The so-called Islamist Powers Coalition called for sacking Muftī of the Republic Dr. 'Alī Jum'ah after his recent visit to al-Quds (Jerusalem) and that he has to offer apology for the Muslim nation after questioning the senior Muslim cleric, a government official affiliated with the cabinet, in parliament. [Author Not Mentioned, al-Ahrām, April 21, p. 4] Read original text in Arabic
The coalition had issued a statement on Friday (April 20) in which it emphasized that the Palestinian issue is an Islamic one, adding the war over the lands of Palestine is a religious war fuelled by historical hatred.
"Giving up the sanctities of Muslims is just a betrayal of Allāh, His Prophet and the believers. Muslim clerics and scholars have concurred on the notion that the liberation of Palestine will be strictly by fighting the usurping Jews and that any conduct recognizing the Jews' possession of the lands is against the faith," the coalition said in its statement.
The coalition comprises the Islamic Legitimate Body of Rights and Reformation (ILBRR), the Salafī Da'wah (Call) Shūrá Council, Muslim Brotherhood, Ansār al-Sunnah al-Muhammadīyah, the al-Jamā'ah al-Islāmīyah (Islamic Group), the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), al-Nūr Party, al-Wasat Party, al-Asālah (Authenticity), Building and Development and Islāh (Reform) Party as well as 83 Azhar, Brotherhood and Salafī scholars. [Author Not Mentioned, al-Ahrām, April 21, p. 4] Read original text in Arabic
Dr. Yūsuf al-Qaradāwī, Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), slammed the visit paid by Shaykh Jum'ah to Jerusalem, adding in a statement on Thursday (April 19) that he had given a fatwá "religiously prohibiting any visits to the holy city under Zionist occupation". [Yahyá 'Askar, al-Misrī al-Yawm, April 21, p. 8] Read original text in Arabic
Acting patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church Bishop Pachomius discussed with some Coptic human rights activists and law experts the position of the church in the constitution-drafting panel and listened to their views on Egypt's new constitution.
Bishop Pachomius underlined the importance of cooperation between the clergymen and laymen in solving all problems through continued dialogue. [Author Not Mentioned, Akhbār al-Yawm, April 21, p. 4] Read text in Arabic
Bishop Pachomius had received on Friday (April 20) renowned Egyptian cardiologist Majdī Ya'qūb at the Saint Mark Cathedral in the Cairo district of al-'Abbāssīyah, who visited the papal seat to offer condolences over the death of Pope Shenouda III. [Ashraf Sādiq, al-Ahrām, April 21, p. 4] Read original text in Arabic
Bishop Bīsantī of Helwan and al-Ma'sarah said the Coptic Orthodox Church has not so far forged a position regarding the presidential candidates, dismissing media reports that claimed the church was going to back a candidate from the "fulūl" (remnants of the former regime).
"The church has not interfered in political affairs. It leaves all citizens to freely choose whoever they see fit to run the country. We just pray that God grants to Egypt a leader who would restore peace and prosperity," said Bishop Bīsantī in an interview with al-Hurīyah wal-'Adālah, the mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP). [Author Not Mentioned, al-Hurīyah wal-'Adālah, April 21, p. 10] Read text in Arabic
Last March's attack by Algerian-descent Frenchman Mohamed Merah in the French city of Toulouse, which left seven people killed, before the police killed the assailant in a gunfight, has overshadowed the election battle in France, bringing to the forefron home security as a central election issue.
Rightist incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy has used the issue to tip his scale in the election race, in which he lags behind his socialist contender François Hollande.
Sarkozy focused his efforts on issues of vital importance to the far right in France in order to get their votes, on top of which were security, immigration and Islam, as observers said Sarkozy has capitalized much on the Toulouse attack to court voters.
Sarkozy's government had launched a crackdown on "hard-line Islamists," arresting 20 people, particularly in Toulouse, and pledged more detentions of "sympathizers with Islamist extremists". [Ghādah Hamdī, al-Misrī al-Yawm, April 21, p. 12] Read original text in Arabic