A message from Michael Meunier, president of the US Copts Association:
Please take the time to either hand write the following letter or hand sign and mail/fax it to President Bush. While there are other letters and on-line petitions being sent out, our experience show that hand writing letters or hand signed letters are much more effective method. That is not to stop you from participating in other actions, however, I was speaking to a member of congress about this issue and he suggests that 500 handwritten or signed letters mailed directly to the White House or faxed will have a huge impact.
Please take the time to write directly to President Bush with your own hand.
We have provided you with a sample letter that you can use or modify.
The Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
December 7, 2004
Dear Mr. President:
As an American citizen [if applicable: of Coptic descent], I write to request your immediate intervention to protect the Copts, the native Christians of Egypt, from recent escalations in Coptic-targeted violence.
As you may know, Egypt’s Copts have long been targeted by the predominantly Muslim Egyptian government, and continue to suffer discrimination and persecution in their native country. A recent rash of violent hate crimes against Copts prompted a demonstration of over 3,000 Egyptian Copts on Sunday, December 5, 2004. Coptic demonstrators denounced President Hosni Mubarak’s failure to end the suffering of Egypt’s Coptic minority; now we — friends of the Copts, Coptic immigrants, asylum-seekers, and members of the Coptic Diaspora — request your personal intervention with President Mubarak on behalf of the endangered Coptic community in Egypt.
Although Coptic-targeted hate crimes such as arson, kidnapping, rape, forced conversion, and torture have plagued the Egyptian Coptic minority for decades, anti-Coptic sentiment has increased amongst fanatical Muslim extremists, prompting an exponential rise in violence in the past few months. Recent incidents include numerous kidnappings, rapes, and forced conversions of young Coptic women such as 19-year old Manal Gurguis Abd El Malak, whose kidnappers have yet to face justice due to discriminatory police neglect.
Even high-ranking officials such as Assiut province’s National Democratic Party Leader Mohamed Abd El Mohsen Saleh have been implicated by the national media in the kidnappings and forced conversions of several young Coptic women; President Mubarak has censured neither Saleh nor other officials implicated in similar crimes. The recent kidnapping of Wafaa Constantine, the wife of a Coptic priest, also points to new and disturbing trends in the crimes of abduction and forced conversion. The on-going Egypt-wide Coptic demonstration that began December 5 has additionally produced fifty hunger strikers–including the clergyman himself–on behalf of the abducted woman.
Coptic churches and homes offer easy targets for Muslim mobs and vandals. Despite inflicting property damage, such anti-Coptic riots often result in the injuries and deaths of innocent Coptic citizens. The latest in a series of violent mobs took place Friday, December 3, 2004 in the village of Mankateen, Samalout province, when over 5,000 Muslim villagers stormed and set fire to a building housing a Coptic prayer room. The mob then swept through the village, looting and burning Coptic homes and businesses, destroying a Coptic priest’s car, and injuring several Copts in the process. The mob was prompted by the announcement that President Mubarak had once again refused Mankateens’ Coptic community their request to build a church.
President Mubarak’s administration and regime–ranging from authors of anti-Coptic legislation to prejudiced judges and corrupt village police officers–has offered little protection to Egypt’s 12-15 million Copts; government and law enforcement officials have in fact often exacerbated Coptic-targeted violence, even participating in kidnappings, forced conversions, and village mobs. President Mubarak also continues to uphold the Ottoman Hamayouni Decree requiring Presidential approval of new church construction, further contributing to the long-standing cultural genocide visited upon Egypt’s native people.
In light of the United States’ political and financial support of Egypt, and American efforts for freedom and democracy in the Middle East, I respectfully request that you intervene with President Mubarak on behalf of the Christian minority’s plea for protection.
Mr/Ms/Dr NAME HERE