Copts of Egypt: more than political pawns for ISIS and el-Sisi

Professor Mariz Tadros

Power and popular politics cluster co-leader

Institute of Development Studies

University of Sussex

Recent attacks on Copts cannot be understood exclusively as militant resistance to authoritarianism in Egypt.

A Coptic mass following recent church bombings.A Coptic mass following recent church bombings. PA Images. All rights reserved.

When ISIS claimed responsibility for the recent bombings of two Coptic churches in Egypt, and named the suicide bombers involved, it also issued yet another warning to the “crusaders.” It said: “the bill between us and them is very great and they will pay for it with rivers of their children’s blood, God willing.”

Copts of Egypt: from survivors of sectarian violence to targets of terrorism

Professor Mariz Tadros

Power and popular politics cluster co-leader

Institute of Development Studies

University of Sussex

Recent bombings mark a new era in the religious targeting of Copts – one which is qualitatively different from previous patterns of sectarian violence.

Funeral of victims of Tanta city church bombing.

Funeral of victims of Tanta city church bombing. PA Images. All Rights Reserved.

It is customary for Copts – Egypt’s roughly 9 million strong Christian population– to celebrate Palm Sunday at church, waving palm fronds and singing joyful chants that go back to ancient times to commemorate Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, days before his crucifixion. They did not expect the service to be interrupted by bodies being ripped apart.

On 9 April 2017, in the second largest church in the city of Tanta, a suicide bomber approached the alter and blew himself up. At least 29 people were killed and 71 injured, some gravely. Three hours later, a suicide bomber tried to enter St Mark’s Church in Alexandria where Pope Tawadros, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, was presiding over a service. The man was stopped by police, and denoted his bomb outside. At least 18 people died, with 35 wounded.

Gatestone Institute

Urgent Messages to the Muslim World

by Nonie Darwish

  • A dangerous message is being sent to the Muslim world by the West: There is nothing that moderate Muslims or anyone else should fear from radical Islamic terrorism! Look at us Western governments! We are bringing in refugees who cannot be vetted even if they are ISIS infiltrators. In fact, we in the West are so goodhearted that we are encouraging many organizations to operate legally in the West under the banner of the Muslim Brotherhood -- even organizations that are sympathetic to the terrorist group Hamas and that are pledging to overthrow us!

  • The West, by taking all the Syrian refugees, is emptying Syria of any kind of resistance to the Caliphate (ISIS). The West's compassion, by taking in the refugees escaping ISIS, will end up leaving only the radicals to rule unopposed in Syria and Iraq. This, in US foreign policy, is not compassion; it is gross negligence and reckless endangerment.

  • "Tough love" is badly needed when dealing with the Muslim world. We must say: No, we cannot accept your jihadist aspirations. We cannot accept you forcing your way of life on the world; your way of life is unacceptable to us. Before you send your refugees, you must end your "us against them" jihadist culture. The civilized world no longer finds your aspirations for an Islamic Caliphate tolerable.

Report: More Citizens of Saudi Arabia Have Joined Islamic State Than Any Other Country

Islamic State jihadis

by EDWIN MORA9 Mar 2017470

The Sunni Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) has boasted that key U.S. Middle East ally Saudi Arabia is the top provider of terrorists for the jihadist group in Iraq, reports Fox News, citing Iraqi military sources.

Sunni Saudi Arabia shares an estimated 500-mile-long border with war-ravaged Iraq.

Nevertheless, Fox News reports that the Saudi jihadists crossed into Iraq over the border the country shares with both Turkey and Syria.

The news outlet learned from unnamed Iraqi intelligence sources that jihadist from the Saudi kingdom comprise nearly one-third (up to 30 percent) of all ISIS terrorists in Iraq, adding that “Saudis comprise the largest single contingent of ISIS fighters, with Russian Chechens making up the second-largest contingent.”

Is it safe to go to Egypt?


