At a dinner for over 150 Christian and Jewish trusts held in late August, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey, made an extraordinary announcement: the Turkish government will return hundreds of properties confiscated from religious minori- ties since the 1930s. This is a long overdue and welcome step. With new regimes emerging in the Arab world, one might also hope it will be an example for them of the just treatment of religious minorities.
In E gypt, c onc erns about resurgent Islamism have been fueled by the new polit- ical prominence of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis. Since the fall of Mubarak, there have been attacks on the country’s reli- gious minorities. Coptic Christians have been the most frequent targets, but Sufis and other minority populations have also been harassed. In April, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended for the first time that Egypt be considered a “country of particular concern.”