Deplorable: Kidnapping Christians in Egypt

Every once in a while there are reports about Christian girls being kidnapped only to later return as having converted to Islam and married Muslims. These stories are sometimes simplistically rationalized away as nothing more than Christians refusing to admit that they are losing their daughters to Islam on their own volition. While that may indeed be true for some cases, it is unacceptable to dismiss these stories and ignore the possibility of criminal behavior or that life and dignity are at risk. If they were kidnapped, they need to be returned and the perpetrators brought to justice. If they converted and eloped, they may need to be protected (see below).

There was an AP article yesterday concerning kidnappers targeting Christians in Egypt. The kidnapping victims include males and females. Perhaps the inclusion of males will help weaken the simplistic rationalization that it’s just about conversion and eloping.

It is deplorable that Egyptian citizens are being kidnapped.

Readers who assume that problems between Egypt’s Muslim and Christian communities boils down to irrational, immoral, unforgiving, intolerant Muslims vs. rational, moral, forgiving, tolerant Christians should pay close attention to the AP article’s closing paragraphs:

Christian farmer Ishaq Aziz’s 17-year-old daughter Nirmeen went missing on Valentine’s Day, fueling speculation that she has converted and will reappear with a Muslim husband once she turns 18.

Aziz, 47, and his family are preparing for that day. They have sold some farmland to buy firearms, and Aziz explained matter-of-factly that Nirmeen and her husband will be killed first — “it is a question of honor” — and then the guns will turn against the groom’s family.

“But we will happily take her back if she comes back with her faith intact,” he said. “Even if she is pregnant, a cousin will marry her,” he said, wiping a tear with the sleeve of his dark blue galabiya robe.

This is a sad state of affairs for Egypt, one and all.

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