Translating Words, Interpreting Events

Christian-Abduction Gangs Form in Egypt

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A September 10, 2013 Watan report confirms what I recently wrote—that Egypt’s Christian Copts are increasingly being kidnapped and held hostage for ransom, some being killed even after payment is made.

In al-Minya province in Upper Egypt, authorities have just identified a “gang made up of five persons that specializes in overseeing operations to kidnap wealthy Copts in order to earn money” through ransom.

In the latest instance,  three men dressed in peasant attire, with firearms hanging on their belts, entered a car rental shop, kidnapped the owner, and later called his wife demanding a two million Egyptian pound ransom (equivalent to nearly $300,000 USD).

Kidnapping and holding for ransom Christians throughout the Islamic world has become especially common, with roots in Islamic law:  second-class “infidel” Christians are, according to Koran 9:29, required to pay tribute, or jizya (an Arabic word which indicates something that substitutes for something else, in this case, money in exchange for the life of the condemned infidel, who, by refusing to convert to Islam, deserves death).

And, after destroying dozens of Christian churches, Muslim Brotherhood supporters are now demanding jizya money from the Copts, also in al-Minya province.

Because the jizya was abolished due to Western intervention in the 19th century, other Islamists, jihadis, and terrorists in general, apparently seeing themselves as “jizya vigilantes,” believe they are exonerated to kidnap and hold for ransom, or jizya, Christians—for this scenario of kidnapping and holding Christians for ransom has been playing itself over and over again in the Islamic world, with increased frequency, and not just in Egypt, but Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria, Sudan, ad nauseum.

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