Skip to main content

Egypt’s Copts in Al-Qaeda’s Sights

Nina Shea

An Egyptian friend writes that Osama bin Ladens lieutenant and the brains behind al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has released a new, three-part letter titled Message of Hope and Glad Tidings to Our People in Egypt, which has yet to be released in full but is being reported in the media. Among other rantings, in its second part, it demonizes and incites violence against Egypts Coptic Christians, the largest remaining religious minority in the Middle East. My friend also gives more details on the murder in Upper Egypt, the southern part of the country (the Nile flows north), of Fr. Daoud Botrous, a Coptic priest (some say Orthodox, others say he was Catholic), who was stabbed and then reportedly beheaded. Yesterday, the AP reported the following about this murder: A fellow clergyman, Danoub Thabet, says his body had several stab wounds. He says neighbours reported seeing several masked men leaving the apartment and shouting Allahu akbar, or God is great, suggesting the killing was motivated by the divide between Egypts Muslims and its minority Coptic community.


My friends letter follows:

“I spoke with my family this morning and they reported disturbing news from Asyut, Upper Egypt. Catholic Father Daoud (David) from Musha (pronounced: moo-sha) was brutally murdered in his Asyut home in Upper Egypt. Father Daoud was alone in his home at the time of his killing as his family was abroad (not sure which country). The attackers beheaded Father Daoud after they killed him with knives and robbed his home.

Today, there was a possible casing by a Muslim individual of an area with predominately Christian residents. Residents confronted this individual and physically beat him. He used his cell phone to contact someone, resulting in the arrival of a large crowd of armed Muslims.

Both Christian and Muslim religious leaders intervened and prevented a potentially violent clash between the two groups.

Separately, Al-Qaidas number two leader . . . Egyptian born Ayman al- Zawahiri has issued (actually yet to be released!!!!) a three-part message commenting on events in Egypt. In his second part of the message series, Zawahiri spends considerable time inciting violence against Coptic Christians and the Coptic Church. Zawahiri stated that Copts were one of the main problems leading to the situation facing Egypt today. Zawahiri alleged that Copts have aspirations to form a separate State with Asyut being its capital. He calls [Coptic Orthodox] Pope Shenouda a Zionist traitor who invited America to intervene in Egypts affairs in collusion with the traitor Zionist Mubarak. . . . Zawahiri specifically mentioned the cases of Kamilia Shihata and xxx who converted to Islam, then [were] kidnapped by the Coptic church where they are undergoing brainwashing and re-conversion to Christianity. Zawahiri denies Al-Qaidas involvement in the attack against al-Qidissin Church in Alexandria [the Coptic church that was bombed on New Years Day], and squarely puts the blame on Mubaraks government, and on the Christians themselves. He cited Christians in Alexandria showing a movie that hints at Muslims being freed by accepting Issa (Jesus) the son of Mary. Zawahiri confuses the name of the Church and says that he thinks it was the St. Georges Church that showed the movie and was also the same church that was bombed

Related Articles

Kun én måde at undgå landtropper på i Syrien

Naser Khader

Fredag besøger lederen af den moderate syriske opposition, Hadi al-Bahra, Danmark. Den moderate opposition i Syrien skal styrkes, hvis vi skal have en...

Continue Reading

Turkey's Erdogan Builds Himself an Opulent Palace, Part of a 20-year Mess That Is U.S. Middle East Policy

Lee Smith

It’s after Thanksgiving, and so it bears mentioning that Turkey, under the direction of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, formerly that country’s prime minist...

Continue Reading

Congressional Testimony: Nuclear Negotiations with Iran - What Do America's Allies Think?

Michael Doran

If the administration does not take steps immediately to reconstitute the leverage that it held over Iran just a year ago, then we can be assured that...

View PDF