43. the Coptic crisis

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The author believes that the Copts are not politically discriminated against. Most of the problems facing the Copts are due to the prevailing cultural atmosphere in Egyptian society and the passiveness of the Copts themselves.

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The author says that the problems related to the Copts in Egypt take place every now and then; it seems that they are activated even more when the President’s visit to America is close. He adds that no one knows whether the file of the Copts’ problems is dealt with in accordance with a specific vision or depending on each official and his own vision. Moreover, he says that he cannot find an explanation for some of the discord between some of the governors [Reviewer: Egypt is divided into governorates, each of which has a governor] and Pope Shenouda although he does not agree with the political role played by the church.
Afterwards, the author says that some incidents are being manipulated and exaggerated, causing harm to Egyptian society in the first place before the political system. For instance, the dispute that took place between al-Wafd party and Dr. Fathī Surūr the Speaker of the People’s Assembly due to the statements of the latter to the BBC, according to the author, did not deserve all the fuss that happened. .Musallam adds that no one denys that Surūr deals fairly with the Copts inside the council, and that he does not believe that the fact that Copts prefer business over politics is because of political discrimination against them, particularly as most Copts who do engage in politics are businessmen.
Musallam notes that neither the governing National Democratic Party nor the opposition parties field significant numbers of Copts in elections, with the sole exception of the National Progressive Unionist Party [Reviewer: a left-wing opposition party].
Besides, the author stresses that he believes that there is no single Copt who felt any sort of political discrimination against him and moved to business. That Copts do not win in the People’s Assembly with a large percent, according to him, isdue to the prevailing cultural atmosphere; all people talk about the necessity of supporting the Copts but do not actually apply this. This comes in addition to the passiveness of the Copts themselves in participating as voters in the general elections.
Finally, the author emphasizes that the Coptic crisis requires a wise and calm dialogue in which all the different political trends participate far from the verbal disputes which help to ignite the state of fitnah; the crisis would be only solved through dialogue which helps change the culture itself.

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