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In the immediate aftermath of the tragic attack against the Copts in Imbabāh a fortnight ago—the latest in a series of episodes by salafis and thugs aimed at hijacking the 25 January Revolution—the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) dispatched a fact-finding commission to Imbabāh. The commission investigated the situation on the ground, talking to eyewitnesses, members of the clergy, and the hospitalized injured, and came up with an accurate account of the events. It released a candid report analyzing the unhealthy climate which allowed the disgraceful events to take place. Praiseworthy is that the commission did not stop at finding the facts, but offered recommendations to prevent the recurrence of similar attacks.
Najīb Gibrael, Kāmīliyā Shihātah's lawyer, says that Kāmīliyā has not decided yet if she will show up in the public prosecutor's office, asserting that he is authorized to represent her in the court of law.
In his first sermon after the salafists' attacks on the Cathedral, Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III ignored talking on the Kāmīliyā Shihātah issue, although there were many speculations that he would settle this issue during the sermon.
Pope Shenouda asked all Copts to forgive all those who offended them.
Dr. 'Abd Allah Husaynī, the Minister of Awqāf, says that many extremist movements appeared after January the January 25 revolution due to the misunderstanding of the meaning of freedom.
“This doesn't mean that those extremists are a majority. They are only a minority and are rejected by many people,” Dr. Husaynī added.
'Abd al-Mun'īm al-Shahāt, a salafī spokesperson, says that democracy is dangerous and has many defects like vote buying and powerful candidates' exploitation of the media for their own interests in their election campaigns.
Shahāt added that Islamic shūra (consultation) is better than democracy as its source of legislation is God rather than the people.
Max Michel Hanna, a Coptic bishop who founded the St. Athanasius Church separately from the Coptic Orthodox Church, demands the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to recognize his legitimacy and his new church as an independent one.
A number of Copts are against the report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), asserting that the United States is trying to spark fitnah between Muslims and Copts in Egypt.
The report condemned Egypt’s lack of religious freedom; recommending Egypt be added to a list of the world’s worst violators of religious liberty.
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[Reviewer's Note: News story was also covered in al-Wafd, page 4, May 1, 2011, and in al-Misri al-Yawm's articles "US commission on religious freedomswants Egypt on blacklist" and "Coptic Church rejects US commission report]
Dr. Mustafá Rashīd, professor of Islamic Sharī‘ah, asserts that he is a Layman, and blames the dictatorial former regime for distorting the image of secularism.
Salafists in Kafr el-Sheikh distributed thousands of flyers demanding that people not celebrate Shām al Nīsim, saying that it is considered polytheism.
'Alī Jum'ah, Muftī of the Republic, and Dr. Ahmad ‘Umar Hāshim, former President of the Azhar University, condemned attackers of shrines, asserting that it is against religion.