The New York Post (free; registration required) reports that the US State Department has begun to investigate charges that “hard-line” Islamic employees in the US Embassy in Egypt have been engaged in routinely denying visas to Coptic Egyptians — i.e., Christians — for some time.
|Hundreds, possibly thousands, may have been wrongly denied visas, sources said.|
|In a recent meeting organized by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), top State Department officials were told that these employees, who conduct prescreening interviews and translations, appear to have unusual influence over a process that is supposed to be controlled by Americans.|
|“This is a widespread problem that we have been aware of for some time. Now, however, there are people stepping forward and are making formal complaints,” said Father Keith Roderick, head of the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights, who attended the meeting.|
The news story did not say where the meeting took place or how Rep. Wolf came to organize it. There is no mention of it on his website, nor is there — at the moment — any other related story on Google news.
However, the stories have been out there for awhile. This is from a Coptic site, dating from November of this year:
|If you are a Coptic Christian, try to apply for a visa at the American Embassy in Cairo, once you pass through the gate, you will feel as if you are inside a mosque in Afghanistan. Posters of “Islam is a religion of Peace”, “Islam means peace”, “The life of Muslims in the US”, “Islam is the fastest growing religion in the US”, in addition to images of American mosques are posted everywhere in the American embassy in Cairo.|
|If you are not a Muslim, try to apply for a job at the US embassy in Cairo, you will wait and wait forever without a response, because – according to an embassy employee – your application will be shredded in pieces and thrown in the garbage by the director of the embassy HR, who is a veiled fanatic Muslim woman.|
|Over the past few years, the number of Coptic employees at the US embassy in Cairo has declined significantly, while the number of Muslim employees has increased significantly.|
|And according to visa applicants, who are Copts, embassy consular officers sometimes ask if they are going to the US to talk about the Muslim persecution of Christians in Egypt!|
|It happened again today. A Coptic applicant for a visa was asked if she had intended to go to the United States in order to talk about the persecution of Christians in Egypt! She was then denied the visa. (The name of this individual and the details on this incident are available upon request). If the US has declared a war on terror, it ought to look into its own backyards, and at its gates overseas. We believe that an investigation is long overdue over the behavior of some ‘fanatical’ and “extremist” employees at the US embassies overseas. How do such individuals pass a background check?!|
Good question. If you want email a query regarding the subject, here’s a good place to start: firstname.lastname@example.org — Obviously, the email address for the US Embassy in Cairo. Makes you wonder though. Who exactly reads these emails first? The American foreign service officers or the Egyptian employees?
Whoever has more information on
- the meeting called by Representative Wolf,
- or the “investigations by the State Department,
- or what role “The Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights” plays in all this,
please share what you know and we’ll put it up.
Hat tip: Larwyn. Thanks!