It’s still ongoing regardless of al-Sisi being president of Egypt…
Video: Raymond Ibrahim on the Societal Oppression of Egypt’s Christians
“It’s a cultural thing.”
Raymond Ibrahim, a Judith Friedman Rosen fellow at the Middle East Forum and a Shillman fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, spoke to participants in a June 22 Middle East Forum webinar (video) about the plight of the Copts, Egypt’s Christians.
The word “Copt” comes from the same Greek root, Aigyptos, as the word “Egypt.” After the Arab conquest of Egypt (639-646), inhabitants of the majority Christian land became known as qibt (anglicized as “Copts”), then the term narrowed to refer only to those who maintained their adherence to the Christian faith. Over the following 14 centuries, Copts dwindled to roughly 10% of the population.
The community of Christians who refused to convert to Islam were accorded the status of a dhimma, which under Islamic law allowed “people of the book” – namely, Jews and Christians – to practice their faith in return for paying a special tribute, known as jizya, and accepting a “very inferior” position in society, explained Ibrahim. “There’s a long list of what you can and can’t do. You can’t rebuild churches, you can’t build new churches. …There was no social mobility, really. You’re not going to get the good administrative jobs. You’re not going to be part of the military.”