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ICC Note: “What was originally dubbed as the Arab Spring has evolved into a series of deadly seasons, especially for the indigenous Christians of the Middle East,” Nabil A. Malek, president of the Canadian Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, writes for the Montreal Gazette. Recent violence that resulted in the deaths of at least six Coptic Christians in early April is just one more indication that nothing has changed in the ‘new’ Egypt, which many hoped would bring justice and equality. The only freedoms gained were those of Islamists and Christians are at their mercy. “The Islamic regimes that replaced the ousted dictators seem to be bent on clearing away the remaining Christians of the region,” Malek writes.
By Nabil A. Malek
5/2/2013 Egypt (Montreal Gazette) – What was originally dubbed as the Arab Spring has evolved into a series of deadly seasons, especially for the indigenous Christians of the Middle East.
The Islamic regimes that replaced the ousted dictators seem to be bent on clearing away the remaining Christians of the region.
In Egypt, Copts have been suffering the brunt of accelerating religious persecution for more than four decades. Even so, since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, the chronic religious violence and accompanying government denial that marked his rule continues. Human Rights Watch has documented numerous massacres and atrocities where “groups of Muslims attacked members of this minority (i.e., Christians), their churches and property. Most of the attacks were either assaults on them for practising their religious rites or supposed collective retribution for real or imagined offences for which the Christian community at large is held responsible.”
Human Rights Watch also found that despite high-level promises to end impunity for sectarian violence, in some post-Mubarak court cases, public prosecutors did not question suspects – and in others, opted for informal reconciliation deals, rather than legal proceedings.
A recent incident showed a level of religious violence unprecedented in the modern history of Egypt. On April 7, as coffins were being carried out of a funeral service at Cairo’s St. Mark Cathedral for four victims of an attack on Copts in the village of Al Khosous, north of the capital, an Islamist mob attacked the mourners, killing two more Christians and wounding dozens. The mob also attacked the cathedral compound, which includes the headquarters of the Coptic Papacy. Police, as usual, took more than an hour to respond. And when they arrived, they did nothing except watch. The socio-political ramifications of these acts are alarming.

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