Corker, Alexander, Blunt: Attacks Against Christians In Egypt Warrant A Clear U.S. Response

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator Bob Corker, (R-Tn.), the ranking Republican member of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Senators Lamar Alexander, (R-Tn.), and Roy Blunt, (R-Mo.), said recent reports of more frequent, targeted attacks against Coptic churches and individuals in Egypt “warrants a clear U.S. response.”

They stated, “Egypt’s Christian minority and their ability to worship are in danger. The situation warrants a clear U.S. response.  We are especially troubled by reports that Egyptian authorities have failed to respond to attacks on Christians and churches, or hold perpetrators accountable,” wrote the senators. “It is our view that Egypt is part of a broader trend: religious freedoms throughout the Middle East and South Central Asia, particularly for Christians, are under assault.  The U.S. must respond to this challenge and continue to be a forceful defender of religious freedom throughout the world.  We recognize this is not an easy task.  We offer our support and stand prepared to work with you as you find ways to use U.S. influence to stop sectarian violence and end the persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt.”

Full text of the letter is included below:

Dear Secretary Kerry:

The deteriorating situation of Egypt’s Christian minority is a matter of great concern.  Documented, large-scale attacks against Christians in Maspero in October 2011, Imbaba in May 2011, and Alexandria in January 2011, resulted in dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries.  Recent reports of more frequent, targeted attacks against Coptic churches and individuals in Egypt are deeply troubling.  In the recent violent unrest and military crackdown, 38 churches, 58 Coptic-owned houses, and 85 businesses were destroyed over the course of just four days.

Egypt’s Christian minority and their ability to worship are in danger. The situation warrants a clear U.S. response.  We are especially troubled by reports that Egyptian authorities have failed to respond to attacks on Christians and churches, or hold perpetrators accountable.  Reports from international human rights groups describe an 18-hour attack on Christians in the Nagah Hassan district of Dab’iya, during which security forces, including police from Qurna and Luxor, and Central Security Forces riot police, were present at the scene but failed to take any action to stop the violence and prevent casualties.  The local security officer in charge reportedly told an international investigator that “it’s not [the police’s] job to stop killings.  We just investigate afterward.”

We know that you have recently decided to recalibrate U.S. assistance to Egypt in light of the government’s violent and heavy-handed response to ongoing protests.  As you continue to review U.S. policy towards Egypt and consider how to advance U.S. interests in this country, we ask that you speak out clearly and publicly against the cycle of violence in Egypt.  Specifically, we urge you to highlight the responsibility of interim Egyptian government to protect Coptic Christians and other minorities.  We request you indicate the specific steps the State Department is taking to reinforce this issue with the Egyptian government, as well as the specific steps the Egyptian government is taking to protect Coptic churches, communities, and individuals.  Finally, we ask that you move quickly to nominate someone with exceptional qualifications in the field of human rights and religious freedoms to be the next ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

It is our view that Egypt is part of a broader trend: religious freedoms throughout the Middle East and South Central Asia, particularly for Christians, are under assault.  The U.S. must respond to this challenge and continue to be a forceful defender of religious freedom throughout the world.  We recognize this is not an easy task.  We offer our support and stand prepared to work with you as you find ways to use U.S. influence to stop sectarian violence and end the persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt.

Sincerely,

Bob Corker

Lamar Alexander                                           

Roy Blunt


Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For May 12-18

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for May 12-18: 05-12-17 Robert Terrell Day, 25, of 7310 Standifer Gap Road, Chattanooga arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while license revoked and open container. Alexis Dane Arterburn, 20, of 6783 Sawtooth Drive, Ooltewah arrested on a charge of underage consumption. Allen Lamar Jordan, ... (click for more)

IMPROVE Act Provides $46,417,859 In Transportation Infrastructure Projects In Marion County

The Transportation Coalition of Tennessee said Wednesday that the IMPROVE Act will bring over $46 million in road projects to Marion County. The total impact for Marion County is $10,015,859 for the combined revenue to cities and counties as well as the Tennessee Department of Transportation road and bridge projects, totaling $36,402,000 from the IMPROVE Act. The three ... (click for more)

Life For Our Ancestors In 1890

May 26-27 is the 1890’s Day Jamboree in Ringgold. I encourage any reader to attend and enjoy that wonderful community. I love having grown up in Northwest Georgia and celebrating our veterans, including both of my grandfathers who served in WWII.  But I also want to describe how the 1890’s were for my ancestors, living here in a singularly turbulent time. Based on, among ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Governor Haslam, Please!

AN OPEN LETTER TO GOV. BILL HASLAM … Greetings to you, my friend. You know with one more year on the course we have sailed during your two terms as the leader of our state you will go down as one of the greatest governors we have ever had. It stands to reason you eye Lamar Alexander’s Senate seat, but whatever you do it will be hard to replicate your service to Tennessee and ... (click for more)

State Baseball Roundup: Blue Tornado Win 5-1, Get Shot At DII-2A Title

LEBANON, Tenn. – McCallie right-hander Jackson Mathis saved his very best performance for his swan song. Mathis, a senior who has decided not to pursue an extension of his baseball career while attending Auburn University, threw a four-hitter at Briarcrest on Wednesday night and led the Blue Tornado to a 5-1 win and into the TSSAA Division II-AA state championship game. ... (click for more)

Baylor Gets Offensive In Softball Win Over St. Benedict

MURFREESBORO – The two-time Division II defending state softball champion Baylor looks ready to challenge for another title. The Lady Red Raiders spotted St. Benedict an unearned run in the first inning, but came back strong to prevail by a 12-1 final in six innings. Wednesday’s win, Baylor’s 25 th against three losses, sets up a winners bracket final with arch-rival GPS, ... (click for more)