By Coptic Solidarity
For Immediate Release
(Washington, DC) January 25, 2018
The introduction of H. RE.S 673 in the US House of Representatives initiated a large reaction with the Egyptian government, the parliament and media who have struggled to issue a coherent response. In the interim, they have ceaselessly been insulting, belittling, and personally vilifying members of the US Congress and Coptic Solidarity.
An Egyptian government public relations official attempted to mislead the public by claiming that the objective of the resolution is to “punish” Egypt for its “heroic role” in opposing the announcement of moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Egyptian media has been reiterating the claim ever since despite ample evidence that the timing was completely unrelated.
On Jan. 21, a memo that has been prepared in reply to the “allegations” of the US Congressional resolution was released by the Egyptian parliament (in Arabic). The pitiful memo maintains the government’s typical position of denying the discrimination and persecution of Egypt’s Copts. It also rhetorically refers to absurd historical myths about how well Copts been “treated” ever since the Arab invasion, to avoid talking substantively about the present. This tactic further fails to hide that Copts are being viewed and treated as “dhimmis” who may (or may not!) be protected or well treated. Lastly, it enumerates some gestures by president El-Sisi towards Copts, that are inherent to his duties as president which have been sentimental but failed to translate into any concrete improvements for Copts.
In response to that memo, Coptic Solidarity has prepared a document addressing 44 specific questions to Egypt’s political leadership on the situation of Copts to highlight the types of persecution they experience daily in Egypt.
The issues of discrimination and persecution of Copts in Egypt will not be resolved until the problem is acknowledged. Sadly, the only problem that the Egyptian government and the various institutions (including the parliament) appear to be concerned with is what they term a “Tarnishing the Reputation of Egypt” by human rights activists. Until the Egyptian government is willing to stop its current strategy of denial and obfuscation, and admit to the root problems, little can be done. Instead they use their energy and resources to conceal and silence the voice of anyone who dares to speak out or advocate for equality and human rights for Copts in Egypt.
These are simple questions that require simple answers. In the face of undeniable facts, the continued denial of Coptic persecution is simply absurd. Coptic Solidarity seeks the truth and credible actions from the Egyptian president and the various institutions.
Coptic Solidarity is an organization seeking to help minorities, particularly the Copts, of Egypt and we support those in Egypt working for upholding values of freedom, equality, and the protection of the fundamental rights of all Egyptian citizens. It advocates in cooperation with the affiliated organizations in Canada and in Europe (Solidarité Copte). For more information, contact Lindsay Griffin at 801-512-1713 or firstname.lastname@example.org