Christianophobia: an interview with Rupert Shortt

Strasbourg, January 2011. Members of the European Parliament condemn violence against Christians in the Middle East. European Union 2011 PE-EP/Pietro Naj-Oleari

Rupert Shortt is the author of Christianophobia: A Faith Under Attack and religion editor of the Times Literary Supplement. Alan Johnson is the Editor of Fathom.

Part 1: Christianophobia

Alan Johnson: Let’s start with some big questions about the word ‘Christianophobia.’ First, what does it mean?

Rupert Shortt: It covers a multitude of sins really. I grant you that the word ‘phobia’ implies something rather passive, unlike the more active evil of antisemitism. But ‘anti-Christianism,’ just like ‘anti-Muslimism,’ hasn’t really caught on as a term, so I thought I would adopt a coinage used by other people – I can’t claim a monopoly on it or on its meaning. But it is something I hoped would be reasonably eye-catching and would draw people’s attention to what I see as a neglected human rights issue.

Screen shot 2012-11-02 at 3.46.37 PM 

Appeal Postponed for Moroccan Convert from Islam Sentenced for 'Proselytizing'

Court hoping publicity over Christian convicted without due process will subside, sources say.

By Our Algeria Correspondent

Taounate, in northern Morocco. (Morning Star News)TIZI OZOU, Algeria, October 11, 2013 (Morning Star News) – A Moroccan court yesterday postponed until Dec. 31 an appeals hearing for a convert hastily sentenced to prison for alleged “proselytizing,” in hopes that international publicity over his conviction will subside by then, Christian sources said.

Mohamed El Baladi was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Sept. 3, just a week after his arrest on Aug. 28, in a court in the northern town of Taounate, 50 miles from Fez. The court convicted him before police allowed him to obtain legal representation, and officers vilified him for leaving Islam and pressured him to reveal names of other converts to Christianity, sources said (see
Morning Star News, Sept. 13).


Egypt Copts singled out for revenge: amnesty

iol pic afr egypt copts


A picture taken on August 26, 2013 shows the facade of the Prince Tadros Coptic church that was torched by unknown assailants in the central Egyptian city of Minya.


Egyptian security forces failed to stop revenge attacks against Coptic Christians after a deadly crackdown on supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in August, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.


Former Joint Chiefs chairman: Obama plotted to destabilize regimes in Bahrain, Egypt

WASHINGTON — The United States was said to have planned to destabilize at least two Arab countries over the last two years.

A former leading U.S. military commander asserted that the administration of President Barack Obama worked to destabilize the regimes of Bahrain and Egypt.


[Ret.] Gen. Hugh Shelton, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

[Ret.] Gen. Hugh Shelton, former chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff.

[Ret.] Gen. Hugh Shelton, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the administration’s drive against Bahrain, wracked by a Shi’ite revolt, was led by the intelligence community.

The Guardian home 

'White widow': public enemy No 1

The very normality of Samantha Lewthwaite's background provokes, disturbs and fascinates

On Monday morning the front pages of the tabloids condemned "evil" and "fanatical" Samantha Lewthwaite, aka the white widow, as the Nairobi "bloodbath mastermind". The precise nature of the tragic events in Nairobi are still unfolding and, when the tabloids went to press on Sunday night, little was known about Lewthwaite's alleged involvement in the Nairobi attack. A few days on, we still don't know much, and the evidence against Lewthwaite is scant and contradictory. Nevertheless the Muslim convert and widow of 7/7 attacker Germaine Lindsay has become the symbol of home-grown terrorism, a target of fear and loathing.

Samantha Lewthwaite

Samantha Lewthwaite in a school photograph. Photograph: REX/Mark St George

An alleged involvement in terrorism is more than enough to provoke a hostile public reaction, of course. But there is something more potent about Lewthwaite's story. She is seen as being the first possibly violent radical British female convert to Islam. If true, there are precedents elsewhere in the west. A white Belgian convert, Muriel Degauque, perpetrated a suicide attack in Iraq in 2005. Then came Colleen LaRose, aka jihad Jane, a white American convert who, in 2011, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder the Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks for his depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. LaRose had a traumatic childhood and fell into prostitution and drugs. Like many religious converts past and present, her conversion was precipitated by a crisis that acted as a catalyst for change. The teenage Lewthwaite was apparently traumatised by her parents' divorce, but it is the very normality of her background that provokes, disturbs and fascinates.


Pakistan blasts: Burials amid anger after Peshawar church attack

Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013: Peshawar, Pakistan_Pakistani women grieve over the coffins of their relatives, who were killed in a suicide attack on a church. 
Mourners also gathered outside the church in Peshawar to protest against the attack

Burials have been taking place in the Pakistani city of Peshawar after a double suicide bombing killed at least 80 people at a church on Sunday.

