34. Al-Fajr and the Supreme Council of Journalism

Article summary: 

Labīb criticizes an al-Fajr article that casted doubt on the authenticity of the apparition of the Holy Virgin Mary in 1968. He highlighted the perils of such discussions and called on the Supreme Council of Journalism to be attentive and deal carefully with such transgressions.

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[Reviewer: to read the al-Fajr article in full see article 9 in this issue of AWR]
Labīb responds to an article that was published in al-Fajr of March 25, 2008 under the headline: ’The Virgin Mary did not transfigure; we made her transfigure.’ He opposes the referendum called for by al-Fajr, that published questions about whether people believed in the transfiguration of the Holy Virgin, or whether they are waiting for another apparition of the Virgin.
Labīb criticized the subject and described it as “the art of manufacturing a sectarian atmosphere.” Labīb believes that the article, that was written by Muhammad al-Bāz, only expresses its author opinion. He believes that the questions seek to create ready made answers that serve to cast doubt on the miraculous apparition of the Holy Virgin over al-Zaytūn Church in 1968. The questions also do not respect the religious beliefs of Copts. Labīb, moreover, believes that the questions imply that the political regime at that time used the church to ease people’s frustration after the 1967 defeat.
Labīb criticized the discussion of such a subject in newspapers and highlighted the possible dangerous reactions that could add fuel to the already tense sectarian atmosphere in Egypt.
Labib argued that at a time when everyone is calling for more peaceful coexistence it is useless to deal with the symptoms and neglect the origin of the problem. He referred to the attacks against Father Zakaria and other people who might react in a way that they think is suitable to create more tension.
He called on the Supreme Council of Journalism to be attentive in dealing with these issues, highlighting the perils that similar arguments could have on the stability of the country.

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