Ashraf Ramelah sends a new report on the persecution of Copts and the suppression of free speech in Egypt.
Social media used to incite sectarian strife against Coptic Christians in Egypt
by Dr. Ashraf Ramelah
The most recent escalation of violence against Egyptian Copts living in Egypt occurred last month (November 2020) and was sparked by Facebook posts prompting Muslim radicals to retaliate for religious comments. After reading Christian “insults” Muslim goons set out to attack Coptic villages.
Christian Copts clarifying points on social media have been victims of sectarian hunts and ambushes by ruffians looking for a trigger to pull. Counterfeit pages that scammers produce bait Christians into commenting and then charge them with insulting Islam.
Copts are often tricked into responses by Islamists who have befriended them with hidden identities — sometimes showing a Christian cross to trick the page owner. Islamists harass and instigate in a scheme to entrap. Those are only the thugs at work. Additionally, the state’s “internet police” spy on Christian Facebook pages to target anti-Islam sentiments.
In other cases, Islamic hackers steal the page owner’s identity and make incendiary statements to frame a Facebook page owner and then track the Christian victim to his home. One such incident led to the village of Al Barsha in part of Al Minya Governorate (300 km south of Cairo).
It did not matter to Islam’s vigilantes that official sources confirmed the hacking of the Al Barsha villager’s Facebook account. Nor did it matter that the Al Barsha Christian did not make the remarks. Islamists set out to harm this Coptic family and displace them from their home just the same.
Molotov cocktails were thrown, the church was targeted as well, and the security police came in to prevent further damage.
Bedouin courts handle tech platform “offenses”
Conflicts instigated and executed by Muslim fundamentalists end up in the customary reconciliation sessions known as Bedouin courts. The Christian is always forced to plead guilty when innocent and pay dearly by handing over his home, farm or business to the criminals. The mandatory “peace” agreement of these arbitration sessions always sets the Islamic criminal free and punishes the innocent Christian family. This is precisely the purpose of the arbitration court.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry blames hostile countries; acknowledges Copts as targets
Last year the Egyptian Interior Ministry warned that thousands of Egyptian Facebook accounts were fakes. It added that “great numbers of these fake pages are outside the country and sponsored, funded and managed by countries that are hostile to Egypt.” The Interior Minister’s office went on to say that “such pages are used to spread rumors aiming to generate unrest by Muslim Brotherhood terrorist groups inciting acts of sabotage and violence and spreading chaos in the country, and especially against Copts.”
According to these statements, the stalking and scamming is generated by outside enemies and followed through by inside terror elements. All of it is religious warfare. Meanwhile, what are religious leaders of Al Azhar Institute saying or doing? Islamic censorship and terrorizing due to religious discrimination on social media platforms will not stop unless leaders show the way. The esteemed center of Sunni Islamic scholarship alone holds the power of interpretation of Quranic teachings. Supremacy teachings unfortunately do not support or aid followers to achieve peace and harmony with fellow citizens.