Historically, if dhimmis complained about their treatment, their contract of “protection” was revoked and their lives were forfeit. Even today, that idea remains as a cultural hangover in the Islamic world: non-Muslims who are persecuted know they better keep silent about that persecution, or things will get even worse.
“Al-Azhar asks Coptic Church to denounce US religious discrimination claims,” from AlMasry AlYoum, November 26 (thanks to Rights and Freedom for the Copts):
Al-Azhar attempted to persuade Egypt’s Coptic Church on Thursday to rebuff a US report claiming that Christians in Egypt were discriminated against.
The Coptic Church had–for the first time–welcomed an annual US report on religious freedoms, saying there was indeed discrimination against Christians in Egypt. The Church held the government responsible for the report’s conclusions, since it had ignored previous criticisms.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry, for its part, rejected the report, saying that Washington had no right to assess religious freedoms in the country.
The Islamic Research Academy, which is affiliated with Al-Azhar, held a meeting on 6 December to discuss the report following consultations with church representatives.
Al-Azhar spokesman Ambassador Mohammad Rafaa al-Tahtawi said the objective of the meeting was to take a “patriotic stance” representing all citizens, both Muslim and Christian alike. He said Al-Azhar considered the report “unacceptable interference” in Egypt’s domestic affairs.
The US State Department’s international religious freedoms report, released Wednesday, details alleged abuses of religious freedoms around the world. This year’s report criticized “the practice of religious discrimination against Christians and Baha’is” in Egypt, pointing out that they did not enjoy equal representation in high-level government positions.
The report went on to claim that converts from Islam to Christianity were subject to numerous restrictions, the most noteworthy of which was the refusal of the authorities to issue them new national identity cards reflecting their conversion to Christianity.