It is thought to be the deadliest ever attack on Pakistan's Christians.

Two Islamist militant groups with Taliban links said they ordered the attack to hit back at US drone strikes.

Political and religious leaders condemned the attack, but angry crowds took to the streets denouncing the state's failure to protect minorities.

On Sunday, demonstrators blocked roads in Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi and rallies are also expected in major cities on Monday.


Clinton Muslim Brotherhood Operative Arrested in Egypt



Gehad el-Haddad

A fugitive Muslim Brotherhood leader and Clinton operative has been arrested by Egyptian authorities in an ongoing roundup of seditious Islamist militants.

The arrest of Gehad el-Haddad for inciting violence is a sobering reminder not just of how close Hillary Clinton’s network is to the brutal Muslim Brotherhood, the Left’s favorite Islamofascist cell, but also of the extent to which Islamist enemies of the United States have infiltrated the American political establishment.

And it is yet another vindication for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) who has been viciously attacked by left-wingers and leaders of her own party for having the courage to sound the alarm about radical Islam’s penetration of the U.S. government.

A mere month after Haddad quit his Clinton Foundation job for full-time employment with the Brotherhood a year ago, now-deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi received an invitation to deliver a major address at the Clinton Global Initiative, a high-profile project of the foundation. Morsi calls Jews “bloodsuckers” and “the descendants of apes and pigs.”

Muslim Brotherhood Official, Former Clinton Foundation Employee Arrested



A senior Muslim Brotherhood official who, until recently, had been employed by the William J. Clinton Foundation was arrested in Cairo on Tuesday and charged with inciting violence.

Gehad el-Haddad served as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s top communications officials until Egyptian security forces seized him as part of a wider crackdown on officials loyal to ousted former President Mohamed Morsi.

Before emerging as a top Brotherhood official and adviser to Morsi, el-Haddad served for five years as an official at the Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit group founded by former President Bill Clinton.

El-Haddad gained a reputation for pushing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist agenda in the foreign press, where he was often quoted defending the Brotherhood’s crackdown on civil liberties in Egypt.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to Coptic Christians: Convert to Islam, or pay ‘jizya’ tax

By Jessica Chasmar

** FILE ** Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans during a protest in Ramses Square in downtown Cairo on Friday, Aug. 16, 2013. (Associated Press)

The Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters have began forcing the roughly 15,000 Christian Copts of Dalga village in Egypt to pay a jizya tax as indicated in Koran 9:29, author and translator Raymond Ibrahim reported on Sunday.

Jizya is the money, or tribute, “that conquered non-Muslims historically had to pay to their Islamic overlords ‘with willing submission and while feeling themselves subdued’ to safeguard their existence,” Mr. Ibrahim explained.According to Fr. Yunis Shawqi, who spoke yesterday to Dostor reporters in Dalga, all Copts in the village, “without exception,” are being forced to pay the tax.

“[The] value of the tribute and method of payment differ from one place to another in the village, so that, some are being expected to pay 200 Egyptian pounds per day, others 500 Egyptian pounds per day,” Mr. Shawqi said, according to the translator.

In some cases, families not able to pay have been attacked. As many as 40 Christian families have now fled Dalga, Mr. Ibrahim reported.

The taxes are not unique to Egypt either.

Just over the weekend Syrian rebels went into a Christian man’s “shop and gave him three options: become Muslim; pay $70,000 as a tax levied on non-Muslims, known as jizya; or be killed along with his family,” Christian Science Monitor reported.


Attempted assassination of Egypt’s Internal Minister

Ignored by world leaders

Dr. Ashraf Ramelah

Human rights organization, Voice of the Copts, requests Western leaders to publicly denounce the assassination attempt on Egypt’s Internal Minister, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, this past Thursday in Cairo. Condemnation of this act of terrorism against the Egyptian state would demonstrate solidarity with the Egyptian interim government and the Egyptian people’s struggle for democracy and liberty.

In doing so, the U.S. and other world leaders would show support of common objectives and encourage Egypt’s ongoing efforts to form a new constitution. Moreover, by standing against Egyptian opposition factions resorting to violence, namely the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist off-shoots, the West would strengthen Egypt’s new post-dictator era in pursuit of democracy.


Egypt's Brotherhood under legal threat as bomb hits central Cairo

(Reuters) - An Egyptian judicial panel supported a legal challenge to the status of the Muslim Brotherhood on Monday, compounding a drive to crush the movement behind the elected president deposed by the army in July.


