Webinar Inclusive Citizenship September 26 – Join us!!

Sent On: 
Thu, 2020-09-24
Newsletter Number: 

Ten days ago I wrote about our Inclusive Citizenship webinar on Saturday September 26, 10.00 am – 6.30 pm Cairo time. You can join us through Webex here:

Meeting link: https://cidt.my.webex.com/cidt.my/j.php?MTID=m5c8cdf4021a2a110b8bd3ba3c3dcbd18

Meeting number: 163 373 4988

Password: P39PmeaTHp8 (73976328 from phones and video systems)

Host key:                   903899


Archbishop Mouneer wrote an excellent text in preparation for this webinar. He opened this with:


“Inclusive Citizenship is a dream of many people in our world today. The definition of inclusive citizenship, as I understand it, is the granting of full rights of citizenship to all people regardless of their religion, ethnicity, gender, color, socio-economic status etc. It signifies not just peaceful coexistence between different people groups, but the acceptance of a culture that promotes harmony and cooperation between such groups for the common good of society. Our world is still far from achieving this dream, and religious leaders have an important role to play in making inclusive citizenship a reality, rather than a dream.”


“Let me illustrate the challenge from the place I know best—my own country Egypt. There, Christians and Muslims generally lived together in harmony for many centuries. Christians were appointed to very high positions in the government such as Prime Minister and Cabinet Minister. However, fifty years ago, when the extreme ideologies started to creep in, we began to hear voices suggesting that Christians should not be appointed to leadership positions. As a result, quite a number of Copts emigrated to the Western World in order to receive fairer opportunities for education and employment.”


Some of the challenges for Egypt are according to Archbishop Mouneer:


"No official separation of religion and state An official separation of religion and state that is not reflected in practice. This leads the majority of the people to view minority groups as less fully citizens than themselves."


The Archbishop makes several suggestions including “A council or commission ought to be created, both to promote citizenship and combat discrimination when it occurs. This commission should be given the authority to take corrective decisions in order to deal with all sorts of discrimination. This Council would be similar to the national council of Human rights but would be tasked specifically with preventing and addressing incidents of discriminations.”


We have asked scholars and religious leaders from in and outside Egypt to respond to the suggestions of Archbishop Mouneer. One response has come already from Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald, for many decades a major contributor to international Muslim-Christian relations.


This is our program on Saturday:


Introduction Webinar: 10.00 – 10.30 am – Drs. Cornelis Hulsman

Recorded introduction Archbishop Mouneer


1) Topic: Christian Perspectives on Citizenship 10.30 – 11.30

Bas Belder, former member of European Parliament (SGP) presented his views in writing. Please read this before attending the webinar. Dr. Hoda Awad, professor of political science at Misr University, board member Center for Arab-West Understanding

Focus: define citizenship in Egypt, legal and practice and the Christian perspective, responding to Mr. Bas Belder.

Q and A


2) Topic: The Experience of Christians in Egypt/the Middle East 12.00 – 13.00

Bishop Qulta, Coptic Catholic Church Egypt, also responding to Mr. Bas Belder

Q and A


14.00 – Dr. Matthew Anderson (US) joins and becomes moderator from this point onwards.


3) Topic: The Challenge of Muslim Citizenship in the West 14.00 – 15.30

Dr Wael Faruq from Egypt/Italy, associate professor Arabic language at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Italy

Focus question: How do Muslims experience Italy and Europe. How might these lessons relate to inclusive citizenship in Egypt?

Q and A


4) Topic: Muslim Perspectives on Citizenship 16.00 -17.15

Dr. Tarek al-Gawhary, MA Azhar University, PhD Princeton University, advisor to Sheikh Dr. Ali Goma’a

Focus question: Citizenship means attention for the position of numerical minorities.

Q and A


5) Ways of Promoting Citizenship 17.15 – 18.30

Dr. Kamal Boraiqa, Azhar Dialogue Center

Positive developments in the area of inclusive citizenship in Egypt

·        Fr. Dr. Giuseppe Scattolin, Dar Comboni, Cairo

·        Fr. Dr. Matthew Anderson, Georgetown University, USA

Q and A.


This program with such great contributions is very promising.


Join us, be informed about this important subject and, if you want, contribute!


Cairo, September 24, 2020


Cornelis Hulsman, Editor-in-Chief Arab West Report