58. As President Mursī Preaches Peace, Muslim Brotherhood Sanctions Jihad

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.

48. Teaching Evangelism in Egypt

‘Should we sacrifice evangelism for coexistence, or coexistence for evangelism? This debate will concern us for the next several years.’  This quote from Rev. Andrea Zakī ended a presentation by the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cairo.

47. Vienna Community Church founded 55 years ago by Prof. Dr. Otto Meinardus

Editor: Cornelis Hulsman was asked to write the Vienna Community Church a congratulation on the occasion of their 55th anniversary of their establishment by late AWR board of advisors member Prof. Dr. Otto Meinardus. The text below was placed on the website of the VCC, http://members.aon.at/william/template-7-single-column/Voice18July.htm

46. Mursī Reinstates Egypt’s Parliament

That was fast.

After only one week in office, President Mursī has picked his first fight – he issued a decree to reinstate the dissolved parliament.

Shortly before the run-off election the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled parliament to be unconstitutional based on procedural grounds, and the military council issued a decree to dissolve it.

Mursī, now with the executive power of the presidency, has undone the decree of the council.

52. Egypt: Christians and Muslims united in social approach

One of the members of the Austrian University delegation that visited Egypt between May 23 and June 3 was Daniel Podertschnig who, following his return to Austria reported for the Catholic News Service of Austria. Cornelis Hulsman made a summary translation of his text into English for Arab-West Report.

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With the assassination of Ahmed Jaabari Israel has assassinated the opportunity for a long term ceasefire between Israel and Gaza

I eagerly read al-Ahrām's interview with Dr. Muhammad 'Imārah on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 entitled "National unity is our lifeline now". Some questions and answers in this interview whetted my curiosity.

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]

A number of websites and blogs have carried news of ‘crucifixions’ which are alleged to have taken place in Egypt on August 8, 2012. The event was appended onto a well established incident on the same day in which liberal members of the media were assaulted at the studios of Media Production City near the Cairo satellite developments of October 6 City. Those assaulted accused Muslim Brotherhood supporters of the attack and vandalism against their vehicles.

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Newsclippings from International Sources

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(Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday threw his weight behind a presidential bid by Egyptian Army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, voicing hope that ties would strengthen after the election.

Russia is looking to take advantage of strains between Cairo and Washington, which has withheld some of its annual aid to Egypt after Sisi ousted Egypt's first democratically elected president Islamist leader Mohamed Mursi last year.

Sisi, 59, has been urged to run by members of the public who reject the Islamist government he toppled, and by members of the armed forces who want a president who can face down growing political violence. Earlier this month, a Kuwaiti newspaper quoted him as saying he would run in an election expected to be held in April.

 

(Thomas Grove et al., Reuters, Feb 13, 2014) Read Original

The fall of the Mubarak regime in February 2011 unleashed a monumental and contagious wave of optimism. Images of Christians and Muslims holding hands in Tahrir Square were broadcast around the world and gave credence to the narrative that a new more liberal and democratic Egypt was being born. The truth was entirely different.

Copts were never enthusiastic about the revolution. Perhaps it was the wisdom of centuries of persecution that taught minorities the eternal lesson of survival: that the persecuting dictator was always preferable to the mob. The ruler, after all, could be bought off or persuaded to back off, or constrained by foreign powers, but with the mob, you stood no chance. Some of the Coptic youth were lured by the promise of a liberal Egypt in which their plight might finally come to an end, but the older generation knew better. The promises of January 2011 soon gave way to the reality of May, when the churches of Imbaba were attacked, and October, the time of the Maspero massacre. The complete collapse of the police and the state’s repression apparatus liberated Islamists from any constraints. On the national level, Islamists soon swept elections and dominated the political sphere, and on the local level, Islamists, much more emboldened by the rise of their brethren nationally and the collapse of the police were asserting their power on Egyptian streets and villages and enforcing their views. While their leaders such as the Muslim Brotherhood’s Deputy General Guide, Khairat El Shater, were proclaiming their goal of the “Islamization of life,” local Islamists were making that goal a reality on the ground.

 

(Samuel Tadros, Hoover Institution, Feb 4, 2014) Read original

(CNN) -- A revolution squeezed into its margins -- but that's where it started.

It is February 11, 2014. Three years ago today, I walked to Tahrir Square to celebrate the fall of a dictator. In that square, we felt everything was possible, after Mubarak's 30-year rule. It's that feeling a recent film, "The Square" tried to capture. I resisted watching this Oscar-nominated film for weeks. I was in Egypt for many of the events it portrayed, and I knew I'd be emotionally riven if the film were even partially accurate. Indeed, it was painful to watch a film that captured so many of the core emotions of the past three years, and did it so well.

The film did not portray my own memories: it mediated the emotional history of the revolution through the subjective experiences of certain key characters. They were all archetypes of the revolution. I wondered -- would the filmmakers do what so many writers on Egypt have done, and go for the easy way out, focusing on spoiled rich kids, playing revolutionary? They didn't -- the first revolutionary character, Ahmad, is hardly rich -- he's a young, middle class, average Egyptian. Another central character is Magdy -- a loyal member of the Muslim Brotherhood, the political Islamist group. Ahmad has struggled economically his whole short life -- Magdy has spent time imprisoned for his political beliefs.

(H.A.Hellyer, CNN, Feb 11, 2014) Read Original

EGYPT is struggling with an internal and violent political and social conflict which will continue to undermine domestic stability.

Its security, economy and social cohesion have been battered by a continuing tripartite struggle between the Muslim Brotherhood and its forces and supporters, the liberals and the youth who together led the popular street uprisings over the last two years. Those uprisings led to the downfall of two presidents, Hosni Mubarak (1981 to 2011) and Mohamed Morsi (June 2012 to July 2013).

The army has shifted positions in this struggle to maintain order and to protect its own significant economic interests amounting to 20 per cent of the Egyptian economy.

Recent violence, such as the explosion at the Military Intelligence Headquarters in Ismailia on October 19, 2013, is blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood.

The latest flashpoint between the four groups is the proposed ‘law on demonstrations’ which strictly regulates street protests. It is being fiercely opposed by both the liberals and the Brotherhood.

 

(Author not mentioned, World Review, Feb. 9, 2014) Read Original

(Reuters) - Egyptian leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi announced on Saturday he would be running for the presidency in a forthcoming election, enlivening a race that army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely expected to win.

Sabahi came third in the 2012 election won by Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was deposed by the army in July following mass protests against his rule.

"My personal decision as a citizen is to run for the coming presidential elections," Sabahi said in a public address to supporters. "Hamdeen Sabahi's battle is the battle of the revolution," he said.

(Tom Perry et al., Reuters, Feb 8, 2014) Read Original