Luxor Misdemeanors Court headed by Judge Muhammad al-Tamāwī has fined the teacher Dimīyānah ʿUbayd ʿAbd al-Nūr EgP100 thousand. Dimīyānah faced the charges of insulting Islam and the Prophet as well as proselytizing her students at Naga El Sheikh Sultan (Naj’ al-Shaykh Sultān) primary school in the small village of Tūd near Luxor. The case will be referred to the concerned civil court.
Among the difficulties in assessing the news of Egypt is the Cairo-centrism of journalism. A problem plaguing the nation in general, all major newspapers operate from the capital attracting the best talent away from other regions in search of promotions and a better life. Quality of information suffers; many newspapers simply investigate local developments through phone calls.
AWR intern Diana Serodio participated in the Culture Workshop sponsored by the Anna Lindh Foundation in Turkey. “We argued over the extent to which cultures should be preserved in order to respect diversity without leading communities into isolation which would work against inter-cultural understanding.” For the entire article click here.
Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II met with leaders of Egyptian churches and Coptic figures on Jun. 11 to determine the Church's position on June 30 anti-government demonstrations and discuss their possible aftermath. The Church agreed to allow Copts to participate in a various activities during the demonstrations without the use of religious iconography. Pope Tawadros refused to make positive or negative remarks about the demonstrations stating that participating in such demonstrations is a personal choice not a Church matter, and that the Church is always willing to engage in dialogue with the government. However, the meeting did not deal with the ongoing Ethiopian Renaissance Dam crisis in which the presidency has requested Pope Tawadros to intervene (Mustafá Sha'bān, al-Misrīyūn, Jun. 13, p. 5). Read original text in Arabic.
Majdī Sābir, media spokesman for the Maspero Youth Union, said that Presidency contacted the Papacy to put pressure on Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II to encourage people not participate in the June 30 demonstrations. Sābir called President Muhammad Mursi's (Mūrsī) recent decision on church building as a "bribe" to prevent Coptic opposition. He said that Copts face increasing pressure from some Muslim groups not to participate in the upcoming demonstrations just as they were pressured not to vote in the last presidential elections. However, the Papacy's legal advisor, Ramsīs al-Najjār, denied such a communication took place, stating that Pope Tawadros does not deal with political issues, and that he does not decide whether or not Copts take part in demonstrations (Sarah Hāmid, al-Misrīyūn, Jun. 11, p. 4). Read original text in Arabic.
Arab West Report translated the text of the Coptic Orthodox acting Patriarch Bishop Pachomius's comment on the incidents of the village Dahshūr, al-Badrāshīn Township.
Below is the full text translation of the the official statement.
[Reviewer's Note: the below name, address and postal code were mentioned in English in the official statement that is why Arab West Report did not transliterate Deir Anba Rueiss.]
[Editor: Jayson Casper attended this Coptic demonstration on July 14]
Traditionally, it is the Copts who look to America for support of their minority rights. With the Muslim Brotherhood now in the presidency, though not in full power, some Copts wonder if the United States is switching sides.
The statement of ‘looking to America’ should not be taken as normative. The Coptic Orthodox Church and most leaders of influence insist on Egyptian solutions to Egyptian problems. They believe an appeal to the West would brand Copts as traitors in their own land. Average Copts, however, often state a sentiment of longing for America – either for pressure on Cairo or as an escape through emigration.
A friend of mine asked me the other day what I think of this quote from the Economist of June 23:
‘The best way to tame the Islamists, as Turkey’s experience shows, is to deny them the moral high ground to which repression elevates them, and condemn them instead to the responsibilities and compromises of day-to-day government.’
In both his presidential campaign and inaugural addresses, President Muhammad Mursī has assured the world of Egypt’s commitment to peace. Yet in the run-up to the final election on June 14, the Muslim Brotherhood published an Arabic article calling this commitment into question.
On April 25, 2013, Jihad Watch contributor Raymond Ibrahim (Ibrāhīm) published in Middle East Forum what he titled “Death to Churches Under Islam; A Study of the Coptic Church.” (http://www.meforum.org/3492/churches-under-islam)
On March 28, 2013 Fox News broadcast an incendiary video report entitled, ‘US Silent as Christians are Persecuted in Egypt?’ It is understood that media relies on a level of sensationalism in order to attract the viewer or reader to a story. Yet this report moves beyond sensationalism to distortion, in which elements of truth are stretched to create an impression far removed from reality.
[Diana Maher Ghali reviewed this article]
Drs. Cornelis Hulsman, General Director of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue and Arab West Report, wrote an introduction about Dr. Muhammad ‘Imārah:
He is a former leftist who turned Islamist many years ago. He is a great authority among Islamists. The figures he presents about the decline of Christianity in Europe are to a very large extent correct but he is making impossible and unfair comparisons between declining Christianity and ascending Islam in Europe.
The figures he presents of Christians are those who are attending church services. Those percentages are indeed small. But he compares that with total number of Muslims which is also done by many Islamophobes in the West to scare a Western public. If you want to make correct comparisons you have to compare between Muslims attending mosque prayers and Christians attending church services, or between people who are registered as Muslim and people who are registered as Christian. Just as with Christians many Muslims in the West are equally secular. The around one million Muslims in the Netherlands you need to compare with the around six million Christians who are registered as a church members in The Netherlands.
With the assassination of Ahmed Jaabari Israel has assassinated the opportunity for a long term ceasefire between Israel and Gaza