Egyptian Coptic Christian Leader Calls on Jews for Support

Cairo, Egypt - A U.S.-based Egyptian Coptic Christian leader has called for Jewish support to help prevent Egypt from becoming a “jihadist state hostile to Israel.”

Magdi Khalil, a Coptic Christian activist who runs the Pennsylvania-based Middle East Forum, as well as a center in Cairo, called on American Jewry in a video conference lecture last month to invite Coptic leaders to speak.

“The Copts face the same terrorism that the United States faced on September 11th and London, Madrid, Moscow, Bali, Mumbai and Tel Aviv as well,” Khalil contended. “The difference is that the Copts were subjected to Islamic terrorism for decades and by the state itself.”

Khalil accused President Hosni Mubarak's government of scapegoating the Coptic community as a means of diverting public attention away from the issue of corruption.

He added that “about one-third of the terrorists in the world have come from Egypt,” and contended that Egypt is one of the main centers of Islamic thought and one of the main sponsors of terrorism in the world.

“Copts in Egypt are struggling to prevent the transformation of Egypt into an armed jihadist state that would be anti-Western and anti-Israel,” Khalil claimed. He added that the sect is “a large minority, and the largest minority under the rule of Islamic regimes [and] in a Muslim country.”