Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Egypt: "The Disappearance, Forced Conversions, and Forced Marriages of Coptic Christian Women in Egypt"

coptic-women-kidnapped (1)

The American Coptic Union (ACU), since 1997, has called for a UN investigation regarding crimes against humanity against Coptic women committed by the Mubarak regime and its terrorist militants. The ACU calls upon the UN Human Rights Council to adopt this report and send it to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute the perpetrators, including Egyptian Interior Ministers, SSI directors, officers, and the head of the regime.

A link to the full article can be found here: The Disappearance, Forced Conversions, and Forced Marriages of Coptic Christian Women in Egypt.


"Reports of Muslim men abducting and forcibly marrying and converting Coptic Christian women and girls have filtered out of Egypt with increasing frequency over the past decade. The emergingpatterns of force, fraud and coercion correspond to definitions of human trafficking used by the United Nations and the U.S. Department of State., with the UN identifying it as a 'crime against humanity'.1  These violations of fundamental human rights appear to be encouraged by the prevalence of cultural norms in Egypt - often rooted in Islamic traditions – that legitimize violence against women and non-Muslims. They appear to be further abetted by the tacit complicity of the government as evidenced by its lack of willingness to thoroughly investigate allegations of rape, abduction and abuse or to reinstate policies designed to protect Egyptians from coerced conversion by educating potential converts of the full implications of conversion."

"Details of trafficking cases involving Copts often reach the West through desperately worried relatives of victims. When the Egyptian police fail to find and return (or often even search for) victims of abduction, forced marriage and conversion, some relatives summon the courage to release information and photos to Coptic human rights organizations in the diaspora."

"The violent abuse of Coptic women and girls in connection with forced marriage and conversion is not altogether new. The Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Shenouda III, protested against this phenomenon in 1976, declaring: 'There is pressure being practiced to convert Coptic girls to Islam and marry them under terror to Muslim husbands.'2   But the issue has now reached boiling point within Egypt's Coptic community."

"As the prestigious Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram Weekly recently noted:

'It is the question of the alleged conversion and forced marriage of Coptic girls to Muslim men that elicits the greatest passions. In July [2009] alone three separate incidents received much publicity in the press. Pharmaceuticals student Rania Tawfik Asaad was ostensibly abducted in Giza and forced to marry a Muslim. Two other cases, those of Marian Bishai, Amira Morgan and Injy Basta, also hit the headlines.'3 "

"Despite the accumulation of substantial evidence and the expressions of concern by the most senior leader of the Coptic community, this aspect of human trafficking has scarcely been acknowledged by the world’s most powerful human rights institutions, including those dedicated to the issue of trafficking in persons. The Coptic Foundation for Human Rights and Christian Solidarity International (CSI) therefore commissioned an anti-trafficking specialist, Michele Clark, and a Coptic women's rights advocate, Nadia Ghaly, to undertake an investigation of allegations surrounding the abductions and forced marriages and conversions to Islam in Egypt. They performed outstanding pioneering work, interviewing victims, their relatives, lawyers, priests and other Coptic community leaders."

"This report documents dozens of specific cases and demonstrates consistent patterns used by the perpetrators, their victims, government and law enforcement, and members of Egypt's faith communities. The report concludes with a valuable set of practical and critical recommendations for the Coptic community, the Government of Egypt and the international community. The findings of Ms. Ghaly and Ms. Clark are deeply disturbing, and should challenge human rights activists and institutions, especially those whose mandate includes women’s rights and trafficking in persons, to undertake, as a matter of urgency, further research into this form of gender and religious based violence against Coptic women and girls in Egypt."

Source(s): Christian Solidarity International

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mubarak Regime Prohibits Opposition Leader from Traveling

On November 3, 2009, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt issued an executive order banning Dr. Ayman Nour from traveling. Nour, the opposition leader to the Mubarak regime running in the presidential election in 2011, was put on the regime’s watch list. Nour is scheduled to come to the United States on November 21, 2009 to meet with a coalition of Egyptian organizations to discuss the cruxes of his campaign: freedom of religion, human rights, an end to oppression, and anti-succession. While Gamal Mubarak and Fat’hi Suror, the speaker of Parliament, will visit the United States on November 8, 2009, Nour is banned because he shows opposition to the status quo.

