Ah well, who said the slide into an Islamist third-world state was not going to be rough on a few people?
This year, mobs have looted and attacked Coptic churches, homes and shops throughout Egypt. Churches have been burned down, and one Copt had his ear cut off by a Muslim cleric invoking Islamic law.
Strong gains by Islamist parties in the recent elections have further raised fears among the Christian minority that they won't have a place in the new Egypt.
The plight of the nation's roughly eight million Copts poses a quandary for the U.S. The pivotal Middle East ally receives $1.3 billion annually in military aid, and the administration has riled some critics who say it has failed to strongly rebuke the transitional rulers amid recent violence against women, Copts and other minorities.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a federal advisory agency, asked the State Department to place Egypt on its list of "countries of particular concern"—egregious violators of religious freedoms. The department declined, saying that its goal is to work with the Egyptian government to improve conditions for Christians.
Kathleen Fitzpatrick, a deputy assistant secretary of state, says her department has been "very concerned with the attacks on the Copts in Egypt in recent months," and has shared its views with "the highest levels of the Egyptian government."
Glad we're sharing.
Quandry: $1.3 billion/year in tax-payer money in return for rubbing out Copts. We'd say someone is getting quite the sweet deal.
As we've noted previously, some persecuted minority groups are just a little more equal than others.
Bonus round: Leslie at Temple of Mut has her thoughts on the fire at one of Egypt's most important library.