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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

For Egypt's Coptic Christians, the new regime is much like the old one

Hosni Mubarak may be gone, but for Christian Copts, what follows him may be even worse.

On Monday, two of the three Muslims accused of perpetrating the New Year's Eve drive-by shooting in Alexandria were acquitted.
The three Muslims accused of the shootings were Mohamed Ahmed Hussein, more commonly known as Hamam el-Kamouny, Qurshi Abul Haggag and Hendawi Sayyed. Mohamed Ahmed Hussein, 39, was sentenced to death by the court on January 16 and the other two were acquitted today. The defendants were charged with using force to disrupt public order and intimidate citizens, with the premeditated murder of seven people, illegal possession of fire arms, the attempted murder of nine others, and voluntarily damaging fixed and liquid assets.

Bishop Cyril, the Coptic Orthodox bishop of Nag Hammadi, said "The court imposed one death sentence because one Muslim was killed, and the Egyptian judiciary wasted the blood of the six murdered Copts, who are of no value to the society. This verdict saddened all Christians worldwide because it means that the State is applying Islamic Sharia on all Christians in Egypt." He explained that according to Sharia the blood of one Muslim, victim Ayman Hisham, is paid for by the blood of one Muslim, Al-Kamouny; since one Muslim died, one Muslim got the death penalty.

Bishop Cyril said that according to the law an accomplice to a crime is on equal standing to the person who committed the crime. "So where is this law and why has it been by-passed in this case and why have the two accomplices been an acquitted?" He said that this verdict brought back sadness and pain to the families of the victims who expected the second suspect to have been sentenced to life imprisonment -- if not the death penalty -- and the third at least fifteen-year imprisonment, but not an acquittal. "This is why we know that in Egypt the blood of a Christian is worth nothing."

Bishop Cyril accused the judge of being unjust and said he is contacting the lawyers to discuss the possibility of presenting an appeal to the military governor. "Had I not reported seeing killer Al-Kamouny he would have been acquitted like the rest of the previous acquittal cases."
Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, Egypt's al-Masry al-Youm reported on a demonstration by Christian Copts near the State television building in Cairo on Sunday to demand a secular constitution for Egypt (Hat Tip: Jihad Watch).
Meanwhile, the committee appointed by the army to amend certain articles of the Constitution includes a Brotherhood-affiliated lawyer, and a Coptic rights group has argued that Christians are under-represented on it.
"Millions of Copts object to the committee formed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces," Nagib Gibrail, head of the Egyptian Union for Human Rights, said in a statement.
"I came here from Shubra to ask what's going on. The army is flirting with Islamists at our expense," said Mary Maqar, a demonstrator.
Along with around 2000 other protestors, Maqar chanted "Oh Belal, oh Buros, tell the people that the revolution is a cross and crescent!"
They carried pictures of Christians killed during the 18 days of the pro-democracy protests by the police or thugs allegedly affiliated with the then-ruling National Democratic Party.
"We sacrificed our souls for the sake of Egypt, and our aim was a civil state not a religious one. I came here to ask for equality, the Constitution has to be changed and article 2 removed," said another participant, Janeete Fawzy. Article 2 reads "Islam is the religion of the state. Arabic is its official language, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic jurisprudence (Sharia)."
"It is our absolute right to come and express our views against article 2. This provision is the source of discrimination in Egypt. You simply can't impose your religion on others," argued Loqqa Wagdy, a university student.
No, they can't force you to believe in their religion. But they can sure make your life miserable if you don't practice it.

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At 2:42 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I don't have much sympathy for them. When you lie down in bed with fleas, you wake up with Islamists.

The Copts have struck the bargain with hell.


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