Coptic Christians predate Muslim ones by hundreds of years, and regard Egypt as their home. The arrival fo Islam to Egypt over a thousand years ago also brought persecution and second class citizenship. Muslim scholars argue that their religion never murdered Christians in the same manner that European Christian societies killed Jews and Muslims. They do have an historical point, but there is also no doubt Coptic Christians never enjoyed equal rights. The head of the Coptic Church worked closely with those who ruled in order to protect his people. Such was the behavior of Pope Shenouda III who died yesterday. Former President Mubarak protected Coptics and now that he is powerless Christians depend on the sufferance of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Salafi allies.
Last May during the famous “Arab Spring” at least 15 Coptics were killed by Muslim supporters and 241 injured during the burning of the Vigin Church. A few months ago a school teacher got six years in jail for “insulting the Prophet” and a Coptic priest got six months in prison for violating a building code. It would be interesting as to whether any imam was sent to jail for building code vioaltions.
We fear attacks on Egyptian Coptics by Muslim fanatics as was done and continues in Iraq. Perhaps, the “Arab Spring” is merely autumn for Christians and winter will soon be upon them.