Dr. Nājih Ibrāhīm, a key founder of the Jamā’ah Islāmīyah in Egypt and the first chairman of its shūrá (consultative) council, offered an apology to Copts for “what has befallen them as a result of the Jamā’ah’s mistakes during the 1970s and 1980s”. [Robeir al-Fāris, Watanī, March 4, p. 5] Read original text in Arabic
A top theorist of the Jamā’ah, Ibrāhīm preferred to quit any posts in the group and focused on reconsidering all political and fiqh (jurisprudence) visions being pursued during the early years of the group. He has become a model of altering extremist ideologies and switching bravely to moderation.
“The Jamā’ah has been true to its violence-renouncing initiative. While lawlessness hit the nation in the aftermath of the January 25, 2011 revolution, none of the Jamā’ah’s sons committed any violations of the law. On the contrary, the Jamā’ah members protected police stations, churches and banks, particularly in Upper Egypt,” Ibrāhīm said in an interview with Watanī newspaper.
He said the initiative has been a model of constructive review, adding some of the Jamā’ah members have been involved in mistakes committed against Christians in Egypt, mistakes that are never in line with the Islamic sharī’ah.
“Those brothers (of the Jamā’ah) have been sentenced to life in prison or killed in clashes with security forces. On behalf of those brothers who committed mistakes against Christians during the 1970s and 1980s, I personally apologize to Copts,” said 56-year-old Ibrāhīm, who was imprisoned for 24 years after the 1981 assassination of former Egyptian President Muhammad Anwar al-Sādāt.
The top leader of the Jamā’ah, who carries university degrees in medicine, arts and law and the author of 25 books, mostly on da’wah (call) and Islamic thought and translated into English, French and German, had announced an initiative with fellow member Shaykh Karam Zuhdī renouncing violence, launching an ideological revision and disbanding the Jamā’ah’s military wing. [Robeir al-Fāris, Watanī, March 4, p. 5] Read original text in Arabic
Muhammad Nūr, the media spokesman for the Salafī al-Nūr Party, said contacts were made with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), on the formation of a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution for Egypt, adding he objected the FJP’s proposal that the assembly would be formed of 40% of parliament members, 30% of state institutions and syndicates and 30% of public figures.
“Al-Nūr insists that the parliament should be the sole institution that selects members of the assembly without any interference from any other organizations or syndicates,” said Nūr in statements to al-Misrī al-Yawm newspaper.
He said that inclusion of the word ‘civil’ in the constitution might not be a problem for the Brotherhood but it is a large crisis for al-Nūr Party, adding his party would never allow this word into the constitution because it simply means that Egypt is a secular state.
Sayīd Jād Allāh, a member of parliament from the FJP, said that he rejects al-Nūr Party’s requests that the parliament solely selects members of the constitution-drafting panel, adding all groups within the society must participate in writing Egypt’s new constitution. [Hamdī Dabash and Hānī al-Wizirī, al-Misrī al-Yawm, March 4, p. 4] Read original text in Arabic
Priest Philopater Jamīl of the Virgin Mary Church in Faisal, accused unidentified persons of threatening to kill him and that they told him in a phone call that his life “will come to an end by the end of Monday (March 5)”.
Jamīl, who is now facing charges of incitation during the October 9 incidents outside the state radio and TV building in Maspero, reported to the security agencies in Giza that he received two calls on his cell phone, accusing the al-Hikmah and al-Rahmah channels of agitating the public against him and that the two Islamist TV stations were behind campaigns to distort his image. [Sāmī ‘Abd al-Rādī, al-Misrī al-Yawm, March 4, p. 4] Read text in Arabic
The Būlāq Abū al-‘Ilā Court of Misdemeanor on Saturday (March 3) dropped a lawsuit filed against Coptic businessman Najīb Sawirus on charges of disdaining Islam after publishing cartoons depicting a bearded Mickey Mouse and a niqāb-wearing Minnie. [Amīr Hazzā’, al-Ahrām, March 4, p. 22] Read original text in Arabic
A delegation from the Coptic Evangelical Church in Nasr City paid a visit to the FJP headquarters on Friday (March 2) to discuss means to deepen friendly relations among the sons of the same nation.
The meeting was marked by an atmosphere of amity, stressed by the two sides, as the Evangelical church delegation offered congratulations to the FJP over the Egyptian people’s confidence in the People’s Assembly and Shūrá Council. [Imān Ismā’īl, al-Hurīyah wal-‘Adālah, March 4, p. 3] Read text in Arabic
Meanwhile, Bishop Marqus of Shubrā al-Khaymah, the chairman of the Coptic Orthodox Holy Synod’s information committee, said the church will keep open doors for all groups in the Egyptian society, whether political or religious, provided that those visits would not involve any political activities.
He noted that dialogue with any political groups is something that is exclusively determined by the papal office. [‘Imād Khalīl and ‘Umar al-Shaykh, al-Misrī al-Yawm, March 4, p. 4] Read original text in Arabic
Five of the families of martyrs of the Maspero incidents filed lawsuits before the State Council asking for a court ruling obliging the justice minister to entrust three counselors to start a neutral probe into the incidents that left more than 15 Copts dead. [Author Not Mentioned, al-Jumhūrīyah, March 4, p. 3] Read text in Arabic