By Jesse Petrilla,

I recently returned to the United States from Egypt where I was on a fact-finding mission to see what life is like for non-Muslims who live under Islam. What I saw was a dire situation of oppression and discrimination that many in America and the West have all but ignored.

I went to Egypt because I wanted to learn what life would be like if our enemies and their allies succeeded in getting their way. What I saw was an example of the harsh life in store for future American generations in Islamic-dominated regions of the U.S. if we do not work to bring attention to Islamic oppression now at this critical time in history.

My journey began on an EgyptAir flight out of JFK. I was a bit surprised, to say the least, when the in-flight video came on prior to departure and instead of the usual safety video, a picture of a mosque flickered on and a deep-toned recorded voice came on reciting Islamic prayers out of the Koran. I’ve flown on Israeli airline El Al a number of times as well as hundreds of other global and U.S. airline companies, and I have never experienced a Christian prayer or a Jewish prayer on a flight, and could only imagine the reaction of Americans if an airline carrier were to try. Regardless of the policies and logic of other airlines, apparently a Muslim-owned airline feels it fit to assume that all its passengers desire to hear a Muslim prayer, regardless of their faith. The safety video followed and my journey had begun. I was on my way to Cairo and Alexandria to get a feeling of what life was like there for non-Muslims.

The first day, I visited old Cairo. Walking through the alleyways, I visited the many ancient churches there. As I rounded a corner I came upon an old synagogue. Excited to find and learn the experiences of Jews who live there, I entered only to be greatly disappointed and utterly disgusted when I saw the synagogue was filled with hijab-clad Muslim women selling trinkets and postcards inside. It’s a museum that I can only assume the government uses to show its “tolerance.” I overheard the tour guides speaking of how there “were once Jews here,” and I was told that there is only one other synagogue in the city. It makes you wonder if someday there will be regions of America with a museum of the last or second to last synagogue or church. Irritatingly, the Egyptian police refuse to allow anyone to take any photos or video at all of the synagogue either inside or out, and they threatened to take my camera if I questioned their rule.

As I continued through the streets, the afternoon call to prayer began to broadcast from a local mosque, then another mosque, then a third, until the deafening sound of thousands of loudspeakers from mosques all over the city pierced through the air with the call of Allah akbar followed by Koranic verses.

I recalled how in several American cities including Dearborn, Michigan, sound ordinances have begun to be overturned to allow this to occur in America. I made my way to meet with a friend who is an activist for human rights in Egypt. He showed me the Egyptian constitution which in article II states that sharia (Islamic) law shall be “the principal source of legislation.” This clause goes for everyone in the nation regardless of faith. My friend told me the stories and showed me photos of young Christian girls who had been kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam, and threatened with death, and their families threatened if they ever convert back. After several days in Cairo, my journey continued to Alexandria where I would visit several churches which had been attacked in recent years.

On the train to Alexandria, we passed through rural villages where I noticed vast amounts of hay on the roofs of many village homes. Our guide told us that the livestock sleep in the house with the people at night. Jokingly I asked if the women sleep out in the stable, but I didn’t receive a definitive answer on that one. It was about this time that I realized the majority of the men everywhere I went had a small round bruise on their forehead reminiscent of something out of the book of Revelation. My guide told me that it was from hitting their head on the floor when praying. He also told me that in Egypt specifically, and perhaps elsewhere, some men heat up a metal spoon in a fire and stick it on their forehead to accentuate the bruise. It seems you aren’t cool unless you have the mark.

As we stepped off the train in Alexandria, a police officer approached and told my Egyptian Coptic friend that he did not have a license to be my guide, desiring a bribe before he would leave us alone. This had not been the first time in the trip that a cop came up looking for money. It seemed every time I took out my camera, a police officer would show up to tell me I couldn’t take any pictures and I would have to pay him a nominal fine. Usually the officer would not be looking for a bribe of more than ten or twenty dollars, and thankfully our guide was able to talk officers out of it the majority of the time.

