12 Jan,2015
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ARAB WEST REPORT

(18 hours 12 min)

President, Prime and Interior Ministers offer condolences to Pope Tawādrūs for Egyptian martyrs in Libya

Prime Minister Ibrāhīm Mahlab and Interior Minister General Muhammad Ibrāhīm accompanied Egypt’s President ‛Abd al-Fatāh al-Sīsī on a visit to Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo to offer their condolences to Pope Tawādrūs II for the deaths of the Egyptian martyrs in Libya at the hands of ISIS. Mahlab said that those who lost their lives in this despicable and barbaric act were all martyrs for their homeland. He added that all Egyptians are ready to give their lives for their country and that Egypt will be victorious in its war against terrorism inside and outside its borders.

(16 February 2015, al-Yawm al-Sābi, Hind Mukhtār)

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Council of Egypts Churches demand that international community rescue remaining Christians in Libya

The Council of Egypt’s Churches announced, with great sorrow, the death of 21 Egyptian martyrs in Libya on account of their religious identity and offered condolences to their families. The Council demanded that the international community act quickly to save the remaining Christians of Libya and asked Egyptian officials to label those killed officially as martyrs so their families receive material and moral support.

(16 February 2015, al-Yawm al-Sābiʿ, Māykal Fāris)

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Roadmap for religious reform

Al-Azhar, which has resisted and persecuted those who have attempted to reform Islam since the end of the 19th century, is now being called upon by Egypt’s president to do what they have long suppressed:. reforming Islam. The response of the sheikhs of al-Azhar has been to announce conferences and seminars as well as digital campaigns and television channels to discuss updating religious rhetoric. They are only altering the means by which they communicate their ideology and not the contents of their ideology itself. I therefore present the following steps which al-Azhar could take to show that they are truly interested in reform: allowing once again for independent and critical interpretations [ijtihād] of religious texts; stopping the issuing of religious proclamations on political and economic matters; refusing the generalization of religious texts to applications outside their geographical, temporal and historical contexts; adopting a unified methodology for textual exegesis which does not conflict with scientific facts or an age which consecrates humanity and freedom; and abandoning the principle of abrogation [nasakh] within Islamic jurisprudence.

(16 Feburary, 2015, Civic Egypt, Mu’min Sallām)

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Egypt condemns attacks in Copenhagen and emphasizes the necessity of respecting religious symbols

Egypt’s foreign ministry condemned yesterday’s attacks in the Danish city of Copenhagen which targeted a coffee shop and a synagogue and resulted in the deaths of two civilians. A Swedish artist attending a seminar on free speech hosted in the coffee shop was among the dead. The artist had previously received death threats because of caricatures he had drawn —which those who threatened him considered offensive to the Prophet Muhammad. Egypt emphasized the importance of respecting the religious symbols of others but said that does not in any way justify the use of violence against others.

(15 February, 2015, al-Mashad, No Author Mentioned)

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Minister of Religious Endowments: The Bahāʾī faith supported the creation of the state of Israel at the expense of Palestine

Doctor Muhammad Mukhtār, Egypt’s Minister of Religious Endowments, said "there is no doubt that the enemies of religion, Egypt, and the Arab people are working to fragment the Arab world through every means: either through feeding radicalism, terrorism, and the extremism that leads to such. This could also happen through spreading heretical and destructive ideas and sects such as Bahā’īsm, al-Bātiniyya, Isma‛īlism etc; or the use of those associated with those sects aiming at destroying the cohesive social fabric of Egypt or other Arab countries in order to weaken them." The Minister went on to tie Bahā’īsm to Zionism and imperialism and described the faith as a tool to divide Muslims and shake their religious doctrines.

(15 February, 2015, al-Fajr, Najwā Mustafā)

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See also:

http://www.n96m.com/egypt/102663.html

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