Egyptian Islamists Persecute Christians
It was nighttime and 10,000 Islamists were marching down the most heavily Christian street in this ancient Egyptian city, chanting “Islamic, Islamic, despite the Christians.” A half-dozen kids were spray-painting “Boycott the Christians” on walls, supervised by an adult.
While Islamists are on the defensive in Cairo following the military coup that ousted President Mohammed Morsi, in Assiut and elsewhere in Egypt’s deep south they are waging a stepped-up hate campaign, claiming the country’s Christian minority somehow engineered Morsi’s downfall.
The hostility led a coalition of 16 Egyptian rights groups to warn on Wednesday of a wave of violence to come, and to demand that the post-coup authorities protect the Christians who are 10 percent of the population, and suffer chronic discrimination...
As for the graffiti, acting provincial Gov. Gamal Adam told The Associated Press the authorities have given up on washing it away because it quickly reappears. He also said municipal cleaners might be roughed up if caught in the act by Islamists.
For the 40 percent of Assiut people who are Christian, life has changed radically. They find their apartment blocks disfigured by painted crosses with a red X painted over them. They stay at home at night. Churches have cancelled afternoon activities. Some of the wealthy have left town.