9. AWR Daily Overview, June 10, 2012: Bishop Pachomius names 12 clergymen, public figures for constitution panel

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Acting patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church Bishop Pachomius sent a list of 12 Christian clergymen and public figures to represent the church at the constituent assembly that will write a new constitution for Egypt. [Ashraf Sādiq, al-Ahrām, June 10, p. 3] Read original text in Arabic

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The list included Bishop Mūsá of Youth, Bishop Marqus of Shubrā al-Khaymah, Coptic business magnate Najīb Sawirus, Counselor Munsif Sulaymān and former People's Assembly member Georgette Qilīnī. [Ashraf Sādiq, al-Ahrām, June 10, p. 3] Read original text in Arabic

The Egyptian churches will be represented in the panel with four seats – two for the Coptic Orthodox Church, one for the Coptic Evangelical Church and one for the Coptic Catholic Church. ['Imād Khalīl, al-Misrī al-Yawm, June 10, p. 5] Read original text in Arabic

The Azhar prepared an initial list of its representatives on the panel, as the names included the former Muftī of the Republic and incumbent member of the Islamic Research Academy Dr. Nasr Farīd Wāsil and senior advisor to the Grand Shaykh of the Azhar, Dr. Hassan al-Shāf'ī.. [Author Not Mentioned, al-Ahrām, June 10, p. 3] Read original text in Arabic

The National Council for Women (NCW) under Ambassador Mirvat al-Talāwī is considering rules for female nominations on the constituent assembly, on top of these women come Counselor Tahānī al-Jibālī, Vice President of the Supreme Constitutional Court, and others.

Talāwī said the NCW hopes that women get 30% of the constitution-drafting assembly seats. [Amīrah Salāh al-Dīn, al-Ahrām, June 10, p. 3] Read original text in Arabic

Bishop Pachomius is announcing within days the rules for selecting voters in the Coptic parishes abroad to participate in the election of the 118th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church, said Bishop Marqus.

These parishes are located in six areas in America and two in Canada but the names of their candidates have not arrived yet, he added. [Husnī Mīlād, al-Akhbār, June 10, p. 3] Read original text in Arabic

The ministry of justice rejected a draft law criminalizing hatemongering on the basis of religion, sex, language, culture or ethnicity on the grounds that the proposed draft is already covered in the penal code articles 160, 161, 161-bis, 171 and 176 and consequently there is no need for an independent law. [Author Not Mentioned, Watanī, June 10, p. 11] Read text in Arabic

Bishop Bīsantī of Helwan and al-Ma'sarah stressed utmost respect for presidential candidate Dr. Muhammad Mursī in the runoff elections, expressing welcome to an Islamist president who would lead the nation to a civil state taking into account all citizenship rights for all Egyptians.

Bishop Bīsantī, during an interview to al-Arabia news channel on Friday (June 8), called on Dr. Mursī to support a law to prohibit discrimination against Christians in order to steer clear of any troubles that used to take place during the former regime's time. [Muhammad Salīm, al-Hurīyah wal-'Ādālah, June 10, p. 26] Read text in Arabic

A new paper [al-Watan] said it quoted the American organization Pew as saying that Coptic population is 4.3 million and the paper claimed that it contacted Pew to confirm the figure but it said that it relied on the numbers provided by the Egyptian statistical organization in 2006, writes Mājid 'Atīyah in an article in Watanī.

The paper also alleged that it contacted the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), which replied that the population is 4.6 million.

CAPMAS said Copts were 8.1 million in 1982 but the figure went down in 1986 to 5.7 million due to expensive standards of living and migration.

The paper, to accentuate its inaccurate figures about Copts – the timing is very dubious, resorted to a Dutchman it termed as "Coptic affairs expert since 1976". This so-called expert, Cornelis Hulsman, in a full-page interview, said the population of Coptic Christians is only five million.

No one understands why the fledgling daily newspaper failed to refer to the civil registry offices to get the truth about the Coptic census based on the digital ID. Only then the paper will find out that the figure is 18.5 million, which I had published before. [Mājid 'Atīyah, Watanī, June 10, p. 10] Read text in Arabic

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