It had the feel of a victory lap, albeit short and quick.
More than 85 Egyptian Christians have rejected what Revd. Jerry Falwell said about the Prophet Muhammad being a terrorist. Three members of the Egyptian parliament have asked the prime minister to issue a decree to the effect of not allowing the enemies of Islām and those who disgrace Prophet Muhammad into Egypt.
Al-Akhbar reports that more than 85 Egyptian Christians, including journalists, artists, lawyers and university professors, have signed a statement in which they condemned and rejected what minister Jerry Falwell said about the Prophet Muhammad being a terrorist. Under the title ?Coptic intellectuals reject Falwell?s racism against Islām,? al-Arabi gives details of the content of the statement. The statement describes Falwell as an ?Extremist right wing member who, for over 30 years now, has been attacking Arabs and Muslims and even Christians who disagree in thought with him.? The statement adds that Falwell is known for his support for Israel in a way that is not in accordance with the Christian faith. Signatories of the statement believe that Falwell?s attack on Islām and its prophet violates the law of religious freedom issued by the USA. They also stressed that the Prophet Muhammad is not at all as Falwell described him. In an article titled ?Honest Christians have said their word,? Zein al-Abedine al- Rekabi of Asharq al-Awsat comments on the statement of Egyptian Copts. He writes: ?Honest Christians everywhere have the right to declare themselves innocent from the statements of this minister [Falwell] and his likes.? Al-Rekabi also reported an editorial of the Washington Post on October 6, 2002, titled ?Slandering Islām.? The text criticizes Bush?s silent attitude towards the ?agressive and fanatic? statements of some conservative religious leaders. Al-Usbua and al-Liwa? al-Islami approach Christian clergymen and prominent figures, asking them their opinion concerning Falwell?s statement. Reverend Ekram Lama?i, president of the High Synod of the Evangelical Church in Egypt, says that Falwell?s attack on Islām and the Prophet Muhammad is the outcome of the attempts of Zionist groups to penetrate Christianity in America. Bishop Yohanna Qulta, deputy Catholic Patriarch of Egypt, says: ?According to the Bible, anyone who says [to his brother] ?you fool? will be in danger of the fire of hell. What is the case then with a person who speaks about the prophet of Islām in such a way?? Bishop Marcos, representative of the Orthodox Church in the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), points out that the MECC rejected Falwell?s statement and declared that it has nothing to do with the Christian religion. Christian intellectual, Dr. Milad Hanna, agrees with Rev. Lama?i that Falwell?s statement is the outcome of the Zionist penetration of Christianity in America. Dr. Hanna calls upon Arab Christians to play a cultural bridge between Islām and the West. They can explain to the West the reality of Islām and face the [Western] extremist trend [represented by Falwell and his likes]. Well-known Coptic thinker Ghali al-Zahabi, says: ?Falwell?s attacks on Islām and the Prophet is a deliberate offense that can be made either by someone who is ignorant of Islām or someone who is hired by Zionist groups.? Dr. Nabil Luqa Bebawi, professor of Law, says: ?Terrorism has no religion and no homeland. He who accuses Islām and Muslims of terrorism serves dirty political interests.? Finally, Asharq al-Awsat reports that three members of the Egyptian parliament have asked the prime minister to issue a decree to the effect of not allowing ?the enemies of Islām and those who disgrace Prophet Muhammad? into Egypt. The three parliamentary members belong to the Brotherhood, the Nasserist Party and the al-Wafd Party. They have asked the prime minister to give instructions to Egyptian embassies and consulates not to issue entry visas for anyone known for attacking Islām.