Is it safe to go to Egypt? The short answer is “yes”. If you have glanced at your country’s travel warning for Egypt, go back and read it carefully – there are no travel warnings in place for Cairo, Alexandria, Red Sea, Luxor, Aswan or Nile Cruises – in fact those areas have a green light.

Egypt is as safe as anywhere else in the world, and safer that many western countries.

Like anywhere you go in the world, be it a metropolis, a small town or even the quiet countryside, you use common sense. You should do in Egypt what you would do at home.
What NOT to do:

Gatestone Institute

What is a Killer Imam Doing in Public Libraries in Canada?

by Saied Shoaaib


A copy of One Hundred Questions in Islam by Dr. Muhammad al-Ghazali, found in the Ottawa Public Library. The image at right shows the inside cover of the book, with the Ottawa Public Library Stamp.

  • How is it possible that books that advocate violence and extremism meet the "selection criteria" of the Ottawa Public Library, but those that speak out against violence and extremism do not?

  • The presence of these Islamic books, and these books alone, in Canada's public libraries, without any others to contradict them, gives them legitimacy. They are seen to represent a certain form of Islam that the government of Canada and the City of Ottawa recognize.

  • This indicates that there is official support for the extremist and terrorist version of Islam, and at the same time no support for a humanist interpretation of Islam.

  • This surah [4:74] also indicates that if you are a Muslim living in a non-Muslim country, then you are in a state of war against your host country. If you are a Muslim living in a non-Muslim country, then you are living with the enemy.

  • If we are to reject this danger, it is important that libraries and other institutions have books that reject these Islamist views and confront their hatred, extremism and violence.


Exposing the role that Islamic jihad theology and ideology play in the modern global conflicts

Establishment media ignores key facts in trying to discredit Muslim Brotherhood document vowing to destroy US from within


A few weeks ago hard-Left “journalist” Zack Beauchamp published a long, windy piece in Vox bemoaning the influence of counter-jihadists upon President Trump. (Be afraid, Zack. Be very afraid.) The centerpiece of his argument is that the captured internal document of the Muslim Brotherhood laying out its strategy in the U.S., and its goal of “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within, and sabotaging its miserable house,” is just one man’s fantasy, and has never been the actual program of the Brotherhood itself. Here is the salient portion of his article, which was accompanied by this wonderful illustration of Brigitte Gabriel, Frank Gaffney and me looming menacingly over President Trump and his team:

“Trump’s counter-jihad: How the anti-Muslim fringe conquered the White House,” by Zack Beauchamp,Vox, February 13, 2017:

…The foremost theorist of civilization jihad is a writer named Robert Spencer. “He’s author of so many books, and one of the top two or three experts in the world on this great war we’re fighting against fundamental Islam,” Bannon said, when hosting Spencer onBreitbart Daily News on August 9, 2016. “Trump is listening to people like you,” he told Spencer later in the interview.


A Coptic Christmas: 'We Are Ready to Die in Any Church that They Wish to Bomb'

Egypt's Coptic Christians celebrated Christmas Mass at Saint Mark's Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo this weekend, surrounded by armored vehicles and heavily armed troops.

The Christian community of Egypt has been a target for terrorists over the years. Just last month, an ISIS suicide bomber struck a church service in Cairo on Dec. 11, killing 28 worshipers.

Still, some Coptic believers say they will not allow fear of Islamic terrorism to keep them from worshipping.

How Egypt’s Copts Fell Out of Love with President Sisi

Once seen by the country's Christians as a savior, Egypt's new strongman has proven little better than his predecessors.

How Egypt’s Copts Fell Out of Love with President Sisi

When the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted by a military coup in July 2013, the country’s Coptic Christians rejoiced. They saw General Abdel Fatah El-Sisi, who initiated Morsi’s removal and later became Egypt’s new president, as a savior. Bishoy Armanious, a 30-year-old electrical engineer from a suburb of Cairo, was among El-Sisi’s biggest fans. Together with thousands of Egyptians, he took it to the streets in support of the general. “We had been praying for change to happen,” Bishoy muses. 

