Egypt: Christians flee from coming Shariah law
Muslim overthrow of African nations leaves Copts terrified
“The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood says they want to institute Shariah law, while intelligence sources report al-Qaida is now staging attacks in the nation, prompting Egypt’s Coptic Christians to believe that they’ll soon be driven from their homeland,” World Net Daily reports.
By Michael Carl
4/23/2011 Egypt (World Net Daily) – The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood says they want to institute Shariah law, while intelligence sources report al-Qaida is now staging attacks in the nation, prompting Egypt’s Coptic Christians to believe that they’ll soon be driven from their homeland.
International Christian Concern’s Aidan Clay says the Copts’ attitude has gone from uncertainty to fear. That fear is driving many Coptic Christians to try to leave Egypt.
“A report from a very prominent Coptic says he’s getting hundreds of calls a week from Coptic Christians who are trying to get out of the country,” Clay told WND in an interview. “That’s an extremely sad thing considering we’re seeing that throughout the Middle East. We’re seeing the quick removal of ancient Christian communities. Egypt has the highest Christian population of any country and a very old Christian church there.”
Clay places responsibility for the growing pressure to the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.
“The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic groups are gaining a lot of political influence,” Clay explained. “Actually the Muslim Brotherhood is really the only organized Islamic group forming a political party.
“So really, there is a fear that the Muslim Brotherhood could take power. It’s the same with the Salafis. They’re now saying they’re willing to run for Parliament,” Clay added.
The International Christian Concern analyst was referring to a recent report on Vatican Radio that said the long-restricted Salafist group is planning to form a political party and run candidates for Egypt’s Parliament.
“In the past, Mubarak had a very hard hand on these extreme, fundamentalist, ultra-conservative groups. They were not allowed to run for government in any way,” Clay commented. “But the Muslim Brotherhood had some influence and were able to get some votes.”
Clay says that even though the groups were kept under control, they’ve long had the Christians in their “sights.”
“These were the groups responsible for the major terrorist attacks against the Christians. They may even be responsible for the New Year’s Eve attack against the church in Alexandria,” Clay asserted. “Mubarak of course blamed an outside al-Qaeda group for the attack. The Copts don’t buy that; they think it was it was an excuse by Mubarak to not to have to deal with the turmoil inside of Egypt.”
The issue for Copts, as Clay explains, is that both of these groups have promised some form of Islamic government, which would put restrictions on the Christians in Egypt.
Coptic Christians demonstrated against Shariah law and voiced support for an entirely secular state in Egypt. Clay says the desire for a secular government will likely go unheeded.
“They’re not going to get far in demanding a secular constitution, especially if the Brotherhood gains a lot of influence in the September elections,” Clay stated. “The Brotherhood will slowly gain control and they’ll gain seats by using democracy to their advantage.”
Clay’s assessment is in line with a recently published Heritage Foundation report on Egypt’s political future and the status of the Coptic Christians.
The report analyzes the constitutional amendments Egyptians voted for with a 77-percent majority in the March referendum and claims the referendum only presented the “illusion of progress.” The report also describes the Muslim Brotherhood’s involvement in the vote.
“It’s simply bad news for Egyptians who want a total transformation of the political status quo,” the paper stated. “The Muslim Brotherhood and members of the ruling National Democratic Party were the main supporters of the military-backed referendum.”