Islamic sect- accepts first four caliphs as Muhammad's successors.
The author speaks about the absent role of the Islamic religious institution and gives his perception of the role it should play. He believes that the Islamic religious institution is not able to spread an awareness of Islam in the West, which believes Islam to be the new enemy of western Christian civilization.
The picture of linking the face of Egyptians to the Sunna, the head to the Shi’a, the heart to the Copts, and the bones to the Pharaohs, is said to be a tool to divide the nation. It focuses attention on differences and not similarities. Pope Shenouda III believes that Copts will be happier and safer under Sharia law rather than imported, foreign, laws. Muslim culture is dominant now, while Coptic culture ruled before Islam.
The author comments on political life based on religion. He gives the example of Algeria and Lebanon, where everything is taken from a religion-related perspective. He then moves to Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood are asking to form an Islamic party and where some extremist Copts are asking to form a Coptic counterpart. He concludes that running a state should be based on a framework of efficiency not religion.
The Middle East Council of Churches held its meetings in Iran this time. The Council’s leaders had a Christian-Muslim dialogue with Iranian leaders regarding the Palestinian case as well as issuing a statement condemning the Israeli attacks on the original inhabitants of the country.
This is the full text of an article written for Christianity Today in the US. It gives an overview of the Egyptian responses against the visit of a delegation of the US Commission for on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Many church leaders and observers believe the American focus on religious freedom can result in a very negative impact for the church in Egypt. -240
An Israeli document, referred to by * in his defense file*** ,calls for establishing a Coptic country in Upper Egypt. It shows the target Israel wants to achieve since the 1980s. That is dividing each country of the Arab world. The author believes that this document explains what is going on in Iraq and Sudan and activities of emigrant Copts in America before any visit of President Mubarak to Washington.
The US State Department of Foreign Affairs issued its 25th report on human rights.
It criticized the harsh restrictions imposed on freedom of expression and the press. It mentioned that the Christian minority suffers from discrimination, especially when matters are related to the building and restoration of churches and the occupation of high positions. This is in addition to experiencing this discrimination in their contact with Muslims, as happened in Al-Kosheh.
Scholars of the Azhar and Ayatollahs held a conference in Iran in an attempt to bring the Sunnite and Shiite denominations closer together. All the different trends in Iran welcomed the role of the Azhar in bringing the Islamic denominations closer. The conference honored Imam Al-Bargroudi, one of the greatest Shiite scholars and the late sheikh of the Azhar, sheikh Mahmoud Shaltout.
Aqidaty had an interview with Dr. Gaber Asfour, the General Secretary of the Supreme Council for Culture. In this interview, he was asked about the criticized conference about women. In addition to this he received questions about creativity, Islamic literature and about the Qur`an being a literary text that is subjected to criticism.
In an interview with Al-Arabi, Dr. Nasr Farid Wasel, the Mufti of Egypt gave his opinion concerning normalization with Israel, saying explicitly" I am against any co-operation with the enemy". He was also strong in urging for technological support in Muslim countries, in changing and developing school’s curricula, and in ensuring that work and the calling to God’s ways are both "like prayer".