President Obama’s policy of support for the Arab Spring demonstrations that brought down the governments of Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and Libya in 2011 was supposed to usher in a new era of democratic reform in the Middle East. Instead, it has created an ever-escalating culture of violent oppression of Christians by Islamists throughout the region.
On Friday, the violence committed against Christians reached a new high when Coptic Christians who were demonstrating outside the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in a suburb of Cairo were forcibly removed by radical Islamists, taken to a nearby mosque, and tortured for hours.
According to Fox News, one of the captured and tortured Coptic Christian demonstrators, Amir Ayad, was then taken from the mosque and left for dead on the side of the road, where he was discovered and transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. Mr. Ayad’s brother Ezzat said that at the hospital his brother “underwent radiation treatment that proved that he suffered a fracture in the bottom of his skull, a fracture in his left arm, a bleeding in the right eye, and birdshot injuries.”
Shaul Gabbay, a Professor at the University of Denver who specializes in the Muslim Brotherhood, said of Islamist persecution of Christians in Egypt:
It will only get worse. This has been a longstanding conflict, but now that the Muslim Brotherhood is in power, it is moving forward to implement its ideology – which is that Christians are supposed to become Muslims.
Gabbay was not optimistic about the future of religious freedom in Egypt and throughout the Middle East. “There is no longer anything to hold them [Muslim Brotherhood] back. The floodgates are open.”
Violent attacks against Christians are increasing throughout Egypt. Catholic Culture reported that last week “a crowd of up to 2,000 Muslim residents of a southern Egyptian village attacked Christian-owned stores.” MidEast Christian News reported that on Monday Islamists burned the car of a Coptic Christian priest.
Nina Shea, Director of the Center for Religious Freedom and a Fellow at the Hudson Institute, told Breitbart News that “the United States must make clear to [Egyptian] President Morsi that unless his government protects its Christian minority from the monstrous religious hatred against them that runs deep in segments of its society, there will be no business as usual.”
Shea added that if the Obama administration fails to act, Congress must. “If President Obama fails to deliver this message, then Congress must – through its power of the purse.” She explained that “America must begin to condition its long generosity to Egypt on religious freedom, including rights and protections for the Coptic Christians.”