Media Statement from Leader of the Opposition, The Hon. Tony Abbott MHR, regarding the Anti-Coptic Violence in Egypt.
ANTI-COPTIC VIOLENCE IN EGYPT
The Coalition is concerned that Egypt’s Copts continue to face great stress.
In the latest incident, on 7 April, a funeral at Cairo’s St Mark’s Coptic cathedral for four Copts killed in sectarian violence came under attack resulting in a further death and many injuries.
Tragically, the collapse of the Mubarak regime has led to increased violence against Egypt’s Coptic community. Since then, Copts around the world, including the tens of thousands in Australia, have been increasingly anxious about the difficult situation faced by members of their faith in Egypt.
As I said at a major prayer vigil in Sydney in October 2011, a democracy must be judged not by how effectively it implements the will of the majority but how effectively it protects of the rights of the minority.
The Australian government should impress on the Egyptian authorities, including through a statement, its concerns about the situation of Egypt’s Coptic community and urge the country’s leaders to establish a fully democratic political system which protects the rights of minorities.
For the Coalition, nothing less is acceptable.
11 April 2013