Zurich, November 28, 2012
Speaker at CSI event: Signs of Religious “Cleansing” in Islamist-Dominated Egypt
Dr. Mariz Tadros: Egypt heading towards “Islamic dictatorship”
ZURICH, November 30, 2012
Dr. Mariz Tadros has warned that acts of violence and discrimination against Coptic Christians in Egypt are on the rise, and signal a new “dangerous phenomenon.”
Speaking at a Christian Solidarity International (CSI) seminar in Zurich on November 28, Tadros noted that the “inclusive spirit” of the January 25 Revolution, in which Christians and Muslims joined together to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak, led many Egyptians to believe that years of “horrendous” sectarian violence had come to an end.
Instead, Tadros said, her research shows that after the revolution, the number of sectarian attacks increased and “continues to rise.”
Tadros called “extremely worrying” the new phenomenon of “untriggered violence,” in which Islamist groups mobilize followers to drive Christians out of their villages, even when no prior dispute is present.
“What we are seeing is a growing trend of ‘cleansing society’ of Christians,” Tadros said, a term that was unknown in Egypt before the revolution, but which appeared in some contexts where violence erupted.
According to Tadros, the attacks are being driven by “majoritarian politics,” in which Islamist groups mobilize popular support for authoritarian power grabs and attacks on women, youth revolutionary forces, non-Islamist political forces and religious minorities. As a result, Egypt is “transitioning to an Islamic dictatorship,” she warned. A sign of this trend was the recent monopolization by Egypt‘s first Muslim Brotherhood President, Mohammed Morsi, of power in his own hands.
Dr. Tadros’ presentation was part of CSI’s lecture series on the Future of Religious Minorities in the Middle East, and can be viewed at middle-east-minorities.com. Dr. Tadros is a fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. Her groundbreaking book The Muslim Brotherhood in Contemporary Egypt: Democracy Redefined or Confined was published earlier this year. Her forthcoming book, Copts at the Crossroads: The Challenges of Building Inclusive Democracy in Egypt, will be published in the spring of 2013.
In response to increasing violence and displacement of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East, Christian Solidarity International has issued an Alert for the Prevention of Genocide: www.csi-usa.org.