During Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi’s recent visit to Germany, in an open meeting with that nation’s Egyptian community, a Coptic Christian attendee implored him to take measures to help protect the Christian girls of Egypt, who, as the man put it, “are subject to kidnappings on a daily basis.”
According to the Arabic website Gate Ahram, instead of addressing the situation, Morsi opted to nitpick: “The President expressed dismay at the statement, since it is impossible for such a thing to happen in Egypt on a daily basis…. President Morsi asked for information about specific cases, if there were any, in order to take necessary actions and investigate himself, as well as asking the [Coptic] man to give him his phone number to follow up with him.”
Morsi then pontificated in egalitarian terms, including about how Christians in Egypt cannot be called a minority, since the “term minority is used for ethnic groups or foreigners living in other countries,” and how Christians and Muslims are partners in citizenship and indigenous to Egypt not naturalized citizens.
As for the frequency of how often Christian girls are being abducted in Egypt—the only point of the man’s assertion Morsi responded to, by denying it—at least one report that was recently highlighted in a U.S. congressional hearing found that some 550 cases of abduction, entrapment, rape, and forced conversion of Christian women have been documented in the last five years in Egypt. Their rate has only increased with the coming of the “Arab Spring” which has seen the empowerment of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis.
Of course, such statistics suggest that Christian girls are disappearing at a rate of one every three days, not one every day—much to Morsi’s relief.