The American Coptic Union asks the White House and President Barack Obama to strongly condemn and denounce this illegal executive action against the civil rights of Dr. Nour. We seek President Obama’s help and intervention in cancelling this order so Dr. Nour can visit the United States as planned.  We also request that the President not meet with Gamal Mubarak and Fat’hi Suror.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Congratulations, Mr. President!

The American Coptic Union would like to congratulate President Barack Obama for winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Your human rights-based foreign policy inspired and brought hope to millions of oppressed people around the world, especially the Copts of Egypt.

When you gave your address in Egypt on June 4, 2009, you mentioned that human rights must be “upheld […] for […] the Copts in Egypt.” This was the first time a United States President acknowledged the Coptic struggle. Our people are killed, raped, kidnapped, and forced to convert to Islam every day. The fact that you are dedicated to human rights for the Copts gives us a glimmer of hope during a time of darkness.

On behalf of the Copts, the American Coptic Union hopes you that you continue your efforts to bring peace and liberty not only to the Copts, but to people all over the world who need it the most. You are the only hope in the present times. Congratulations on winning the Nobel Peace Prize and may you succeed in your efforts to bring peace to the world. God bless.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Economic Strangulation Against the Copts must stop Immediately

Economic barriers placed in front of the Copts are the main reason for forced conversion to Islam. It is very difficult for Copts to run businesses in Egypt for fear of pressure from the Mubarak regime. Those who do have businesses, however, face severe government pressure and lose their businesses because of their religion. Many Copts are forced to convert to Islam to save their businesses and support their families.

The recent decision by the Mubarak regime to kill all the pigs in Egypt to prevent the H1N1 flu has crippled many Coptic farmers who depend on the pigs for their farms. It has been proven that the pigs are not the cause of the H1N1 flu; the government decided to kill the pigs to economically decimate the Copts. Many Coptic families now are not able to support themselves and have resorted to prostitution and conversion to Islam.

This treatment is unacceptable and against international law. The Mubarak regime is discriminating against the Copts because they are Christian. This economic strangulation must be halted immediately. The United States must pressure Egypt to halt all economic strangulation and cut off all economic aid if this persists.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Exclusive Report and Pictures on the Coptic Protest in Washington, DC on August 18, 2009

Read the report from the Coptic Protest in Washington, DC. Click Here.* (Arabic only, English version coming soon).

More pictures from the protest. Click here to view.

*Adobe Reader required to view report. Download here.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

All Kidnapped Coptic Women Must be Returned to their Families Immediately

Ever since Hosni Mubarak became President of Egypt in 1981, over 500,000 Coptic girls and women have been kidnapped, drugged, and raped by their Muslim captors. A large portion of those kidnapped women were stripped of their kidneys and other internal organs. Those organs were then used to treat Muslim patients.

Economic strangulation placed upon the Copts by the Mubarak Regime has forced many women to become prostitutes or convert to Islam to support their families. Many who refuse are kidnapped, raped, drugged, and murdered. The Mubarak Regime continues to downplay these claims as “false.”

Many of the churches attended by the kidnapped women are attacked and burned to the ground. The churches of those who speak out against the oppression of the Copts are also destroyed.

The American Coptic Union demands that all kidnapped Coptic women must be returned to their respective families immediately. We call upon the United States and the Obama Administration to also demand the release of the kidnapped women.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Copts, in a show of strength, reject Shenouda’s call to cancel Protest

Dr. Ashraf Ramllah, leader of the Coptic organization Voice of the Copts, has rejected Pope Shenouda’s call to cancel the protest against President Hosni Mubarak.

Led by the Coptic Coalition and other Coptic Organizations, the protest lands on the day President Mubarak is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama. The Copts are protesting the Mubarak Regime’s raping and kidnapping of women, economic strangulation placed upon the Copts, killing of pigs, burning of churches, raids on Coptic villages, and massacres of the Coptic population.

Shenouda, Mubarak’s “greatest ally,” has called on the Copts to cancel the protest and “welcome” Mubarak to the United States. Why should the Copts welcome a man who has oppressed them for 28 years?

Shenouda’s call to cancel the protest is entirely against the interests of the Copts. The Copts are protesting to defend their rights as the native people of Egypt. Shenouda, the “supposed” leader of the Copts, rejects the protest. This protest will help raise awareness about the situation of the Copts and will allow the Obama Administration to take action against the Mubarak Regime. Shenouda, by rejecting the protest, does have the interests of the Copts at heart.

