Coptic Solidarity has released a new report entitled ‘Jihad of the Womb’: Trafficking of Coptic Women & Girls in Egypt. Most of Egypt’s Christian community are Coptic Orthodox. The report details Egypt’s obligations regarding human rights, specifically as it relates to trafficking, and compares with Egypt’s record as it relates to the Christian community. It finds Egypt has significant culpability in the trafficking of Christian women.
Christian women and girls are often targeted by Islamic extremists. They are either kidnapped, or tricked into a relationship with a Muslim man. In both cases, the outcome is complete separation from their family, a forced conversion to Islam, and often a forced marriage to a different Muslim man. The police often fail to investigate these cases or to hold the perpetrators accountable.
It is difficult to know accurate statistics on how widespread these incidents are although these problems are widely reported in several Christian communities, mostly in Upper Egypt. A failure of accurate police documentation is one reason, as well as police intimidation towards families who speak publicly about their missing relative. Additionally, some Christian women and girls enter into a legitimate relationship with a Muslim man, but the shame of this relationship sometimes leads the family to discuss it as a kidnapping. However, the police often use this narrative as an excuse to not investigate legitimate cases of trafficking.