Ray Hanna came to America in the late 1960s from Cairo, Egypt, with his family. As Coptic Christians, they were a minority in Egypt where Sharia law is written into the constitution, and where Islam rules. Their only hope of freedom of religion and escaping religious persecution was to come to America.
Ray knows how precious Freedom is. He cherishes his Freedom. He has never, ever taken, for granted, his right to vote. He knows all too well that in the Middle East, “democracy” is defined as: one man, one vote, one time.
• They had witnessed 80,000 to 100,000 Jews exiled in 1967 under the Nasser régime.
• They had witnessed what happens when a totalitarian regime takes control—the gradual erosion of freedom and individual rights. That’s what Hitler did to the Jews in Nazi Germany. That’s what radical Islam and Sharia law was doing to ALL non-Muslims in Egypt—both Christians and Jews alike.
One defining moment for Ray’s family came in 1996 when both Easter and the Muslims’ Ramadan coincided on the calendar. In celebration, the Egyptian government issued pickled fish to everyone. However, the Christians only were given fish that was tainted, contaminated. Ray saw 3 family members die and 27 become hospitalized.
Sept. 11, 2001 was the tipping point for Ray. That’s when Ray knew that Islamic jihad had come to America. Searching for an organization to join none were to be found until 2008 when he joined ACT for America, the largest national security grassroots movement in the U.S. that today has over 200,000 members and more than 800 chapters. Ray has been serving as the Boston Chapter leader ever since.
ActBoston and other New England Act chapters have been working with Christians and Jews United for Israel since 2010. In January 2014 Ray joined their Board of Directors, and in October of 2014 became president. ActforAmerica taught Ray the importance of supporting and standing for Israel. Now Ray leads one of the most important organizations in New England in the fight against anti-Semitism, the BDS movement, and the vitriolic narrative that is rising on university campuses all over the USA.