03/02/2017, 14.38
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No one cares about Copts who fled northern Sinai

by Loula Lahham

News about violence against Copts have disappeared from Egyptian media. For the government, the crisis has been resolved. International conferences continue. The one organised by Al-Azhar ended yesterday with no results. More than 1,500 Christians have fled from El Arīsh.

Cairo (AsiaNews) – Media coverage of Copts fleeing Islamic State violence and terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula has declined since 22 February.

The Egyptian government feels it has done its duty: the Social Affairs minister has visited the area, the government and civil society groups have sent humanitarian aid and food, displaced people will not be penalised for not going to work, and schoolchildren will be enrolled in other schools.

Everything seems to be in order. The spiritual leader of Egypt’s Christians, Pope Tawadros II, slammed the use of the term "immigrants” by the media in his weekly address on Wednesday. In his view, the term “is wrong. It's just a passing crisis. »

Such remarks are very similar to those uttered by Egypt’s Interior minister. “We did not ask the Coptic residents to leave their homes and their possessions."

Even international conferences have resumed. A conference on ‘Freedom and Citizenship: Diversity and Integration’ ended yesterday. Organised by Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s highest body, under the auspices of Egypt’s President, the symposium saw the participation of religious and lay delegates from 50 countries, in particular senior spiritual leaders of all Mideast Christian rites, including five patriarchs and dozens of Eastern bishops as well as representatives of several Protestant Churches.

What results did the conference produce? Nothing. Just words of courtesy and tolerance on everyone’s behalf. Meanwhile, there are almost no Christians left in El Arīsh. Families today refused a visit by a delegation of the National Human Rights Council, headed by famous Coptic activist George Ishaq.

It should be noted that more than 1,500 Copts fled El Arīsh, northern Sinai, following violence that left seven Christian dead in the last ten days.

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