(AINA) -- On the occasion of Egyptian President Mubarak's visit to Washington this week to attend the Mideast talks, Coptic Christians in the US and Canada staged a peaceful rally on September 2nd outside the White House to protest the persecution of Copts in Egypt. The Motto of the rally was "President Mubarak Make Peace in Your Country First."
According to a press release by the rally organizer Coptic Solidarity, based in North America, the Egyptian regime, represented by Mubarak, is a key partner in the persecution of the Copts. President Mubarak comes Washington to market his regime and his family's through the Palestinian issue, and we must tell him "stop persecuting the Copts...make peace in your country first."
"Mubarak brought back Coptic persecution to the level experienced under the Mameluke era (1250-1517) in Egypt," says Coptic Solidarity, "Under the rule of President Mubarak , more than 1500 of assault on Copts have occurred, without any appropriate punishment given to criminals or compensation to the victims."
"We want the whole world to know the oppression, violence and attacks on churches and property of the Copts under Mubarak's rule," said one rally participant. "They are targeting the Coptic family."
US-based Coptic activist Magdy Khalil told Coptic Hope-Sat in an interview that Mubarak gets his importance from being a peace broker, and he is coming to Washington to make a deal for his son's Gamal "inheritance" of the Presidency of Egypt. "He needs to get the green light from USA and Israel on one side and the Muslim brotherhood inside Egypt on the other." He added that Copts are not important for the regime to take into account.
Commenting on the White House rally, Magdy Khalil told the Egyptian daily Al Dostor that the intensive media presence for the Mideast talks "helped us to deliver a message to the whole world that Christians of Egypt have a problem. While the Palestinian issue is that of territorial dispute, the Copts are suffering from persecution."
By Mary Abdelmassih