Paul Sedra on the IS Massacre of Egyptian Copts in Libya

February 17, 2015

Historian Paul Sedra has published an opinion piece on the recent massacre of Coptic Christians in Egypt by the Islamic State (IS). "Among the most important points to make about these horrific murders," Sedra writes, "relates to context." he goes on to say:

  • I would argue this event cannot and should not be placed within the context of domestic Egyptian politics or of Muslim-Christian relations in Egypt. Without question, Egypt has a persistent problem with sectarianism and violence against Egypt’s Coptic community. But these latest sectarian murders represent an effort by the Islamic State (IS) movement to advance its transnational agenda rather than an Egyptian one. Its reference to “conquering Rome” in the video of these murders–even though the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church has for centuries pursued a path entirely separate from that of the Catholic Church–underlines this key observation.
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