Egypt’s Muslim extremists, angry over the ouster of Mohammed Morsi from the presidency, have zeroed in on the nation’s Christian minority, scapegoating them even though the Islamist leader was widely unpopular.
On Thursday, the body of a Christian merchant abducted last week from the town of Sheikh Zweid was found decapitated in Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula. The grisly discovery came as attacks on Copts and their churches have escalated amid rumors that Christian leaders masterminded Morsi’s removal.
Last Saturday, Coptic Christian priest Mina Abboud Sharobeen was shot dead by gunmen in an outdoor market.
Historically, Egypt’s Coptic community, numbering only six to 12 million, approximately 10 percent of the country’s 85 million population, have faced severe marginalization and often have been imprisoned and tortured for their Christian faith. While they were undeniably part of the movement that ultimately pressured the military to oust Morsi, they were hardly alone.