34. AWR Daily Overview, April 3, 2012: Fears about civil state, citizenship, Coptic rights

Article summary: 

Reactions by parties, political powers and the civil society about the nomination of Engineer Khayrat al-Shātir for presidency are still shaking the country amidst fears the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) would dominate all key positions in Egypt.

Al-Jamā’ah al-Islāmīyah welcomed the decision, al-Nūr Party said it is committed to back only one Islamist candidate while al-Wasat Party and the Free Egyptians Party lashed out at the MB’s decision. [Muhammad Hijāb, Ismā’īl Jum’ah and Hānī ‘Izat, al-Ahrām, April 3, p. 5] Read original article in Arabic

Read More: 

Dr. Ahmad Sa’īd, leader of the Free Egyptians Party, said that the MB are trying to monopolize the legislative and executive branches.

Eng. Abū al-‘Ilā Mādī, leader of al-Wasat Party considered the nomination of al-Shātir as the "most dangerous wrong decision by the MB”.

Dr. ‘Ammār ‘Alī Hassan political activist and expert on Islamist movements, said that the MB, in coordination with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), are supporting the nomination of al-Shātir.

On the other hand, the Salafī Front considered the Shātir nomination as a “blow in the face” for the candidacy of Hāzim Salāh Abū Ismā’īl.

Well-informed sources said that there were controversy among young members of the MB about endorsing al-Shātir's nomination for presidency as a large sector of them supports ‘Abd al-Mun’im Abū al-Futūh. However, Dr. Salāh al-Fiqī, member of the MB’s Shūrā Council, denied.

Coptic human rights organizations warned of religious tension after the nomination of Shātir because now there are four presidential hopefuls that belong to Islamist movements. [Muhammad Hijāb, Ismā’īl Jum’ah and Hānī ‘Izat, al-Ahrām, April 3, p. 5] Read original article in Arabic

Islamic Research Academy is reviewing its decision to withdraw from the constituent assembly, based on the request of the Azhar’s Grand Shaykh.

Muhammad Mursī, the leader of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood group, and MB legislator Muhammad al-Biltājī had submitted a proposal to the Azhar’s Grand Shaykh to convince the Azhar to review its withdrawal decision.

From his part, Dr. Ahmad al-Tayyīb promised to consider the proposal and present it to the Islamic Research Academy. [Khālid Mūsá, al-Shurūq al-Jadīd, April 3, p. 4] Read original text in Arabic


Moreover, the Coptic Orthodox Church decided to withdraw its representatives form the constituent assembly because it does not represent the Egyptian society. 


The Catholic Church asked the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to reconsider the consecution panel and called it "disappointing". [ 'Imād Khalīl, al-Misrī al-Yawm, April 3, p. 7] Read original text in Arabic

[Reviewer's Note: A report of the same content was mentioned in al-Shurūq al-Jadīd, April 3, p. 4] The article has no link online

Dr. Mustafá al-Fiqī, in an opinion article in al-Ahrām, wrote that the fruits of the Arab Spring was reaped only by Islamists who reached power through parliament that was elected after the upheavals of 2011.

There was a ripple effect in other countries that did not have any revolutions but formed their new parliaments from an Islamist majority, like Morocco and Kuwait.

Islamists are either moderates or extremists and between them were several attempts to apply the Islamic Sharī’ah on societies that was long affected by the West.

They [Islamists] always say, 'You tried socialism and it did not last and nationalism finally kept a low profile. Why don’t you try Islamism and give it a chance, now that the ballot box will settle this matter!'

There were two incidents that occurred in the past four decades that will constitute the identity of Islamism which Islamists want to revive. The first was the 1979 Islamic Iranian Revolution and the second was the 9/11 attacks. We have to admit that the Islamist movements in the world are the ‘legitimate offspring’ of the Muslim Brotherhood group.

Fiqī concluded that the question is where Christians will stand in this Islamism spread.

First, Arab Christians are of Arab roots even before Islam. As for Egyptian Christians, who we can call Copts, their Egyptian descent is an addition, which means that they are partners in the Islamic Arabic civilization. Anyone who says otherwise is ignorant.

Second, the Arab Spring gave rise to Islamist movements to reach power and that is not new to Christians. They have been coexisting with the Islamic state in its different stages. But what of concern now is the religious fundamentalism that came to the surface. [Dr. Mustafá al-Fiqī, al-Ahrām, April 3, p. 11] Read original text in Arabic

Bishop Pachomius, the acting patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, said that national unity does not mean that the majority should become a dictatorship, adding what is really needed is a nation for each and every Egyptian on the grounds that every human being has the right to live in his/her home country.

“Pope Shenouda was a great journalist. His articles were comprehensive with history and knowledge,” said the caretaker patriarch during ceremonies to commemorate the late Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III at the Syndicate of Journalists.

Dr. Mahmūd ‘Azab, an advisor to the Grand Shaykh of the Azhar, said that national unity has been embodied since the 1798 French Expedition to Egypt, the 1919 Revolution and the January 25, 2011 Revolution.

“The Family House initiative was not to reconcile between Muslims and Copts but to reform the religious discourse,” said ‘Azab. [‘Imād Khalīl and Farūq al-Jamal, al-Misrī al-Yawm, April 3, p. 6] Read original text in Arabic

Coalition for Egyptian Copts and Free Maspero Copts movements staged a demonstration on the 2nd of April off the Egyptian High Court of Justice protesting the imprisonment of eight Muslims.

The imprisoned Muslims had joined protests in Shubrā on January 2011 after the blaze targeted the Two Saints Church in Alexandria.

Fādī Yūsuf, head of the coalition for Egyptian Copts, said that this demonstration is a “thank you” for those Muslims and their courageous position.

Moreover, Shaykh Abū Bakr al-Sidīq, member of the coalition, said, "I am a bearded Salafist and I am one of the founders of that coalition. I tell anyone who wants to break up the unity of Egypt that this is impossible. You can refer to religion where there is 28 hadīths that order good treatment of Egyptian Copts”. [Shādiah Yūsuf, al-Ahrām, April 3, p. 3] Read original text in Arabic

Share this