Muslims Target Coptic Christian Girls for Abduction in Egypt

Muslim wedding
The bride going away with the groom to his house after a Muslim marriage in Pakistan. |

On the first week of 2017, a Christian girl by the name of Rania Eed Fawzi disappeared in Al Kiati village in Upper Egypt's Al Minea province. Her family immediately determined that she was a victim of kidnapping and forced conversion to Islam. They even revealed that they know who abducted her.

The family lawyer sought the help of Attorney General Nabil Ahmed Sadek and requested Rania be placed under the custody one of the Christian Orthodox homeless youth shelters as is normally done. But instead of offering his assistance, the official gave the family the blunt reply: "[Your daughter] embraced Islam, what do you want?"

Rania is just one of the hundreds of Christian girls who were abducted and forced into converting to Islam through marriage. Many Pakistani Muslims have resorted to this tactic of removing a young woman from her community so that she can bear Muslim children to increase their population.

The victim doesn't necessarily have to be a minor. In Esna, 18-year-old Christian Hanna Girgis was kidnapped by a 27-year-old Muslim neighbor despite the fact she was already engaged to another man. Months later, the family learned that the local police station issued a new ID for the girl for a change of civil status.

For most families, retrieving their kidnapped daughters had become an uphill battle even if the abductors had been identified because authorities were complicit in the illegal act. The attorney general could have rescued Rania as she couldn't change religion because she was only 17. The Esna police also knew where to find Hanna.

Justice is often elusive for Coptic Christians in Egypt. The police would spring into action if a Muslim was victimized by a perpetrator from a minority religious group. However, cases of Christian girls who were taken against their will usually end up being settled with the victim ending up in the custody of her abductor.

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