President Erdogan’s AKP is ideologically linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Turkey has been actively supporting the Ikhwan regionally, and its Islamist organisations are allied with the Brotherhood networks in Europe.
Muslim Brotherhood leaders have long used hateful rhetoric stirring up enmity against Egypt’s minority Coptic population.
But this incitement spilled over into a widespread campaign of pogroms, and persecution following the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt Mohammed Morsi in a popularly-backed coup in 2013.
USA Today recorded that in just one week that year 40 churches were torched and looted, while an additional 23 were attacked.
The Daily Beast recorded that the Facebook page of the Freedom and Justice (Muslim Brotherhood) Party declared the Coptic church wages a “war against Islam and Muslims,” saying “After all this, people ask why they burn the churches. For every action there is a reaction.”
US-based Coptic Solidarity, which supports the rights of Christians to live in Egypt free of persecution, wholeheartedly supports the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.
“It is time for the U.S. Government to finally acknowledge the Muslim Brotherhood for what it is; a terrorist organization whose ideology inspired all murderous Jihadist organizations in the world, and which pursues a subversive strategy to establish an Islamic caliphate worldwide,” the group said in a statement. “Indeed, the war against Islamist terrorism cannot be won without combating the ideology behind it.”
In September 2016, after a string of violent attacks against Copts by radicals incensed by Muslim Brotherhood rhetoric, Bishop Makarios of Minya spoke out.
“We are at a breaking point,” Bishop Makarios said. “People can’t put up with any more of this.”
Yet Muslim leaders within the U.S. who support the Muslim Brotherhood have lashed out against Copts for having the temerity to ask for equal rights.
Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer and activist Ayat Oraby, who has nearly 1.5 million followers on Facebook, delivered a chilling rant against Copts in October 2016, calling on Muslims to economically boycott Coptic businesses. She argued Copts are a “total mafia” which is “stockpiling weapons in churches” and “striving to create a Coptic statelet.”
She ended her rant by declaiming that “They [Copts] must learn very well that the Crescent [Islam] must be above the Cross [Christianity.]”
Her views seem to echo those of pro-Muslim Brotherhood former DHS staffer Mohammed Elibiary. He recently tweeted a justification of ISIS attacks against the Coptic community, accusing the Copts themselves of persecuting the Muslim Brotherhood.
In the past he attacked Coptic activists who stood up for themselves as bigots, tweeting “extremist American Coptic activists have nurtured anti-Islam and anti-Muslim sentiments.”