While short of a formal ban on the Brotherhood, which worked underground for decades under Egypt's previous military-backed rulers, the panel's advice to a court to remove its non-governmental organisation status threatens the million-member movement's future in politics.

An attack on a police station in central Cairo and plans for new mass protests by the Brotherhood on Tuesday showed the stability the interim government says it took over to impose after two-and-a-half years of turmoil is still elusive.



Egypt's Brotherhood under legal threat as bomb hits central Cairo

(Reuters) - An Egyptian judicial panel supported a legal challenge to the status of the Muslim Brotherhood on Monday, compounding a drive to crush the movement behind the elected president deposed by the army in July.

While short of a formal ban on the Brotherhood, which worked underground for decades under Egypt's previous military-backed rulers, the panel's advice to a court to remove its non-governmental organisation status threatens the million-member movement's future in politics.


An attack on a police station in central Cairo and plans for new mass protests by the Brotherhood on Tuesday showed the stability the interim government says it took over to impose after two-and-a-half years of turmoil is still elusive.



Christian Killed By Suspected Islamists in Egypt's Sinai

CAIRO (AFP) -- Suspected Islamists on Sunday shot dead a Coptic Christian man in Egypt's restive Sinai peninsula where several extremist groups operate, security sources told AFP.

Hani Samir Kamel, 37, was attacked in El-Arish, the regional capital of North Sinai, where security forces have been battling a semi-insurgency since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi's military ouster on July 3.

The assailants fled after the attack, the sources said.

Militants have launched near daily attacks on police and army facilities in Sinai, where a priest was killed and a Copt found decapitated in July.


Copts in the West Campaign Against Muslim Brotherhood

By Mary Abdelmassih

(AINA) -- Expatriate Copts in Western capitals launched campaigns to draw attention to the violence of the Muslim Brotherhood and to expose it as a terrorist organization, and to support the Egyptian army, who they say is "fighting a war on terror" launched by pro-Morsy supporters against the Egyptian people at large.

As with most Egyptians, the Copts are angry with the Obama administration for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and describing their demonstrations as "peaceful." Video evidence supports the contrary.

Screen shot 2012-11-02 at 3.46.37 PM 

Muslim Mob Injures Church Leaders, Choir Members in Nigeria

Minor dispute leads to incitement of gang with iron rods, knives.

By Our Nigeria Correspondent
Property damaged at St. James Anglican Cathedral in Lafia, Nigeria. (Morning Star News photo)ABUJA, Nigeria, August 26, 2013 (
Morning Star News) – A Muslim mob with knives and iron rods injured several members of an Anglican church in Nasarawa state on Aug. 17 over a dispute about less than 1 cent in change, area Christians said.
Three pastors, four elders and choir members of the St. James Anglican Cathedral were wounded in Lafia, capital of Nasarawa in central Nigeria, as they met for study and worship preparation. They sustained cuts on their heads and other parts of their bodies when some 30 Muslims attacked with motorcycle chains and wooden clubs, along with the other weapons, area residents said.

Shame on biased International media 
Churches burnt by pro-Morsi the international media did no care
To publish it

churches burnt 


  1. Father Maximus Church


  1. St George Church | Burned | Source


  1. Good Shepherds Monastery |  Nuns attacked
  2. Angel Michael Church | Surrounded
  3. St George Coptic Orthodox ChurchPhotoPhotoPhoto
  4. Al-Eslah Church| Burned | Source
  5. Adventist Church | Pastor and his wife kidnapped | Photo
  6. St Therese Church | Photo
  7. Apostles Church | Burning | Source
  8. Holy Revival Church | Burning | Source

Beni Suef

  1. The Nuns School | Photo
  2. St George Church | al-Wasta


  1. St Fatima Basilica | Heliopolis | Attempted Attack

Fayoum (Five churches)

  1. St Mary Church | El Nazlah | Gallery
  2. St Damiana Church | Robbed and burned
  3. Amir Tawadros (St Theodore) Church
  4. Evangelical Church | al-Zorby Village | Looting and destruction
  5. Church of Joseph | Burned | Source
  6. Franciscan School | Burned | Source


  1. Diocese of St Paul | Burned | Source


  1. Father Antonios
  2. Atfeeh Bishopric

Minya (Around twelve churches)

  1. Church of the Virgin Mary and Father Abram | Delga, Deir Mawas | Source
  2. St Mina Church | Abu Hilal Kebly, Beni Hilal | Sourcephoto
  3. Baptist Church | Beni Mazar | Source
  4. Deir Mawas Bishopric
  5. Delga Church | Attacked (Previously attacked with fire)
  6. The Jesuit Fathers Church | Abu Hilal district
  7. St Mark Church | Abu Hilal district
  8. St Joseph Nunnery | Photophoto
  9. Amir Tadros ChurchPhotophotophotoalbum
  10. Evangelical Church | Photo
  11. Anba Moussa al-Aswad Church
  12. Apostles Church | Source


