CAIRO (BP) -- Islamic extremists and criminals are extorting Christians in Egyptian towns, while trouble brews over the country's new protest law and constitution.
According to Morning Star News, a news service reporting on the persecuted church, Islamist radicals in several Egyptian towns have begun a campaign of terrorism and extortion against Christians.
Muslim extremists in a number of towns are demanding Christians pay the jizya, a Quran-based fine on non-Muslims known as the "humiliation" or "submission" tax. Human rights activists told Morning Star News that radicals and ordinary criminals have started a cottage industry from extorting Christians. They threaten kidnapping, torture and murder to seize money and property from Christians mainly in southern Egypt.
"What you are dealing with now is some criminals attacking Christians -- Christians who own shops and things like that," Mina Thabet, founding member of the Maspero Youth Union, told Morning Star News, adding that Islamists see persecuting Christians as a religious duty.