13. AWR Daily Overview, February 28 2012: Evangelical church delegation meets MB leaders Tuesday

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Head of the Coptic Evangelical Church Dr. Safwat al-Bayyādī revealed that he would lead a church delegation today to meet with leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoot Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) at the MB’s headquarters to have discussions on several issues, including the position of Christians and their beliefs in the new constitution. [Ahmad al-Sa’dāwī, al-Shurūq al-Jadīd, Feb. 28, p. 6] Read text in Arabic

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Bayyādī said the meeting will also deal with Evangelical Christians’ views about the development of education, decisions of the ‘urfī (informal) conciliatory council in crises that erupt between Muslims and Christians while the application of the law is ignored and the FJP’s vision about creativity, art and cinema.

He said that the meeting, to be attended by 15 figures, came upon an initiative from the church and is also set to discuss the interior ministry’s recent crisis after a number of police officers said they would grow their beards in observance of the Prophet Muhammad’s tradition. [Ahmad al-Sa’dāwī, al-Shurūq al-Jadīd, Feb. 28, p. 6] Read text in Arabic

Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) expressed deep concern over deteriorating economic conditions in Egypt and expressed commitment through broad lines of the program of aid available, according to an official statement by the European Commission in Cairo.

The EU also expressed hope that a constitutional panel to draft a new constitution for the country be made but underlined the participation of women as well as all groups in the society, including minorities, in that panel. [Author Not Mentioned, al-Akhbār, Feb. 28, p. 3] Read text in Arabic

In Egypt, the Coptic Orthodox Church condemned burning of copies of the Holy Qur’ān by U.S. soldiers at a base of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) at a military base in the Afghan capital Kabul.

A source in the papal office said disdaining religion is a detestable crime rejected by any devout person of any faith, widens the gap among followers of religions and ignites sectarian conflicts worldwide.

The church also denounced repeated assaults by the Israeli occupation army on the al-Aqsa Mosque. [Author Not Mentioned, al-Akhbār, Feb. 28, p. 14] Read text in Arabic

The Supreme Military Court on Monday (February 27) decided to adjourn the case of mowing down protesters during the October 9 Maspero incidents to the March 4 session to hear the rest of the eyewitnesses.

The court heard three witnesses, including a man of the name Sulaymān Khalīfah, who said he saw an armored vehicle speeding and hitting a number of demonstrators and also watched a high-ranking army officer who tried to stop it but failed and also tried to contact the persons inside the vehicle but could not reach them.

Vivian Majdī, whose fiancé was mowed down by an armored vehicle in the incidents, said the vehicles were speeding but said she could not see who was driving them. The vehicles were trying to escape in the direction of the October Bridge but always failed and returned with high speed. [Author Not Mentioned, al-Akhbār, Feb. 28, p. 8] Read text in Arabic

In a precedent in the history of the Sufi community in Egypt, the ministries of foreign affairs and social solidarity approved the establishment of the first Egyptian international non-governmental organization to disseminate Sufi ideologies and extend bridges of cooperation among Sufis worldwide. [Muhammad ‘Abd al-Khāliq, al-Ahrām, Feb. 28, p. 14] Read original text in Arabic

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