06/20/2019 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – Two deadly checkpoint attacks by ISIS in Sinai’s al-Arish resulted in the deaths of eight security officers, one of whom was a Christian completing his mandatory time in service. Egypt has honored the seven Muslim officers killed, but has neglected to equally honor the service of the slain Coptic Christian, Abanoub Nageh Marzouq Attiya.
It is customary for Egyptian soldiers who died in service of their country to have a special sign of recognition made and a location named after them. The seven Muslim officers who were killed by ISIS were each honored by having a school named after them. The Coptic officer, however, was not given this honor until the family protested. The authorities gave approval to name a school after Abanoub, but then refused to implement, citing vague “security reasons.” Instead, the authorities named a rarely used bridge over a canal after Abanoub.
The discrimination of Christians is commonplace throughout Egypt. The country is officially Islamic, and Christians are viewed as second-class citizens. Security officials often cite vague security concerns as justification for discrimination. When incidents of persecution turn violent, the officials instead often arrest the Christian victims rather than their Muslim abusers. This culture of discrimination must change if the situation of Christians is ever to improve.
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