Are Christians in the Middle East defenceless ?
Many in Egypt hold the security forces responsible for the attack on a Coptic church in Cairo on Sunday. A suicide attacker killed himself and 24 Christian churchgoers during mass, while 49 others were injured. Commentators also argue that Christians in Egypt and the Middle East are not receiving adequate protection against Islamist-motivated attacks.
Regime leaving Copts in the lurch
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his government are doing far too little to protect Egypt's Christian minority, The Times complains:
“Supporters of Isis and other jihadist groups celebrated the attack on social media, as they have throughout a campaign of Islamist violence against Coptic Christians that has grown in intensity since the Arab Spring. ... Mr Sisi has promised to defend Egypt’s Copts against sectarian violence, but his security forces are distracted by their war on the jihadists. Many of his enforcers are anyway inclined to turn a blind eye to the suffering of Christians. Egypt could be an example to the Arab world of inter-faith harmony, but its courts offer a parody of due process and its Copts are cowering in fear. After nearly 2,000 years in Egypt, they deserve better.”
Christians in Middle East need their own state
A hundred years ago France and Britain divided up the Middle East between themselves in the secret Sykes-Picot agreement. Perhaps the borders defined back then should be redrawn and the Christians given their own state, El País reflects:
“When the system collapsed after the invasion of Iraq and the Arab Spring everything changed. The systematic and daily killing of Christians in the Middle East proves that the Sykes-Picot division doesn't work. And now, as then, this is not a problem for the West. While the IS is resuscitating the Abbasid Caliphate of the year 750, the Kurds have effectively established their own country. Perhaps we should start thinking about a new state that protects the Christians, defends them and provides them with refuge. They won't keep asking for help that never comes.”