The December 21 Toronto Star drew attention to the publication of a “death list” naming 200 Coptic Christians, over half of whom now live in Canada. According to the Star:
More than 100 Canadian-Arab Christians are listed on an Al Qaeda affiliated website, apparently targeted because of their alleged role in attempting to convert Muslims.
Some of those named say concerned Canadian intelligence officials have contacted them.
The Shumukh-al-Islam website, often considered to be Al Qaeda's mouthpiece, listed pictures, addresses and cellphone numbers of Coptic Christians, predominantly Egyptian-Canadians, who have been vocal about their opposition to Islam.
In a forum on the website, one member named Son of a Sharp Sword, says "We are going to return back to Islam and all of the Mujahedeen (holy warriors) will cut off their heads."
Three pages of the fundamentalist, Arabic-language website titled "Complete information on Coptics" sets to "identify and name all of the Coptics throughout the world who hope to defame Islam." The website calls the Coptic Christians living abroad "dogs in diaspora," a derogatory reference in Arabic.
The brutal persecution of Copts in Egypt — persecution which often includes forced "conversions," rape, and even murder — has had the same effect in Egypt that similar incidents are now having in Iraq: Christians are fleeing Muslim nations for the freedom of the West. But now relocation is not enough, as Jihadists try to silence the voices of their victims with death threats.
Those who are being targeted are not even recent emigres; for example, Sherif Mansour, one of the men on the list, has operated a business in Quebec for 22 years since leaving Egypt. Again, according to the Star:
Sherif Mansour said he found out he was named on the website when intelligence officials called him.
"They asked me, 'are you afraid?' I said 'Should I be?'" said Mansour, who has run a business in Quebec for the past 22 years since emigrating from Egypt.
Mansour laughed at the threat, but said he recognizes the seriousness of the matter.
"These issues can't be taken lightly anymore...If they (Muslim fanatics) had the guts to fly a couple of planes into buildings and killing thousands of people, what would be the big deal with just one person? Nothing. Am I afraid of it? No, not really," said Mansour who is an active member of the Coptic church in Canada.
Mansour believes he is being targeted because of comments he made in an interview on CTV news where he was discussing the media's coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian war.
Mansour said the fact that his picture, cellphone number and comments are displayed on the Shumukh-al-Islam website is an indication that fanatics are keeping a close eye on what happens in Canada.
According to a December 28 article at the “Gates of Vienna” blog, the Austrian paper Österreich reports that the list of Copts targeted by al-Qaeda includes 15 people who are now living in Austria — five of whom are, in fact, now citizens of Austria:
William Tadros is one of the persons mentioned in the list. In an interview with ÖSTERREICH, Tadros reports that he informed the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Terrorism Prevention when he found out that his name was on the death list. “Al Qaeda wants to kill us because of what we are doing for the Christian minority in Egypt.”
FPÖ party leader Heinz-Christian Strache has written a letter to interior minister Maria Fekter asking her “not to remain inactive when Coptic Christians, who trust in our safety, are being threatened. The Ministry of Interior must act before there are victims!”
The new Al Qaeda group claimed responsibility for the massacre in a church in Baghdad in late October, which left more than 50 dead, as well as the recent suicide attack in Stockholm. The Baghdad massacre took place in direct correlation with the Egyptian Copts because they did not comply with a demand made by this Al Qaeda group.
As readers of The New American know, the impact of the October 31 massacre in Baghdad eventually led Iraqi Christians to cancel virtually all Christmas observances. The Jihadists connecting the persecution of the Church in Iraq and Egypt is now openly spilling into the West. As noted by the “Gates of Vienna” blog:
The group’s website cites the following: “For this reason, the war ministry of the Islamic Iraqi Republic announces that all Christian centers, organizations and clubs with all of its members are deemed justifiable targets for our mujaheddin.” However, those in charge of the death list are targeting the entire free world. It is their explicit goal to establish a fundamentalist Islamic state in Iraq and to act against all Jews and Christians worldwide. The group’s homepage is found in Jakarta, Indonesia.
That would, of course, be the same Indonesia that President Obama praises as the model of “toleration” and in which 700 churches have been burned since 1998. In the West, the political elites remain, by and large, unwilling to confront the nearly 1,400 year-old history of Jihadism, and seem to see its violence as either a strange, modern anomaly, or an excuse to enact sweeping, often unconstitutional, "security" measures that do little to combat the Jihad but do much to restrict the liberties of Americans. As Rev. Elijah Abraham observed in an interview for The New American several months ago: Islam is “a socio-political system that uses a deity to advance its agenda.”
The people of the West would be well-served by listening to the voice of Iraqi and Coptic Christians in their midst to learn more about the shape of that agenda, and its implications for their future.
Photo of Coptic Christians in Egypt: AP Images