“The number of Christian girls abducted and coerced into converting to Islam since the Egyptian ‘January 25 Revolution’ has skyrocketed,” Assyrian International News Agency reports.
By Mary Abdelmassih
7/13/2011 Egypt (AINA) – The number of Christian girls abducted and coerced into converting to Islam since the Egyptian “January 25 Revolution” has skyrocketed, according to Father Filopateer Gamil of St. Mary’s Church in Giza. “More than two to three girls disappear everyday in Giza alone,” he said. “The cases that are brought to public attention are few compared to what the numbers actually are.”
Many Christians blame the military council for not intervening to put an end to this problem, which has escalated after the Revolution because of the “emergence of Muslim Salafists,” says activist Mark Ebeid, “who believe strongly that converting a Christian Infidel is in some ways like earning a ticket to paradise — not to mention the earthly remuneration they get from the Saudis.”
Jackline Ibrahim Fakhry, 17, disappeared from a town on the outskirts of Cairo, prompting her parents to stage a sit-in until her appearance. They accused 31-year old Muslim Shokry Abdel-Fatah, who used to take lessons with her mother (a teacher) of kidnapping her. After she returned, Shokry said in a television interview that he has loved her since she was nine years old. He brought her to Alexandria where she met many sheikhs to convert, but she refused.
Nancy (14) and her cousin Christine (16) Fathy disappeared from their town in Upper Egypt. Their parents staged a sit-in in Minya until their children surfaced and accused two Muslim brothers, in their late twenties, of being behind their disappearance. The two teens appeared in Cairo, wearing burkas and claiming they had converted to Islam, which is illegal before the age of 18. Instead of being handed over to their parents, they are now in a state care home pending investigations and until they and their parents have reconciled. The two men accused of their abduction have been discharged by the court (AINA 7-4-2011).
This issue has been ongoing for over four decades. Coptic Pope Shenouda III warned against this phenomenon back in 1976, saying “There is a practice to convert Coptic girls to embrace Islam and marry them under terror to Muslim husbands.”
Christian parents say their girls are underage children who disappear either due to emotional ties or to blackmail, and they do not get any assistance from the police in locating them, not even after they have been coerced into converting to Islam, which is illegal before the age of 18. Muslims claim the girls, of whatever age, flee their homes and convert to Islam of their own free will (AINA 12-23-2009).
Coptic activist Michael Saeed denies this, saying “there is no legitimate reason which prevents Muslim men from marrying women “of the Book” — either Jewish or Christian — without their conversion to Islam. What we have here is a Saudi Arabia funded campaign of Islamization of Christians in Egypt.”