We went to a local hotel where I turned on the television to see the Statue of Liberty in flames. I changed the channel only to see a video clip of a small child crying with her arms in the air, spliced in with images of U.S. soldiers. The video cut to a bleeding boy lying on the ground — an obvious piece of anti-American propaganda. Interestingly enough, to the right of the boy in the video you could see a U.S. medic helping the injured child, no doubt hurt by Jihadist terrorists, but you certainly wouldn’t know that from the theme of the video.

Our first stop in Alexandria was the Church of St. George, the site of a brutal attack in 2005 where a Muslim in his early 20s entered as a prayer service was finishing. He shouted Allah akbar and stabbed a nun in the chest with a knife. Several days after the stabbing, an angry Muslim mob also attacked the church, brandishing sticks and throwing rocks at the Christians. Numerous cars and Christian-owned businesses in the area were torched, and in the end, three people were dead from the violence, all of it being sparked by unsubstantiated reports about a theatrical production that occurred at the church which was rumored to have offended Islam.

I attended a prayer service there, and every 15 seconds over loudspeakers aimed at the church from the mosque next door, the Muslims were yelling at the Christians. Allah akbar! Allah akbar! they would yell among other things in an attempt to disrupt the prayer. This was entirely outside of the five daily calls to prayer which come over the same loudspeaker. It was intimidation designed entirely to disrupt Christian prayer, and stopped as soon as everyone left after the service was over. I took a short video of the incident, and posted it on YouTube.

My next stop was the Church of All Saints. When I arrived, I saw a large mosque directly across the street and another on the other block. This was the same case with the previous church I had visited, and my guide explained that as soon as they built the church, mosques went up all around it. Yet today it has become nearly impossible to get a permit in the country to construct a new church anywhere. The Church of All Saints was another site of an attack which occurred in 2006 where a Jihadist entered and began stabbing churchgoers while yelling the familiar phrase Allah akbar. In all, he attacked three churches that day, critically wounding many and killing a 78-year-old man. Yet the government dismissed him as only an isolated mentally ill madman.

I met with many people during my trip, and I learned a great deal about what it is like to live as a minority under Islam. I spoke with a priest who told me how he can see the younger generation of Christians there becoming more and more Islamized. I spoke with a man who told me how his young Christian children are taught in public schools there that they are going to hell if they do not become Muslims. I saw brutal intimidation and oppression, and a life dictated by Islamic law that many Americans don’t realize but are slowly beginning to see. Before we left, our guide showed us his ID card which had a glaring number 2 in the corner. He told me that Christians are required to have that number on their IDs. I asked if Muslims were required to have a number as well. “Yes,” he responded. “Number 1.”

In my visit to Egypt I saw a place rampant with police brutality and corruption, where non-Muslims are second-class citizens at best, who are brutally victimized on a daily basis. All this in a nation which is a popular U.S. tourist spot, and has been the recipient of American aid in excess of $28 billion in the last three decades.

Jesse Petrilla is the founder of The United American Committee (UAC), a federation of concerned Americans promoting awareness of threats to Homeland Security, primarily focusing on Islamic extremism in America.

2 thoughts on “A Non-Muslim Visits Egypt

  • This is so sad….not just because of the threat it obviously poses, but because of all it represents or is reminiscent of the Christian Churches….
    If ONLY we Christians had taken such a stand that people WANTED to pray and were allowed, encouraged and even LED in prayer in public environments (with no repercussions naturally for those who choose not to)….
    On a more bleak note…how many missionarys, crusades,etc also threated conversion or die… (not following Jesus’ teachings, but to the world, the “church” and those who claim to represent it are one and the same as someone who truly tries to be Christ like and KNOWS that Jesus would NOT condone such behavior) How many still equate Christian with Islam because we believe that Jesus IS the only way and that those who choose to not believe will not go to heaven? (Not saying that this is not accurate, Jesus is the only way, but just want to show how, to an outsider -a non or other religiously oriented person, we may appear to be no different.

    As a result of those who represented the church, how many Jews were given lowest class citizen status and harassed, had synagogues burned down, etc in the days of Martin Luther? Yes,something good came of it…the bible was made available to all…yes something good came of the Holocaust…Israel regained her land, her language and her strenght in being united with her people….but sadly while God kept His promise of Romans 8:28, bringing good out of evil, the impact of church as aa perpetrator of evil is almost as pronounced as it is an example of the love of Christ – esp. to a non-believing world.

