They asked him if he was a Christian, and when he said he was, they doused him with kerosene and lit him on fire. He died a few days later in the hospital, along with three others who were killed in front of their church in El-Khosos, Cairo, Egypt. To add insult to injury, an attack on their funeral at St. Mark's Cathedral, the Papal Seat, led to Egyptian police firing tear gas INTO the Cathedral, in an unprecendented attack that left two more Egyptians dead.
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood-led regime is using the same tactics of the previous regime - using sectarian conflicts to cover for their obvious failings. The United States must end its support of this failing government and demand justice for the perpetrators of these killings.
On April 8, 2013, funeral services were held for the victims from El-Kahsos at St. Mark’s Cathedral, the Papal seat of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of the See of St. Mark. For the first time in Egypt’s history, the Cathedral was attacked, beginning first with an attack of the mourners attending funeral services.
As mourners were leaving the Cathedral to attend burial services, they were met with rocks and Molotov cocktails. Once security forces arrived, a full-scaled attack on the Cathedral ensued – an attack which included gasoline bombs, gun shots, the destruction of security cameras, and U.S. manufactured tear gas. As a result, two more Copts were killed in the hands of further, senseless violence.
Sadly, and in what has become all too common, violence against Egypt’s Christian citizens goes unpunished. Forced “reconciliation sessions” occur where a few Copts and Muslims are arrested, an imam and a priest publicly announce that there is unity between Christians and Muslims, the arrested are set free, and the perpetrators of violence may repeat the offenses with impunity.
Egypt’s regime, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, continues to deceive the international community by issuing statements it does not stand behind. Furthermore, statements released in English are in complete contradiction with that of which is released in Arabic. While one statement by Egypt’s regime expresses its regret for the attack on the Cathedral, its Arabic counterpart is in absolute contradiction and blames the Copts for inciting violence. This means either the regime is losing control of its own security, or, it is willfully and wantonly pursuing a campaign of deceit and violence against its own citizens through its complicity and lack of consistent communications. Neither of these options are in the interests of the United States or its allies.
It is time to end the administration’s support of a regime that refuses to protect the fundamental rights of existence, safety, well-being, and expression that are not only guaranteed to Egyptians, but to all humanity.
We call on the United States to condemn the violence against Christians and other minorities in Egypt without reservation, and to demand justice for the perpetrators of the killings in El-Khosos and the attack on St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo.