By Coptic Solidarity, Special for USDR.
Coptic Solidarity applauds the bi-partisan founding of a new ‘Friends of Egypt Caucus’ by US Representatives Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA). Additional members who have already joined the caucus include Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), and Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY).
The caucus founders hosted a press conference yesterday on the Hill sharing their motivations for such action. Some Coptic Solidarity Board Members attended and countered protestors, presumably Brotherhood supporters, who attempted to disrupt the caucus through chanting slogans against Members of Congress while they spoke.
Introducing the Caucus, Mr. Rohrabacher said “Unfortunately, as Egypt seeks to defend itself from the terrorist threat, especially that in the Sinai Peninsula, American support has not matched the danger. For example, we have withheld spare parts which have kept Egypt’s fleet of Apache attack helicopters on the ground for over a year.”
Coptic Solidarity hopes the caucus will play an important role in supporting Egypt’s transition towards democracy and freedom and in exposing Islamic terrorism and extremism. Furthermore Coptic Solidarity urges members of the US Congress to join this new caucus as a concrete step in lending support to the promotion of equality, human rights, religious freedom, and democracy in Egypt.
As Rep. Rohrabacher stated, “I also want to make clear that we are not asking for Egypt to be given a blank check. We will stand with the new al-Sisi government as they continue to build a functioning state which respects the rights of minority religious groups and allows for a free press.”
Coptic Solidarity continues to stand with Egypt and its people, who rose against the rule of the Brotherhood, in all efforts to avoid the return of totalitarian governance. Coptic Solidarity recently hosted a two-day conference in Washington, DC titled After Arab Spring, Middle East Christians Between Local Violence and International Indifference to bring greater awareness regarding the plight of religious minorities in Egypt and throughout the region who are suffering greatly amidst the rise of Islamic extremism and instability.
Representative Rohrabacher was one of the members who addressed the conference regarding the importance of the United States supporting Egypt’s fight against terrorism and the need to a transition to support democracy and human rights. Other Caucus members who spoke at that conference include Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Representative Steve Stockman (R-TX).
Coptic Solidarity urges the Caucus to help Egypt move towards an era of human rights particularly regarding the status of the Coptic community and looks forward to serving as a resource and advocate in these efforts.