45. Rumored US support for Mursi/Muslim Brotherhood

Many Egyptians believe that the US supports Mursī and the Muslim Brotherhood in being the next president and forming the next government of Egypt.

As a US-born American, I have always loved my country, but I have seldom been a fan of US-government foreign policy in the Middle East whether manipulated by the Republicans or Democrats.

59. An American Priest in Cairo

Cornelis Hulsman, Editor-in-Chief AWR: We are very pleased that Douglas May started working with CIDT as international coordinator and financial manager on February 1, 2012. While Doug was appointed due to his financial skills and experience, he also has an excellent background in Muslim-Christian dialogue. His having worked with AWR cofounder Father Dr. Christiaan van Nispen sj for more than a decade has also been a definite plus in his work with us. CIDT agreed that Doug may contribute to the blog of Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA, www.cnewa.org). His blogs will be republished in AWR with credit given that he first published them for CENEWA.

 

23. Election Outcome: Confusion, fear for violence, and a military takeover

The presidential elections committee stated yesterday, June 17 that the results of the presidential elections will be announced on Thursday, June 21. Yet, both presidential candidates, Muhammad Mursī and Ahmad Shafīq, have claimed victory, both claiming to have received between 51 and 52 percent of the vote. These conflicting claims have resulted in confusion with supporters of both candidates believing that “the other” must be cheating. Ahmad Sarhān, spokesperson for Ahmad Shafīq, accused the Brotherhood of trying to create a "fait accompli" and of risking confrontation on the streets "when official results declare Shafīq to be the winner".

44. Egypt’s Hard Choice; The second round of presidential elections

[Editor-in-chief Cornelis Hulsman: we received this analysis from a friend of Arab-West Report. It is an interesting analysis but I do not fully agree and made my remarks in the text below.

43. Dār al-Ifta’: The House of Fatwá

The fatwá is commonly known in the West as a death sentence. Among Muslims, the fatwá can be among the most powerful tools of Islamic populism. On a third front, the fatwá is simply a bureaucratic function. Which definition encompasses reality?

 

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Lawmaker Sayīd ‘Askar, Chairman of the People’s Assembly Religious, Social and Awqāf (Endowments) Committee, said there is no problem new churches are built in line with the Christian population in Egypt, reported al-Misryūn newspaper.

Jos van Noord, senior journalist with De Telegraaf, the populist Dutch daily newspaper, published in its influential travel pages an article calling for a boycott of tourism to Egypt and other Arab countries. The article is intended to put pressure on governments to protect Christians—at least this is what he claims. Van Noord is ill-informed and I argue that if one wants to support Christians in Egypt, one should promote tourism to Egypt. Christians in Egypt are better served if one is working for the good of all Egyptians.

 

Ph.D. candidate, Emma Hayward wrote an interesting analysis for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on the current status of Coptic Christians in relation to the Egyptian state and concludes that their position is weakening. While it is true that Coptic Christians are now without an authoritative leader to give them voice, in particular in church-state relations, it is not true that they are “leaderless”. The Coptic Orthodox Church, to which around 95 percent of all Christians in Egypt belong, is now ruled by the Holy Synod. However, it is certainly true that Pope Shenouda was an authority and that most Copts believe they need a similarly strong leader to rule the church.

Ph.D. candidate, Emma Hayward wrote an interesting analysis for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on the current status of Coptic Christians in relation to the Egyptian state and concludes that their position is weakening. While it is true that Coptic Christians are now without an authoritative leader to give them voice, in particular in church-state relations, it is not true that they are “leaderless”. The Coptic Orthodox Church, to which around 95 percent of all Christians in Egypt belong, is now ruled by the Holy Synod. However, it is certainly true that Pope Shenouda was an authority and that most Copts believe they need a similarly strong leader to rule the church.

AWR researcher Jayson Casper sent me a link to a March 31 article titled “American Copts, Egypt and the Next Pope.” This text is very well written, but sadly the author is not known. The article was published on a blog called “Salamamoussa. Reclaiming Egypt,” named after Salāmah Mūsá (1887-1958), a well-known journalist, writer, and advocate of secularism and Arab socialism who was born into a wealthy, land-owning Coptic family in the town of Al-Zaqāzīq located in the Nile Delta.

The coverage of the Egyptian press on the March 19 terrorist attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, was not front-page news for al-Ahrām, al-Masā’ and Akhbār Misr Website but was reported in inside pages. Other print media neglected the attack which had left a rabbi who was the school’s Hebrew teacher, his two children of 6 and 3 years old, and a 8-year old girl dead. No official or unofficial Islamic organization in Egypt has issued any condemnation despite many previous Muslim fatwás prohibiting the killing of human beings, even if they are not Muslims. Akhbār Misr Website said that he was Muslim but other newspapers confined to only mentioning that he is of Arab or Algerian descent. They highlighted that the gunman belongs to al-Qaeda organization.

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Newsclippings from International Sources

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CAIRO — Egypt’s government has launched a new movement against Salafist figures in the country, in line with its policy to manage mosques and marginalize preachers affiliated with certain religious political groups. The government had focused on dismissing any preacher suspected of being affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

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It’s not every day that a pope comes to Edmonton.

Edmonton’s Coptic Christians packed a Mill Woods church Wednesday night for the arrival of Pope Tawadros II.

The 61-year-old Egyptian pontiff arrived shortly before 8 p.m. for a two-hour visit. Along with a procession and a tour, Tawadros gave a sermon on prayer and handed out pictures to roughly 800 members and visitors who packed the gym at St. Mary and St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church.

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CAIRO — Egypt’s youth, particularly the revolutionary youth, are unable to independently finance their campaigns in the parliamentary elections scheduled by the end of this year. Many were shocked to find out that political parties in alliances led by Amr Moussa have linked inclusion in their lists to a payment of up to 200,000 Egyptian pounds (about $28,000) to limit the conflict between the electoral lists of the new Egyptian parliament and those of businessmen and capitalists, many of whom were associated with the Hosni Mubarak regime.
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Cairo - A couple hundred Christian protesters clashed with police in southern Egypt after holding a demonstration on Tuesday in front of a police station demanding authorities locate an abducted housewife, a security official said.

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“You’re going to pay means you’re going to pay,” President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on the day of the new Suez Canal project’s inauguration.

His statement was directed at businessmen as well as average citizens, urging them to donate to the Tahya Masr (Long Live Egypt) fund.

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