Islamic law forbids Christians to build new churches: “The subject peoples … are forbidden to build new churches.” (Reliance of the Traveller, o11.5). Islamic law also forbids Christians to repair old ones. And so in this case, the Muslims who attacked the church get off scot-free, while the Christian who set up the unlicensed church is fined.
Why does the al-Sisi regime allow this glaring double standard, even as it has pledged to protect Egypt’s Christians? Either al-Sisi cannot stop this ongoing Muslim persecution of Christians, or he will not. If he cannot, then he is a weak and ineffective ruler. If he will not, it may be that he is practicing steam control, as did Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak before him. That is, despite his affirmations of support for the Christian community, he could be quietly allowing this escalating Muslim persecution as a way to placate the pro-Muslim Brotherhood elements within Egypt, and to keep them from turning in force against his regime.
Meanwhile, Christian leaders in the West largely remain silent about this ongoing persecution, so as not to harm the “dialogue” they’re enjoying with Muslim leaders that has thus far not prevented one Christian from being persecuted or one church from being attacked.