Robert George: Egypt Aid Should Be Conditional

Tuesday, 24 Sep 2013 08:40 PM

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The Obama administration should make U.S. military aid to Egypt conditional on steps taken to protect Christians from persecution there — attacks that have been "tolerated and even encouraged" by the Muslim Brotherhood, the chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said Tuesday.

Robert George, a leader of the international religious freedom movement and newly elected chairman, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" that the administration has been silent so far on the attacks on Christians in the strife-torn country.

"There’s too much silence," George said. "We're speaking out on this and we're urging our own government to take some steps to put some pressure on the Egyptian authorities to start protecting that Coptic minority . . . There are 8 million people there . . . one of the most vulnerable [groups of] people in the world to violent religious persecution. We've seen it with attacks on churches, attacks on businesses, attacks on individuals."

George said he’s not yet gotten a response to a Sept. 12 letter urging the president to speak out against the persecution not only of Coptic Christians, but of Sufis and Baha'is. He said military aid should be made conditional on the protection of the religious minority.

"What we need is for the administration to speak out, the president to speak out, and we need steps to be taken," he said.

George said the commission is concerned about the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the persecution.

"We are very concerned that Muslim Brotherhood members and leaders have tolerated and even encouraged this kind of extremist mob violence against innocent people," he said.

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