    I mean, look at why so many Jews want nothing to do with Christians…
    can you blame them?….even all the Christians who have fallen away from their faith….so many I know did so because of the condemnation they faced….In the 70’s a friend of mine left her alcoholic, abusive husband with her two little children…an infant and a 2 year old. (Her husband was a police officer who had a gun collection that he would clean and threaten them with when he had been drinking -she left in fear of her life and her children’s lives) She said the churches were very unkind to her telling her that as a divorcee, she was sinning, even refusing all but some initial and minimal help with the children (some clothing, food,etc) for about a month, but when she refused to try to reunite with her husband (who was still a blazing alcoholic and had no intention of changing) they stopped helping her and turned a cold shoulder. She tried several churches/denominations and then gave up and went it alone as best she could. She is ONE example of the many.

    Thankfully today some of that has changed…perhaps TOO MUCH in the OPPOSITE direction – premarital sex, living together before marriage divorce, abortion, etc are accepted without comment and counceling…these life decisions are often not even DISCOURAGED, they are IGNORED! The point is that when people respond as Jesus did, with LOVE, giving assistance, guiding, teaching and offering options, most will turn from their past because they found something BETTER!

    I’d recently mentioned to a Jewish friend that Ahmadinijad (sp?) is trying to push for global jihad because according to the beliefs of Islam, this must happen before their mahadi can return. He said, “Well, how is that different from the Christians?? They have to convert the world before Jesus can return?” Astonished at his question (and grateful he felt comfortable to ask it) I replied,
    “Christians do not have to CONVERT the world and are NOT to force conversions. Anyone who has done so, was not following scripture as opposed to Islam who’s Koran condones the violence. Christians are to give the whole world the OPTION of knowing about Jesus and choosing for themselves. They need to make people AWARE, but ultimately only the Holy Spirit can convert their heart….that is not something we are responsible for nor is it to be our focus.”
    I think I lost him there because I’m not sure he understands the “Holy Spirit” (whole trinity thing)…but he changed the topic,
    and I did not want for him to feel pressured, so I left it go. Hopefully it was a seed planted. He seemed totally surprised at my reply however. (He is a very very GOOD man and would not choose to believe the worst about anyone, so it shows how we appear to even those who perhaps have spiritual thirst – even on an intellectual level)

    THIS REPLY IS ***NOT*** IN DEFENSE of ISLAM….It’s threat is all too real and all too far reaching….

    I’m just saddened in how, if I were not a person who came to love the Lord and was able to differentiate “church” from God Himself, I might see more SIMILARITIES than Differences in this story.

  • Jess,
    I could not stop my tears dropping down when I red your stories about Egypt. Everything you saw is totally true and happens in regular bases every day.
    However, the situation is much worth than you saw.
    Let me share one of my stories as an Egyptian loved in this country for my whole life. I attended a public elementary school for 6 years and I was the only Christian child in a class of 45 kids for the whole 6 years. The school did not like to afford hiring a teacher to teach Christian religious as it is required in all schools to teach religion ( either Islam for Muslims or Christianity for Christians. The As a result, the school forced me to attend the Islamic religion classes and memorize Quran. No question if I come without memorizing the required verses of Quran, my teacher punished me physically to learn how I should do my home work and memorize Quran.
    Moreover, I remember that I had no friends in the school and always was seen alone. Do not think I am introvert; I am very extrovert and social. But the reason all kids decided that do not play with Christian because they are infidels ( eat pork and drink alcohol as their parents touch them). I was very familiar to be rejected to share a game or talk with others or even be called names.
    You can not imagine how much damage that caused for my life and personality.

    The mosques are not only next to churches, also they are inside Christian homes. The Immam of the mosque located down my building, where i live in Egypt, excused my dad to hang the horn for the “Ead” prayer in our balcony; just for three days. They left it for 9 years. Every time my father asked them to have mercy, they promised to take it off but never happened. Eventually, they decided to take it off to hang it in the light tower just if front of us and added another horn.

    You can see some of these terrible things in the UK now. I am tilling you “America next” if Americans do not give attention to that danger.

    Thank you for sharing that.

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