22. Egypt’s Copts responding to Obama: "We are not a minority"

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22. Egypt’s Copts responding to Obama: "We are not a minority"


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pp. 32- 33
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Maryam Sadiq
Katia Saqqa
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Coptic figures express their opinion about Obama considering Copts to be a minority in Egypt.

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Sādiq presents reflections of Coptic figures on what circulated about President Obama having called Copts a "minority," and comparing them to the Maronites in Lebanon [Reviewer: See Obama’s speech on June 4, 2009. the word "minority" was not mentioned directly in reference to Copts. However, heated arguments were generated on this subject in the Egyptian media, see AWR 2009, week 23, articles 3-6]
Coptic thinker Jamāl As‘ad stated that the comparison between Copts and the Maronites in Lebanon was wrong.
Dr. Mīlād Hannā expressed his admiration of Obama’s speech; however, he considered the statement about Copts being a minority to be unacceptable, as “we [Reviewer: Christians and Muslims] are ’one fabric’”.. Dr. Hannā stated that Obama’s speech should be read in its context as a whole without analyzing certain parts away from the global context of the speech.
Former member of the People’s Assembly Siyādah Jrays stated that the statement was accidental and not intended.
Dr. Nabīl Lūqā Bibāwī, member of the Shūrà Council, stated that Copts were not really a minority in the sense Obama used, stating that Muslims and Christians are like the two wings of a bird for Egypt; both necessary for it to fly.
Dr. Jamīl Georgy, an economics expert, stated that the Copts of Egypt cannot be considered a minority when the definition of minority is taken into consideration.
Pastor Bashīr Anwar of the Evangelical Church stated that Christians in Egypt enjoy the same range of freedom of creed as Muslims.