Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Condemned to Death by the Sign of the Cross: the Continuing Nightmare of Egypt's Copts

I’ve received the following from an Australian Coptic Christian, Assad Elepty; my thoughts and sympathies are with him and his persecuted co-religionists:

It saddens me to report on yet another attack on innocent Christians in Egypt.

Whilst His Holiness Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Church flew to the United States (on Sunday), to have a medical check-up and treatment, there is no doubt he will be dismayed to here of another attack on his Coptic children.At the same time the Mubarak regime has responded to “Pope Benedict XVI call on Egypt and other predominantly Muslim nations to do more to protect their Christian populations after a spate of recent violent episodes”. Rather than heed the plea from Pope Benedict, the Mubarak Government reacted by recalling its ambassador from the Vatican on Tuesday, “We will not allow any non-Egyptian party to intervene in our internal affairs under any pretext,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Authorities have captured the man responsible for killing one Egyptian Christian and injuring five others Christians on a northbound train in Upper Egypt. Security sources said the assailant had checked passengers for the green cross traditionally tattooed on the wrists of Coptic Christians in Egypt. After identifying several Copts, the culprit killed one of them and injured five others.

The gunman, identified as Amer Ashour Abdelzaher, was an off-duty Muslim policeman who fired his service handgun at innocent civilians because they are Christians. An Interior Ministry statement said authorities had arrested the gunman, a Muslim, and were actively seeking a motive for the shooting. The gunman was on his way to work, boarded the train in Minya province, an area south of Cairo along the Nile that has a sizeable Christian population.

The Interior Ministry statement identified the victim as Fathy Said Ebeid, 71, and said the wounded included his wife, another man and three other women.

Word of the shooting quickly reignited the raw emotions of Egypt’s Coptic Christian population, still smoldering after the bombing of a Coptic Christian church less than two weeks ago that left 23 people dead and led to widespread protests and calls for security.

More than 200 shocked Copts converged outside a hospital where the wounded from the train were taken, and police dispersed them with tear gas, battens and threatened to fire rubber bullets at them. A Coptic bishop told AFP that the gunman, named by the ministry as Amer Ashur Abdel Zaher, had sought out Christians on board the train and shouted a Muslim slogan – Allahu Akbar (God is greatest) – as he opened fire.

The policeman, who was said to be on his way to work, boarded a stationary Cairo-bound train at Samalut, in the southern Minya province, and began shooting with his service weapon, the ministry said.

He killed Fathi Said Ebeid, aged 71, and wounded his 61-year-old wife.

Two of the others wounded were said to be in critical condition.

The policeman, who was not in uniform, got off the train after the attack and tried to flee but was arrested inside the station.

He was being questioned by the authorities to find out if he carried out the attack for religious reasons.

Bishop Morcos, who serves with the Coptic Church in Samalut, said he had spoken to witnesses after the shooting.

"This lunatic went up and down the coach looking for Christians," the bishop recounted what he was told. "Seeing a group of girls and women who were not wearing the (Islamic) veil, he took them for Christians and fired, shouting Allahu Akbar."

The attack comes after the deadly New Year's bombing in the northern city of Alexandria that drew international condemnation. No one has yet claimed responsibility for that attack, which came after threats to Egypt's Copts from the Al-Qaeda-linked group in Iraq that claimed a deadly October 31 attack on a Baghdad cathedral.

The group, the Islamic State of Iraq, said it would attack Copts if their church failed to release two women the group claimed were being held against their will after converting to Islam. President Hosni Mubarak has blamed "foreign hands" as being behind the incident, and authorities said a suicide bomber was responsible.

Copts make up at least 10 percent of Egypt's mostly Muslim population of 80 million people; have been repeatedly targeted and murdered.

While Egypt has been under tight security since the Alexandria bombing, the shooting was committed by a police officer entrusted with protecting the Copts.

As I said before whilst a lot of fan fare was made of the very brave Muslims that stood in solidarity with the Copts on Christmas Eve, sadly it only represent 0.01% of the Muslim population. The latest incident leaves no doubt that many in the mainstream Muslim community of Egypt despise the Christian Copts and harbour ill feeling towards them.Mubarak has lost control of Egypt. I anticipate the situation in Egypt will rapidly deteriorate. There is much speculation the Copts are been used as pawns to promote civil unrest in the lead up to the presidential elections ear marked for September 2011. The Egyptian community are opposed to the transition of power to Mubarak's youngest son Gamal. By all accounts Gamal is a decent well educated liberal-minded individual. The Muslim community do not want a person of his calibre.


  1. A copt speaks video

  2. There is no doubt that there is a problem with all religious fundamentalism which accepts no other point of view - be it Christian inquisitors, Fundamentalist Islamists or Zionism.
    Before criticising the behaviour of others, apologists for Israel should speak to the relatives of conscripts killed by the Zionist terrorists of the Stern Gang and the Irgun, now feted as freedom fighters. A terrorist is a terrorist, a murderer is a murderer, no matter their faith.

  3. Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish People, Anon, and has many strands, most secular. I don't see too many Christians or Jews or Hindus massacring others these days.