On December 7, 2011, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission heard testimony concerning the plight of Egypt’s Copts. The witnesses included Kathy Fitzpatrick (Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State); Nina Shea (Director, Center for Religious Freedom, Hudson Institute); Dina Guirguis (Member, Egyptian American Rule of Law Association); Adel Guindy (President, Coptic Solidarity International); Cynthia Farahat (Co-Founder, Liberal Egyptian Party); and Raymond Ibrahim (Middle East specialist and Associate fellow, Middle East Forum).
Below is a partial transcript of Farahat’s moving, and disturbing testimony before Congress. Check out the video that follows for the full testimony.
“… In 1971, President Sadat introduced shariah law to the constitution and now I think it’s, qualifies to say that Egypt is a constitutional theocracy and it’s not a modern state. The consequences were that Copts are no longer, according to shariah law, identified or defined as citizen. I have an Egyptian passport, but I’m not a citizen. The concept of citizenship is a Western concept that does not apply to us in Egypt. I‘m a woman and I’m a Copt. I’m a fourth-class citizen in Egypt. A first-class citizen in Egypt is the Sunni male, Muslim male. The second-class is the Sunni female. The third-class is the Coptic male. And fourth-class is the Coptic female.
And that’s why none of the people that committed crimes, none of the criminals that committed crimes against Copts were prosecuted in any way. Because it is against shariah law and that’s a fact. It’s not an opinion. To persecute someone for – a Muslim, for killing, raping, torturing, or vandalizing the property of a non-Muslim or a dhimmi. So this is our legal status. And this has been happening under the Mubarak’s so-called moderate regime, an ally of the West, and it’s now happening now. It was only inevitable that they take their radicalism a step further and start killing Copts in the street in front of TV cameras with live ammunition and running them over with armored military vehicles they probably got from the United States of America. …”
Warning, Farahat’s descriptions of the massacre are graphic: