department figures.

The editor of the weekly Coptic newspaper Watani International, Magdi Khalil, said that since President Mubarak took office in 1981, after Anwar Sadat was assassinated, there have been 55 major attacks on Coptic Christians by Muslims.

“Sometimes the police even participate,” he said. “We need George Bush to announce ‘Stop killing Christians in the Middle East . Equality for Christians in the Middle East .'”

Protesters, who gathered in front of the Isaiah Wall at 43rd Street, also called on the secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, to condemn the persecution of Christians in Egypt and to take action to restore their equality.

“We’d like the money the government gives to be a seed of democracy, not of persecution,” a vice president of the International Christian Union, Joseph Hakim, said.