The New Exchange

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

2/25/2017 6:05 am  #1

Targeted by ISIS, Egyptian Christians Flee Violence

Targeted by ISIS, Egyptian Christians Flee Violence

CAIRO — Dozens of Egyptian Christian families fled their homes in the northern Sinai Peninsula on Friday, driven by a targeted campaign of Islamist violence that has killed at least seven people in recent weeks.

People flooded into a church compound in the city of Ismailia, on the Suez Canal. Many had fled hurriedly with little more than their clothes and their children. Their flight had been prompted by the release of an Islamic State video on Sunday that vowed to step up attacks on the embattled Christian minority in Sinai.

The video was followed, in recent days, by a series of attacks by gunmen in El Arish, the main town in northern Sinai. On Thursday, a plumber in the city was shot dead in front of his wife and children at their home, according to aid workers and Christian leaders.

A day earlier, gunmen killed another man before his pregnant wife, then calmly drank a bottle of Pepsi before taking off, witnesses told aid workers in Ismailia.

“They want to send a message that nobody is safe,” said Mina Thabet, who works with the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms and who helped with the emergency effort in Ismailia.

The killings represent an escalation of a campaign announced by the Islamic State in December, when a suicide bomber struck a prominent Cairo church during Sunday Mass, killing about 30 people. The group says it wants to wage sectarian war in Egypt, much as it has already done in parts of Iraq and Syria.

Coptic Christians in Egypt, who account for about 10 percent of the country’s population, are the largest Christian community in the Middle East. Although they have been subjected to increasing violence in recent years, the Islamic State campaign is an alarming turn.

“As the Islamic State comes under pressure in Iraq and Syria, it has to show movement on other fronts,” said Zack Gold, a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council, an international affairs research organization. “One of them is to demonstrate that it is still fighting a sectarian war.”

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 

Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum