Mr. Speaker, Coptic Christians in Egypt face persecution and discrimination. As the Arab spring unfolded in Egypt with people from all religious faiths joining together to overthrow the tyranny of Hosni Mubarak, the future looked brighter for Christians in Egypt. Unfortunately, under the new military government in Egypt, religious extremists seem to be able to carry out attacks on Christians and their churches with impunity. In the most recent attack, a Coptic church in upper Egypt was burned by religious extremists. When there was no reaction from the authorities, frustrated Copts gathered in Cairo's Maspero neighbourhood to protest the partial demolition of the church in Aswan province and call for the removal of the province's governor for failing to protect the church.
Army units fired on demonstrators with a resulting death toll of 25, most of whom were Copts, and scores were injured. Videos showed an armoured personnel carrier running people down. There could not have been a more callous expression of disregard by the Egyptian armed forces for the lives of Egyptian Christians.
Therefore, I am seeking unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:
That this House condemn the attacks on Egyptian Coptic Christians and their institutions; call on the Egyptian Government to ensure that the perpetrators of the attacks be brought to justice and bear the full weight of the law; and, ask the United Nations Human Rights Commission to investigate the plight of Egyptian Coptic Christians and issue a report on its findings.