By Theodore Shoebat
Hundreds of Christian families of have fled their homes from Islamic persecution in Egypt, and are now declaring that the Egyptian government does not care about them at all. Here is the report:
Egyptian Christians who recently fled their homes in the wake of a string of “targeted attacks” say they received an “apathetic” response from government authorities when looking for protection against radical Islamic extremists.
Hundreds of Christian families were forced to abandon their homes in the northern Sinai Peninsula following the murders of at least seven Christians in the coastal town of Al-Arish from Jan. 30 until Feb. 23.
According to Egyptian rights activists who spoke with the international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch, families who have fled from Al-Arish and are now living west of the Suez Canal have said that the attacks carried out against the Christian community fit the mold of attacks previously carried about by Islamic State affiliates in Sinai.
Although IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL) has not claimed responsibility for the murders, the attacks coincided with a Feb. 19 video released by IS that showed a suicide bomber claiming responsibility for the deadly December attack on a cathedral in Cairo that killed 29 Christians and also calls Christians the group’s “favorite prey.”
“The recent attacks in al-Arish – and earlier killings there and in northern Sinai towns such as Rafah and Sheikh Zuwayd – are not communal, or provoked by a particular incident. Gunmen targeted Christians apparently not for who they were – a veterinary surgeon, pharmacist, teacher, shoe merchant – but apparently to frighten the small Christian communities to flee en masse,” HRW Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Division Joe Stork wrote last week. “And in the context of protracted fighting between Egyptian security forces and ISIS, to demonstrate Egypt’s incapacity to protect lives and property.”
Stork also wrote that families from Al-Arish told rights activists that it was only after Egyptian security officials displayed an “apathetic” response toward the safety and concerns of the Christian community that they decided to flee. The families added that they would love to return to their homes but don’t believe that it is a possibility at this time.
“What does it mean when they say [security forces] are apathetic?” Stork asked in an interview with The Christian Post on Tuesday. “Well, they didn’t see much response from the security forces to the attacks in terms of protection, in terms of capturing suspected perpetrators, etcetera.”