Nadia Ghaly’s cousin disappeared 40 years ago. She was introduced to a Muslim man as a young woman, subsequently vanished and resurfaced later three months pregnant wearing a hijab. She was the victim of a forced marriage.
She is not alone. Coptic Christian women are routinely victimized and forcibly converted by Muslims in Egypt, Miss Ghaly says.
In its annual Religious Freedom Report, released July 30, the U.S. State Department acknowledged the problem, but at the same time appeared to downplay it. The report described forcible conversions as “disputed,” asserting that while there were “occasional claims” of Muslim men forcing Coptic women (and sometimes girls younger than legal age) to convert to Islam, these accounts “often included inflammatory allegations and categorical denials of kidnapping and rape.”