72. Egypt’s Presidential Elections and Christian Fear

Cornelis Hulsman addresses Egyptian Christians' fear of the strong shift towards Islamism in Egypt and the repercussions it may have for the Christian community. He discusses this fear in the context of current situation in Egypt with regard to the further decline of the economy, the power struggle that exists between several blocs, and the upcoming presidential elections.

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70. Article Two in the Egyptian Constitution… Toward New Courses

On May 14, 2012 the Center for Arab West Understanding (CAWU) discussed the results of its months-long study of Article Two in the Egyptian Constitution. These were presented publically at the Association for Upper Egypt, in the Ramsis area of downtown Cairo.

36. Does God Permit a Muslim to Break a Promise?

The Muslim Brotherhood set Egyptian politics ablaze with their decision to nominate their chief financier, Khairat al-Shātir, for the presidency. All political groups recognize the right of the group to do so but many have criticized them harshly, recalling their promise from early in the revolution.

 

35. Beauty and Women Celebrated at Inter-Faith Art Exhibition

‘We came here today to satisfy our soul for its need of beauty.’ With these words Azhar Sheikh Muhammad Jamī’ addressed the crowd at the Caravan Festival of Arts, hosted by St. John the Baptist Church in Maadi, Egypt.

34. Jostling for Position before Presidential Elections

The condition of Egypt is quietly very concerning these days. I say quietly for two reasons. First, in terms of the Western audience, most is slipping under the radar. Second, in terms of Egypt, the nation waits for presidential elections, and the areas of concern are easily ignored if no attention is paid to news headlines and their fascination with politics.

 

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In the early 1960s during the tenure of late Pope Kyrillos VI, Coptic Orthodox Christians had only seven churches abroad – two in each of the United States, Canada and Australia and only in Britain (1).

MEMRI provided a clip of Muslim preacher, Shaykh Wajdī Ghunaym (Wagdy Ghoneim) speaking about the death of Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III, cursing him and wishing him to burn in hell. Read MEMRI article here

 

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Newsclippings from International Sources

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Jehane Noujaim's documentary The Square has been short-listed for the Oscar, is now available on Netflix, and recently won her an Directors' Guild Award. But it has still not been released or even screened at a festival here.

There have been a number of recent reviews, which in one way or another have raised the question of the film's viewpoint and its portrayal of a deeply divided, deeply confusing reality. 

At the New Republic, Eric Trager argues that Egypt's protesters also "bear responsibility for the mess that followed." 

But one year later—and only 15 minutes after Morsi’s victory in the 100-minute film’s run-time—the activists are suddenly willing to accept the military’s return to power. Morsi’s dictatorial maneuvers and theocratic ambitions, combined with his use of Muslim Brotherhood thugs to torture and kill protesters, has incited a mass movement against him, and the film’s protagonists eagerly take to the streets. “Do you think the Army will act in the same way it did?” Ahmed asks rhetorically. He clearly doesn’t think so, because he is once again caught up in the enthusiasm of yet another mass protest, and thus convinced that “Now the power is in the hands of the people.” It’s as if the film’s first hour and ten minutes never happened. It’s as if the previous military regime hadn’t shot Ahmed in the head.

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Last summer, as unrest raged in Cairo, Egypt’s small Anglican community started looking for a way out. One family made for Canada, another went to Australia, and several emigrated to the United States.

As exoduses go, Anglican emigration has been small compared to the torrent of fleeing Coptic Orthodox migrants, but with approximately 3000-4000 congregants, the Anglican Church’s problems over the past few years have mirrored those of the wider Christian population.

When modern Egypt’s worst bout of sectarian violence erupted in August, few Anglicans were left untouched by the fallout. Two of the Anglican community’s 15 churches were attacked, while only the timely arrival of the army spared a third, and those inside it, from an irate mob intent on setting it alight.

The Coptic Orthodox community accounts for at least 95 percent of Egyptian Christians, and "when there are difficulties, they’re usually the ones to suffer," said the Reverend Drew Schmotzer, an Anglican chaplain in Cairo. "But we’re a minority within a minority, and we’re not strong on numbers."

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Egyptian Poet Abdul Rahman Al-Qaradhawi, Son Of Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi:
The Current Egyptian Rule Is Like A Spider-Web, Doomed To Collapse Soon
Interviewer: "Are you considering running for president?"
 
Abdul Rahman Yousuf: "I will do so when they free Morsi... The only position in which one can effect
change is the position of defense minister, and not that of president. According to the constitution that they
want to pass, the defense minister will be above accountability, whereas the president will face every type
of criticism, whether justified or not. I appreciate the question, but I don't think that I am suitable to run for
president."
 
Interviewer: "You said that the present defense minister is more powerful than the president "
 
Abdul Rahman Yousuf: "That's right."

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CAIRO (BP) -- Islamic extremists and criminals are extorting Christians in Egyptian towns, while trouble brews over the country's new protest law and constitution.

According to Morning Star News, a news service reporting on the persecuted church, Islamist radicals in several Egyptian towns have begun a campaign of terrorism and extortion against Christians.

Muslim extremists in a number of towns are demanding Christians pay the jizya, a Quran-based fine on non-Muslims known as the "humiliation" or "submission" tax. Human rights activists told Morning Star News that radicals and ordinary criminals have started a cottage industry from extorting Christians. They threaten kidnapping, torture and murder to seize money and property from Christians mainly in southern Egypt.

"What you are dealing with now is some criminals attacking Christians -- Christians who own shops and things like that," Mina Thabet, founding member of the Maspero Youth Union, told Morning Star News, adding that Islamists see persecuting Christians as a religious duty.

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Clan Warfare in Egypt - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Given Egypt's brewing power struggles, the current state of relative calm should not be mistaken for progress, let alone stability.

Nearly five months after the uprising-cum-coup that ousted President Mohamed Morsy, Egypt is mostly calm. That might seem surprising, especially given the reemergence of hundreds-strong protests following the military-backed government's passage of a law restricting demonstrations last week, and the ongoing power struggle between the government and the Muslim Brotherhood, in which over 1,000 Morsy supporters have been killed. Just last week, Islamist protesters reached Tahrir Square for the first time since Morsy's ouster this summer. But this is also the way most of Egypt has been for the past three years: Like the old Microsoft Windows computer game Minesweeper, the most explosive tumult typically occurs in small pockets, leaving the rest of the country safe, tranquil, and at times eerily quiet.

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