Egyptian media are full of reports on the work of the current Constituent Assembly. On November 22, Arab-West Report met with Rev. Dr. Safwāt al-Bayādī, President of the Protestant Churches in Egypt and member of the Constituent Assembly. Arab-West Report had previously attended a conference of Egyptians in One Country and Egyptians against Religious Discrimination entitled, “The Constitution of a Modern Civil State”.
Arab West Report translated the text of the Coptic Orthodox acting Patriarch Bishop Pachomius's comment on the incidents of the village Dahshūr, al-Badrāshīn Township.
Below is the full text translation of the the official statement.
[Reviewer's Note: the below name, address and postal code were mentioned in English in the official statement that is why Arab West Report did not transliterate Deir Anba Rueiss.]
[Editor: Jayson Casper attended this Coptic demonstration on July 14]
Traditionally, it is the Copts who look to America for support of their minority rights. With the Muslim Brotherhood now in the presidency, though not in full power, some Copts wonder if the United States is switching sides.
The statement of ‘looking to America’ should not be taken as normative. The Coptic Orthodox Church and most leaders of influence insist on Egyptian solutions to Egyptian problems. They believe an appeal to the West would brand Copts as traitors in their own land. Average Copts, however, often state a sentiment of longing for America – either for pressure on Cairo or as an escape through emigration.
A friend of mine asked me the other day what I think of this quote from the Economist of June 23:
‘The best way to tame the Islamists, as Turkey’s experience shows, is to deny them the moral high ground to which repression elevates them, and condemn them instead to the responsibilities and compromises of day-to-day government.’
In both his presidential campaign and inaugural addresses, President Muhammad Mursī has assured the world of Egypt’s commitment to peace. Yet in the run-up to the final election on June 14, the Muslim Brotherhood published an Arabic article calling this commitment into question.
On November 14, Isabella Pereira mailed a feature story titled, “The dirty secret behind some of Cairo’s development dreams”.
I have been on the mailing list of Amnesty International for years and appreciate much of their reporting, but I found the title of this story extremely suggestive and unbalanced.
On August 19, an opinion piece by Dr. Tariq Ghazalī Harb appeared in al-Masrī al-Yawm, a liberal Egyptian daily newspaper. The author, a surgeon, describes the Muslim Brotherhood (which he always names with negative sarcasm) as a cancer in society, and in his authoritative medical opinion the only solution for healing the body from a tumor is its complete extraction.
On April 25, 2013, Jihad Watch contributor Raymond Ibrahim (Ibrāhīm) published in Middle East Forum what he titled “Death to Churches Under Islam; A Study of the Coptic Church.” (http://www.meforum.org/3492/churches-under-islam)
On March 28, 2013 Fox News broadcast an incendiary video report entitled, ‘US Silent as Christians are Persecuted in Egypt?’ It is understood that media relies on a level of sensationalism in order to attract the viewer or reader to a story. Yet this report moves beyond sensationalism to distortion, in which elements of truth are stretched to create an impression far removed from reality.
[Diana Maher Ghali reviewed this article]
Drs. Cornelis Hulsman, General Director of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue and Arab West Report, wrote an introduction about Dr. Muhammad ‘Imārah:
He is a former leftist who turned Islamist many years ago. He is a great authority among Islamists. The figures he presents about the decline of Christianity in Europe are to a very large extent correct but he is making impossible and unfair comparisons between declining Christianity and ascending Islam in Europe.
The figures he presents of Christians are those who are attending church services. Those percentages are indeed small. But he compares that with total number of Muslims which is also done by many Islamophobes in the West to scare a Western public. If you want to make correct comparisons you have to compare between Muslims attending mosque prayers and Christians attending church services, or between people who are registered as Muslim and people who are registered as Christian. Just as with Christians many Muslims in the West are equally secular. The around one million Muslims in the Netherlands you need to compare with the around six million Christians who are registered as a church members in The Netherlands.