  1. St Mary’s Church | Attempted Burning


  1. St George Church |Photo albumphotophotovideosourcesource
  2. St Damiana | Attacked and burned | Source
  3. Virgin Mary | Attacked and burned | Source
  4. St Mark Church & Community Center
  5. Anba Abram Church | Destroyed and burned | Source


  1. St Saviours Anglican Church | Source
  2. Franciscan Church and School | Street 23 | Burned |Photophotosource/photosphotos
  3. Holy Shepherd Monastery and HospitalPhoto
  4. Good Shepherd Church (molotov cocktail thrown)- Relationship with Holy Shepherd Monastery unknown.
  5. Greek Orthodox Church | PhotoPhoto

Christian Institutions

  • House of Father Angelos (Pastor of Church of the Virgin Mary and Father Abram) | Delga, Minya | Burned | Source
  • Properties and Markets of Copts | al-Gomhorreya Street, Assiut
  • Seventeen Coptic homes | Delga, Minya | Burned | SourceSource
  • YMCA | Minya| Burned | Photo
  • Coptic Homes | Qulta Street, Assiut | Attacked
  • Offices of the Evangelical Foundation & Oum al-Nour | Minya
  • Coptic-owned shops, pharmacy, and hotels | Karnak and Cleopatra Streets, Luxor | Attacked and Looted
  • Dahabeya Nile Boat | Minya| Church-owned | Source,PhotoPhoto
  • Bible Society bookshop | Cairo | Burned | Photo


Egypt's Coptic Christians dread further backlash

By Caroline Wyatt BBC News, Cairo

Memorial march for Egyptian Christians killed in clashes in April 2013 (file photo 24 May) 

At least seven Copts have been killed in sectarian violence in recent months, says Amnesty International


As tensions rise again in Egypt, the country's Christians are dreading a further backlash.

The Coptic Orthodox Church is one of Christianity's oldest, founded in Alexandria around 50 AD.

Fox News - Fair & Balanced 

It's Obama, McCain, Graham who made 'huge mistake' in Egypt

All three fear that the anti-American (and generally anti-human) Muslim Brotherhood (MB), whom they mistakenly see as “moderate,” will disappear from the halls of power in Egypt, our most important Arab ally.  They also evidently worry that the MB’s leading figures, such as now-deposed (and arrested) President Mohamed Morsi—who had awarded himself powers greater than any previous ruler in Egypt’s history—will not be free to plot a return to power in an ancient nation that he had nearly destroyed in only one year.

Egypt’s Coptic pope in fear of attacks

By Heba Saleh

This image made from video shows Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, flanked by military and civilian leaders in including reform leader Mohamed ElBaradei, far left, Tamarod leader Mahmoud Badr, second left, Grand Sheik of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, third from right, and Pope Tawadros II, second from right, as he addresses the nation on Egyptian State Television Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

General al-Sisi announces overthrow of President Morsi on July 3, with Pope Tawadros front, second from right

Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt, has suspended his weekly public meetings with his flock after a sharp rise in attacks against Christians following the ousting last month of the Islamist Mohamed Morsi as president.

A statement by Bishop Angaelos of the United Kingdom, confirmed by Christian sources in Egypt, said the pope had stopped his weekly sermons “out of concern over potential attacks on congregations”.

In addition to the increased frequency of violence against Christians, the bishop noted the rise in “unlawful incitement emerging from various fringe Islamist leaders spurring on more violent acts and illegal behaviour that continues to injure and claim the lives of many Egyptian Christians”.


Abuse of Muslim Brothers and Islamists to Christians in Egypt

In city rooted in Bible, Islamist marches and graffiti intimidate Egypt's Christian minority

ASSIUT, Egypt –  It was nighttime and 10,000 Islamists were marching down the most heavily Christian street in this ancient Egyptian city, chanting "Islamic, Islamic, despite the Christians." A half-dozen kids were spray-painting "Boycott the Christians" on walls, supervised by an adult.

While Islamists are on the defensive in Cairo following the military coup that ousted President Mohammed Morsi, in Assiut and elsewhere in Egypt's deep south they are waging a stepped-up hate campaign, claiming the country's Christian minority somehow engineered Morsi's downfall.

"Tawadros is a dog," says a spray-painted insult, referring to Pope Tawadros II, patriarch of the Copts, as Egypt's Christians are called. Christian homes, stores and places of worship have been marked with large painted crosses.

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