Coptic History: In order to comprehend the Coptic dilemma we need to dig into Egyptian history. The name Egypt derived from the Greek word Egyptos, meaning red land, because Egyptian soil became red during the flooding of the Nile. The era of the Pharaohs, the rulers of Egypt, ended with the Roman occupation years before Christianity reached them when Apostle Mark, in the year 68 AD reached Alexandria preaching the new religion.
Ancient Egyptian belief in eternity allowed Christianity to penetrate easily throughout society. Meanwhile, Roman rulers resisted the new faith inside Egypt and also throughout the other regions under Roman control by oppressing those who converted to Christianity, including the Romans and Byzantines.
All of Egypt became Christian within a span of two hundred years. In fact, of the five apostolic churches, the Church of Alexandria led their summit and along with the other four churches established the Apostle’s Creed.
In the year 651 AD, Egypt became one of the countries invaded by Arab-Muslims. At the moment of invasion, Egypt was still ruled by Romans. The Egyptian people did not take sides in this battle between the Roman occupiers and the Arab invaders. Arab-Muslims succeeded in defeating the Romans and taking over the country.
The Arab occupiers of Egypt changed the country’s name to Meser, a name which had no meaning in Egyptian history. This action was part of the initial attempt by the Arabs to erase the identity of Egypt and its inhabitants who were now given the new name of Copts. Copts is a derivative of the original Egyptos.
This was the beginning of the era of persecution and oppression inflicted upon Egyptians (Copts) by Arab-Muslims occupiers which continued throughout a 1400 year history and into present day Egypt.
Many Westerners, including Americans, for some reason hesitate to hear the truths related to Islam and its history or see the sad reality of current events around the world, especially in Egypt. So now I would like to show you a clip of events in Egypt today: SEE VIDEO
Now that I have given you a bit of history and background concerning Egypt I will move into explaining the oppression and discrimination within Egyptian society today. While in the Western civil societies there is a clear separation of religion and state, in Arab-Muslim countries the two are inseparable. Islam is a juridic religion which governs every single part of an individual’s life and by definition must extend to state government. Therefore, the policy in Egypt which forces the dhimmi (submissive second citizens) status upon those of minority religions is linked to the religion of Islam. In fact, the Sharia, laws based upon Muslim religious texts, is written into Egypt’s state constitution as an amendment and is the official guide to all rulings.
The United States constitution is the basis for our laws and regulations but does not interfere with individual citizens and their beliefs, while in Arab Muslim countries the Sharia is the source and basis of law and dictates an individual citizen’s behavior and attitude.
What is Sharia? And what does it mean to us as Westerners?
Sharia is an Arabic word which indicates the source of law in general. According to Islamic doctrine this law was delivered directly by Allah as a Divine revelation set fourth in the Qur’an and the Sunnah text which contains examples of behavior set forth by the Islamic prophet during his lifetime.
In analyzing the above, one can easily see how non-Muslims in Islamic majority countries are subject to the Sharia.
Muslims claim that Sharia is applied only to the Muslim people as part of their religion, however history and current practice indicates the opposite. The Sharia was introduced in Egypt by President Anwar Sadat in 1981, indicating Egypt to be a Muslim country with Sharia as its law. Sadat did not abrogate or nullify the Egyptian constitution,
but instead he wrote a simple amendment and placed it as the second article within the Egyptian constitution. Here are a few examples of Sharia compliance happening in Egypt today:
Today as the past, the legal courts of Egypt do not ever rule against a Muslim when he has committed a crime against a non-Muslim and this practice follows Islamic Sharia doctrine.
Today as in the past, Egypt Copts are struggling to build new churches and repair existing ones based upon two decrees, Omrani and Hamayoni, which regulate the relationship between believers (Muslims) and unbelievers (Jews, Christians, etc.). The submission of non-Muslim to Muslim is based on Sharia. This is likewise happening in other Islamic countries; for example, in Afghanistan a few years ago the Taliban destroyed a huge, ancient statue of Buddha!
Today as in the past, Christian women and girls are kidnapped, raped and converted to Islam. Rape is part of Sharia. This is also in accordance to Mohammad’s message to the countries his armies were to invade that all should embrace Islam to keep from being killed ( Islam, Teslam).
Today as in the past, in the public schools Islam is taught to all students as part of Sharia.
Jihad – Holy War
Jihad is part of sharia and means holy war. Muslims teach that jihad is a fight in self-defense to protect their faith. The reality is the opposite; in fact, jihad is one of the pillars of Islam and is offensive and aggressive. Let me borrow a few verses of the Qur’an to prove this important matter. The following are two verses. The first is from Surah Al Anfal (8) verse 60 below: English Qu’ran.
60. And prepare for them, you Muslims, all the strength that you can recruit? armed forces and mounted troops? to strike terror into the hearts of Allâh’s enemy, who is your enemy, and into the hearts of others whom you do not know but who Allâh knows. And remember that whatever you spend in the way of Allâh, you will be reimbursed for it and you will never be unjustly wronged.
Islam promoted Jihad in the past, promotes it now, and will promote it forever for the sole reason that Islam intends to conquer the whole world. Here are the verses that state it, Al Bakara (Cow) 2:154 below: Arabic Qu’ran, English Qu’ran.
154. Do not consider the martyrs in Allâh’s cause to be dead. They have acquired the glorious privilege of martyrdom [from an act of jihad]. Do not say they are dead, for they are alive in the Lord’s providence, but you do not perceive this fact. BRACKETS ARE OURS.
Al Twaba 9:20:
20. Indeed, those who believed in Allâh’s oneness and migrated to where they could best serve Him and strove for His cause [offensive act of jihad, not defensive] with their wealth and their lives, are privileged by Allâh with distinction in the scale and rank, and these are the triumphant who are bound to His care. BRACKETS ARE OURS.
Al Twaba 9:41:
41. O you who believe, march out, each in his capacity, lightly armed and heavily armed [carry weapons]. Every hand [all Muslims are required by doctrine] must be open to contribute something to the common purpose, and strive in the cause of Allâh with your wealth and your lives. Such a campaign is charitable for you if only you knew (it helps you prevail and confirm Allâh’s faith and worship) [continuous jihad is an act of faith and worship]. BRACKETS ARE OURS.
As a Copt advocating for human rights and freedom, I am asking that you research this issue further so that you will understand what is at stake for your future and for coming generations.
Today we are interested in forming a local chapter of Voice of the Copts on your campus. Our main goal is to raise awareness of the threat of supremacy ideology toward our democracy. We will stand firm against a religion used to achieve political power and supremacy.