Coptic Christian girls and women have been the targets of kidnap, rape and forced marriages by Islamic Fundamentalists in Egypt. According to the research conducted by the American Coptic Union, over 500,000 Coptic females have become victims of this tragedy since 1981. These crimes are part of the silent genocide that is destroying Egypt’s once vibrant Coptic community.
Though concerned family members have reported kidnapping incidents, the US-supported Egyptian regime, led by Hosni Mubarak, ignores the kidnapping of Coptic females while participating in its spread. Many of the victims do not return to their grieving families. Those who do, suffer long-term psychological trauma.
At a New York Council of Churches press conference, held on June 28, 1999, Kees Hulsman, a senior correspondent in Egypt, announced that approximately 15,000 to 20,000 Coptic girls have been kidnapped each year since 1980.
In “Confessions of a Former Islamist,” published by FrontPage Magazine in 2005, Ahmed Awny Shalakamy details his cruel work of drugging, kidnapping and raping Coptic females, and says he was paid by one of the Islamic proselytizing organizations to do this. Shalakamy’s account was first reported by Maria Sliwa of Freedom Now News, who says that the Egyptian Government’s silence in response to these crimes is deafening.
While Egypt has chosen to ignore its 800-year-old traditional laws, which are family laws specifically for Christians, it has opted to implement legislation based on Islamic law (Islamic Shariaa or codes), which discriminates against non-Muslims.
Another discriminatory law in Egypt is Act-290-1992. According to this law, if a female is raped the perpetrator is automatically considered married to her. Christian females have been kidnapped, raped, and forcibly married to their rapists without any government action because of this law. Although the law was slightly changed because of Hillary Clinton’s intervention during her visit to Egypt in 2000, the trend of forced marriages is still ongoing.
The Registration and Documenting Notarization Office in Egypt, legally issues false documents. Two underage Christian sisters, who were kidnapped by a Muslim Sheik, received certificates by this agency identifying them as Muslim. Another certificate that was issued, replaced the name of the sisters’ biological father with that of the Sheik. This application of the discriminatory laws in Egypt assists the perpetrators in their victimization of Coptic females.
Despite the continued requests by the American Coptic Union to U.S. representatives and human rights organizations for their help, the victimization of Coptic females continues.
The American Coptic Union is requesting that the U.S. Government reconsider its relations with Egypt based on Egypt’s escalating human rights violations against Coptic Christians. This sentiment was shared by Sen. Sam Brownback, Rep. Frank Wolf, and Rep. Thomas Tancredo during a Press Conference on Nov. 9, 2005. U.S. governmental agencies and advocacy organizations such as the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the Office of the Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, and Freedom House must revisit and review the Coptic problem as an ongoing and silent genocide.
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