I’m shocked — shocked! — to hear that Mubarak has not actually done anything substantive to ease the plight of the Copts. His relatively secular regime exists in uneasy counterpoise with the Muslim Brotherhood, whose adherents he has to keep happy or else face their wrath. From MEMRI, with thanks to Fjordman:
In early December, 2005, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak issued a presidential decree easing the severe restrictions on repairing and rebuilding churches in Egypt.  In an editorial in the Coptic Internet weekly Watani, editor Youssef Sidhom stated that the decree would deliberately be implemented in a way that would render it meaningless, and cited a letter by an Egyptian governor substantiating this claim.
The following are excerpts from the editorial, which was posted in English on Watani: 
“Previous Presidential Decrees Which Eased Restrictions on Church Building Have Frequently Been Implemented in a Manner That Emptied Them of Their Content”
“[After the issuing of Decree 291,] the media rushed to praise [Mubarak’s] move, asking Copts of their opinion and pushing them to express their gratitude. Some even went to the length of deluding the public into believing that the decree put an end to all the problems of building churches. They claimed the Himayouni Edict – which pre-requires a presidential decree for the building of any new church – was abolished once and for all, and that complete equality among Egyptians as regards building and restoring places of worship has been attained.
“While some Copts adopted a pessimistic stance and argued that the decree offered nothing new, Watani was keen to objectively analyse the move. We wrote that the decree was a good step forward on the road towards a unified law for places of worship and, if properly implemented, could alleviate many of the hardships of church building. We argued that the presidential authority over licensing new churches – as opposed to mosques, the building of which was subject to no restrictions whatsoever – violated equality among Egyptians. We wrote that the new decree should be taken with caution, since previous presidential decrees which eased restrictions on church building had been frequently implemented in a manner that emptied them of their content. Security authorities, Watani wrote, should not be allowed to interfere in the process, because they have been notorious in their restrictive domination of church building.”…
Read it all.