38. AWR Daily Overview, May 11, 2012: No more discrimination between Copts, Muslims, says ‘Awā

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Copts are partners in the nation for 14 centuries now and there will be no more discrimination between Muslims and Copts as both will be equal in the eye of the law, said presidential candidate Dr. Muhammad Salīm al-‘Awā at the Mar Girgis Church in Kūm Hamādah, al-Beheira governorate on Thursday (May 10). [Tāmir ‘Abd al-Ra’ūf and Nādir Mahmūd Tammān, al-Ahrām, May 11, p. 4] read original text in Arabic

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‘Awā, in an interview to al-Mihwar channel on Wednesday (May 9), said if he won the presidency, he would do his best to implement the Islamic sharī’ah because it is “the umbrella that cover all segments of the Egyptian people”. [Muhammad Gharīb and Ibtisām Ta’lab, al-Misrī al-Yawm, May 11, p. 6] Read original text in Arabic

Grand Shaykh of the Azhar Dr. Ahmad al-Tayīb said the Egyptian people are now free to choose their representatives like the case with the recent parliamentary elections and the forthcoming presidential elections, adding the people who can elect a president can as well sack him.

“We have no future fears about dictatorship and autocracy that have been the cause of our suffering for a long time,” said Tayīb during his meeting on Thursday (May 10) with Bernardino León, the European Union special representative for North Africa and the Middle East and an accompanying delegation headed by EU ambassador in Cairo James Moran. [Dīyā’ Abū al-Safā, al-Akhbār, May 11, p. 5] Read original text in Arabic

Dr. Safwat al-Bayādī, the head of the Coptic Evangelical Church in Egypt, said he would support a candidate who will put the nation’s interest as his top priority and separate between his religious affiliations and the homeland’s public good.

I would not refuse a pious president who is fair to all regardless of the difference in religions but I would, however, refuse a candidate who mixes politics with religion just for the sake of achieving personal or partisan interests,” said Bayādī during an interview with al-Akhbār newspaper.

Dr. Bayādī thanked Grand Shaykh of the Azhar Dr. Ahmad al-Tayīb for adding a phrase in his proposed paper to Article 2 of the Egyptian Constitution that allows non-Muslims to have recourse to their religious laws on matters of personal status, adding this phrase will definitely spare Copts any clashing with the judiciary like the case during the past years. [Husnī Mīlād, al-Akhbār, May 10, p. 13] Read original text in Arabic

The Cairo Court of Appeal on Thursday (May 10) set the July 2 session to start the trial of Michael ‘Ādil Najīb Faraj and Michael Mus’ad Shākir, aka Midhat Shākir on charges of involvement in the October 9, 2011 incidents outside the state radio & TV building in Maspero area that left dozens killed or wounded.

The prosecution had referred Faraj and Shākir to the criminal court on charges of stealing weapons owned by the armed forces and released 29 others for lack of sufficient evidence. [‘Alī Muhammad ‘Alī, al-Ahrām, May 11, p. 37] Read original text in Arabic

The committee receiving applications for the new pope elections, in a four-hour meeting on Wednesday (May 9) under acting patriarch Bishop Pachomius, agreed to continue receiving papers of candidates to succeed Pope Shenouda III until the end of this month. [Ashraf Sādiq, al-Ahrām, May 11, p. 6] Read original text in Arabic

Bishop Marqus of Shubrā al-Khaymah and the spokemsan for the committee registering voters in the election of a new pope for the Coptic Orthodox Church, said the committee has been working for four days, adding the registration was closed on Friday due to recent calls to stage mass protests in several squares of Cairo.

He added that the committee has not yet taken any decisions regarding the Coptic Orthodox Churches outside Egypt as far as eligible voters are concerned.

A source in the committee said that the final list of candidates – 16 in number so far – will be announced on Wednesday (May 16). [‘Abd al-Wahāb Sha’bān, al-Wafd, May 11, p. 1] Read text in Arabic

Meanwhile, presidential candidate Khālid ‘Alī said that his electoral platform rests on the principle of enhancing social justice, fighting poverty, maintaining the free-of-charge education principle and making good use of all material and human resources available.

‘Alī said he will appoint three vice presidents – a young man, a Copt and a woman, adding youths will make 50% of his government while the 50% others will be advisors in all state institutions. [Author Not Mentioned, al-Shurūq al-Jadīd, May 11, p. 7] Read text in Arabic

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