French President Hollande: Islam Must Live Within the Law
By Shawn Price

PARIS (UPI) -- French President Francois Hollande challenged Muslims in his country to create "an Islam of France" that is respectful of a secular government and lives within French laws.

Hollande gave the stern speech on Thursday with falling public confidence and rising anti-Islamic sentiment in France after the Paris and Nice terror attacks, and local burqini bans on French beaches. He also called for kicking extremist imams out of the country. The country has been under a state of emergency since November.

Egypt’s law on the construction of churches sparks ire


By Sonia FaridSaturday, 27 August 2016

The construction of churches has for years been a major reason for clashes between Muslims and Christians in Egypt, especially in the south. A rumor that a new church will be constructed in some village with a considerable Christian population is enough to ignite a conflict that in most cases turns bloody. The complicated procedure of obtaining a permit to build a church also drives some Christians to turn their own houses into prayer areas, another cause of sectarian clashes. Added to that is the fact that restrictions imposed on the construction of churches date back to the Ottoman rule of Egypt and that modifications of the law have not proven to make things any easier for Egyptian Christians. The recent eruption of sectarian violence in Upper Egypt underlined the necessity of expediting the issuance of the new law on the construction and restoration of churches. Yet as promising as the steps taken toward that end might seem, disagreements over the law forebode further complications, more stalling, and possibly arriving at a dead end.

No Saudi Money for American Mosques

by Daniel Pipes
The Hill

Saudi Arabia may be the country in the world most different from the United States, especially where religion is concerned. An important new bill introduced by Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) aims to take a step toward fixing a monumental imbalance. the first of your friends to like this.

Consider those differences: Secularism is a bedrock U.S. principle, enshrined in the Constitution's First Amendment; in contrast, the Koran and Sunna are the Saudi constitution, enshrined as the Basic Law's first article.

Egypt: Top Islamic institution preaches “religious freedom” to West, while supporting death penalty for apostates at home



In a statement titled, “The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies Calls on Al Azhar’s Sheikh to Renounce His Remarks Which Contradict Religious Freedom and Support Violent Extremism,” the institute blasted Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb’s recent remarks concerning apostasy, first reported in the English here.

Though Tayeb is often portrayed as a “moderate” and “reformer,” the prominent human rights organization expressed its “deep regret at the recent remarks recently released by Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb, which waste a basic freedom—that of religious freedom—and which aid and nourish extremist thinking and preaching.”

Recent spate of violence against Egypt's Christians goes largely unpunished

© Gianluigi Guercia, AFP | Coptic Christians talk on August 27, 2013 inside the Amba Moussa Coptic church that was torched by unknown assailants after the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi.

Article text byMonique El-Faizy

Violence against Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Christian minority, one of the largest and oldest groups of Christians in the Middle East, has escalated at an alarming rate in the last several weeks, with little official response.

Since late May, Christians in Egypt have been the victims of at least a dozen sectarian attacks, and activists and politicians say the government has done little to stop it, despite Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi’s early overtures to the Coptic community and their staunch support of him.

Why Is France the Preferred Target for Terrorists?

, July 19, 2016
Flag of France
After the murderous attack in Nice, France is sinking deep into depression; the Republic itself and its values sustained a heavy blow on the holiday of freedom.
  • The French people still have not totally internalized the fact that they are in an existential war, and they are having trouble recovering from the recent wave of terror.
  • France is the symbol of freedom, enlightenment, and democratic values, which stand in complete contrast to the dark, barbaric ideology of global terror organizations.
  • France was in the past a colonialist empire that exploited the natural resources of its colonies and repressed the local population.
  • The presence in France of eight to ten million Muslims strongly affects decision-making in both the political and intelligence domains. Unlike Germany, where most Muslims are Turks, or Britain, where most are from India and Pakistan, in France the overwhelming majority are of North African extraction.
  • The Europeans, and especially the French, must understand once and for all that jihadist terror cannot be completely uprooted because there is no single, specific target. It is the ideological and religious dimension that holds sway, and it is an entity without borders in all regards.

The Dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood

For those claiming (especially in Western media) that because a party/individual was ‘freely democratically elected’ they should fulfil their term, I’d like to re...

J. Morgan 
For those claiming (especially in Western media) that because a party/individual was 'freely democratically elected' they should fulfil their term, I'd like to remind them that when the Freedom Party of Austria (a far-right group) came into power via free democratic elections in 1999, the whole of Europe and America refused to support or recognise this rise to power and consequently it was subject to sanctions from the European Union which claimed it was "legitimising the extreme right in Europe."

Refugee crisis: Syrian mother sends video plea to Theresa May to be reunited with her children

A Syrian couple living in Sheffield have sent a video to Home Secretary Theresa May, pleading for their two eldest children to be allowed into the UK. Mohammed and Amal Alwadi left Syria shortly after the war began in 2011. Mohammad was granted asylum in the UK in December 2014 and Amal followed a year later with their two youngest children.

However, the couple explained that they have been unable to bring their eldest children into the country as UK family reunion rules do not allow parents to apply for asylum for children who are above the age of 18. The Alwadis have not seen their 19-year-old son and 20-year-old daughter for nine months, with their son living in a refugee camp in Calais and their daughter in Turkey.

Alwadi family

Amal Alwadi with her children before they were separated during the Syrian conflict. Her eldest son and daughter are now in Calais and Turkey, while Amal is in the UKBritish Red Cross

"The Obama Doctrine": The Atlantic's Exclusive Report on the U.S. President's Hardest Foreign Policy Decisions

In the April issue cover story, Obama says he’s proud of not enforcing “red line” in Syria; rejects “the Washington playbook”; believes Middle East is unfixable, and Saudi Arabia needs to “share” the region with Iran; blames European “free riders” for mess of Libya; says Ukraine will always be vulnerable to Russian domination; and explains pivot to Asia and Latin America

Washington, D.C. (March 10, 2016, 6AM ET)—The moment many foreign policy observers consider one of the worst of Barack Obama’s presidency—not bombing Syria in the summer of 2013 after Bashar al-Assad had breached the “red line” on chemical weapons—the president sees as one of his best. Through many hours of in-depth and unusually candid interviews, The Atlantic offers an exclusive and historic account of President Obama’s worldview, in which the president offers extensive explanations of his hardest decisions about America’s role in the world. The Atlantic’s April cover story,The Obama Doctrine,” is now at and will be on newsstands next week.


السعودية: ضبط رئيس «هيئة الأمر بالمعروف» يمارس الرذيلة

ألقت السلطات الأمنية بالسعودية، القبض على رئيس مركز هيئة الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر بمحافظة “جيزان”، متلبسًا بممارسة الرذيلة مع فتاة، بعد محاولات ابتزازها واستغلال نفوذه.

وقالت صحيفة «عكاظ» السعودية، إن الفتاة كانت لها قضية خلوة غير شرعية لدى رئيس المركز الذي حفظ القضية في مكتبه وبدأ في ابتزازها ووعدها بإنهاء قضيتها بشرط تلبية طلباته في الخروج معه وممارسة الرذيلة معها، واستمر في ابتزازها ثلاثة أشهر حتى رضخت لمطالبه خوفًا من فضحها.

وتضيف الصحيفة، أنه عندما تقدم لها أحد الشباب طالبًا يدها طلبت من رئيس المركز الابتعاد عنها وسترها لأنها مقبلة على الزواج إلا أنه رفض توسلاتها في البعد عنها وسترها، فأبلغت إدارة هيئة الأمر بالمعروف بجازان وشرطة المنطقة، وتم عمل كمين محكم لرئيس مركز الهيئة المبتز والقبض عليه والفتاة بجواره متلبسًا بفعل فاحش.

وأكد الناطق الإعلامي بشرطة المنطقة التي قبض فيها على رئيس المركز، اتخاذ الإجراءات النظامية بحقه بعد القبض عليه برفقة الفتاة، مشيرًا إلى إحالة القضية لهيئة التحقيق والإدعاء العام.

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