Source(s): Assyrian International News Agency

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More Treachery: Shenouda asks Copts not to Protest

In his most recent betrayal of the Coptic community, Pope Shenouda has asked the Copts to cancel the protest against President Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, August 18, 2009. The protest, led by the Coptic Coalition, is against the Mubarak Regime’s persecution and genocide of the Coptic Christians, the native people of Egypt.

Shenouda’s call to cancel the protest comes weeks after he expressed his support for Gamal Mubarak to succeed his father as President.  In a recent interview, he has suggested that Gamal Mubarak would be the “perfect candidate” for the job.

Shenouda’s opposition to the protest signifies his opposition to Coptic interests as a whole. By asking Copts to cancel the protest, he is showing his true colors. He does not support the Coptic people and sees nothing wrong with the status quo. He does not denounce the violence against the Coptic people, the kidnapping and raping of Coptic women, the killing of pigs, the burning of churches, the raids on Coptic villages, and the massacres against the Coptic population. So why does he ask the Copts to cancel a protest in favor of their own interests?

His recent comments reveal that he is not loyal to the Coptic Christians; rather, he is supportive of Mubarak’s terrorism against the Copts. Shenouda must stop this rhetoric at once. The protest will still go on.

Source(s): Los Angeles Times, Assyrian International News Agency

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Shenouda’s Support for Gamal Mubarak is Consistent with his past Treachery

With the health of current Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in question, Pope Shenouda voiced his support for Mubarak’s son, Gamal Mubarak.

Gamal Mubarak is considered to be the front-runner to succeed Hosni Mubarak as President. During Gamal Mubarak’s time in the political spotlight, he has supported his father in oppressing the Coptic Christians of Egypt. He has supported the raping and kidnapping of Coptic women, the economic strangulation placed upon the Copts, the killing of all pigs, numerous massacres against the Coptic population, the destruction of hundreds of churches, and hundreds of raids on Coptic villages. How can Shenouda, the “supposed” leader of the Copts, support this murderer?

Shenouda’s comments, however, are nothing new to the Coptic community. He has recently asked the Copts to cancel the protest against President Mubarak on August 18, 2009 and asked them to “welcome” Mubarak.

“Benedict” Shenouda’s support for Gamal Mubarak is entirely against the interest of the Copts; he is showing support for the murder and raping of the Coptic people. His treachery has jeopardized the Copts for too long and must be stopped now.

Source(s): Los Angeles Times

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Coptic Coalition Protest

On Tuesday, August 18, 2009, there will be a Coptic Coalition protest near the White House against Presiden't Mubarak's enthnic cleansing of the Coptic people. President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama that day.

Ever since President Mubarak took office in 1981, there have been many human rights atrocities against the native people of Egypt, the Copts. His regime has imposed Islamic law on the Copts which has resulted in many consequences for the Copts. There has been kidnapping and raping of women, forced conversion to Islam, extermination of the pigs of Coptic farmers, economic strangulation, and genocide since Mubarak took office. The American Coptic Union calls for an end to these atrocities; it must stop now.

We ask you all to join us to protest the tyranny of the Mubarak regime against the Copts.

When: Tuesday, August 18, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue (across the street from the Blair House).

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Coptic Coalition Conference at Marriott Hotel

On Monday, August, 17, 2009 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., there will be a Conference of the Coptic Coalition at the Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC. The organizations that will be present at this conference include the American Coptic Union (ACU), the National American Coptic Assembly (NACA), the Voice of the Copts, and the Coptic Media Center.

The goals of the meeting are to discuss the current state of the Coptic people and Egypt and what steps can be taken to stop the regime's genocide. Other topics include what President Obama is doing to support our cause, calls on the Egyptian government to release all kidnapped girls, and an end to the extermination of all pigs in Egypt.

Due to security reasons, e-mail for location information.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Coptic Coalition Press Conference

On Monday, August 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the Coptic Coalition will host a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Key Speakers include Morris Sadek and Ashraf Ramllah.

This press conference comes a day before President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt is scheduled to meet with President Obama. The aim of the press conference is to discuss President Mubarak's crimes against humanity, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and human rights atrocities against the Copts, the native people of Egypt. Please join us in advocating for Coptic human rights and an end to Mubarak's tyranny.

Please see below for details:

Location: National Press Club 529 14th Street, NW Washington, DC 20045
When: Monday, August 17, 2009 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

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