Repeatedly we hear of reports that Muslims are attacking Christians. One such recent report is a clash in Alexandria in which one Christian died from a heart attack. “A fight started between two young men, one Copt and the other Muslim, when the Copt allegedly sexually harassed the latter's sister. It is not clear from this report what this harassment entailed. The parties involved in the fight reportedly used Molotov cocktails and machine guns” (Full story here).
A number of priests and political groups participated in marches yesterday (May 18, 2013) calling for the withdrawal of confidence for President Muhammad Mursī (Mursi) in Shubrā. Estimates show that about half a million of Copts have signed the petition. This campaign is scheduled to continue until June 30 as priests are urging more Copts to sign the petition in spite of their non-interference in politics (Mustafá Sha'bān and Nuhá 'Uthmān, al-Misrīyūn, May 19, p. 3). Read original text in Arabic.
A number of Christians filed police reports to Luxor Police Station about armed robberies on their lands from gangs. Christians had doubts that the police ignored their reports because months have passed on the robberies without an action. (Muhammad ‘Abd al-Latīf al-Saghīr, al-Watan, May 14, p. 3). Read original text in Arabic.
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 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.
With the assassination of Ahmed Jaabari Israel has assassinated the opportunity for a long term ceasefire between Israel and Gaza
Dr. Khālid al-Sa'īd, spokesperson of the salafī front, denounced accusing salafists of storming a Church-owned land affiliated to the Shubrā al-Khaymah Archdiocese and calling to perform prayer in it. He was surprised from circulating these false news, according to him. While Dr. 'Isām Dirbālah, member of al-Jamā'ah al-Islāmīyah's Shūrá Council, said that the land in Shubrā is owned by a Christian who wants to build an Archdiocese without a permit. He said that al-Jamā'ah al-Islāmīyah supports the rights of non-Muslims to practice their religious rituals but legally and that is applied on all Egyptians, whether it is building a church or mosque. He added that if someone breaks the law then the state should penalize that person not individuals. (John 'Abd al-Malāk, Nuhá Lamlūm and Mahmūd Gharīb, al-Misrīyūn, November 7, 2012, p. 4)
There has been widespread condemnation of a fatwá issued by an Azhar Shaykh Hāshim Islām in which he condoned violence against those who are set to protest against the Muslim Brotherhood on August 24, 2012. Islām reasoned that “the 24 August protests are a revolution by ratters against democracy and freedom." [Update: Al-Azhar cleric encourages fighting demonstrators, sparks controversy, Author not mentioned, Egypt Independent, August 15, 2012]