Thursday, April 29, 2010

US: Egypt 2nd in religious freedom violations

US: Egypt 2nd in religious freedom violations
April 29, 2010 8:19 pm admin2 Egptian News, General

For the eighth consecutive year, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, In its 2010 annual report, ranked Egypt second among countries found to violate religious freedoms.

Commission head Leonard Leo is expected to present the report at a press conference on Thursday.

Accordingly, the US administration has urged the Egyptian government to set a timetable for abolishing the 30-year-old state of emergency and for implementing political reform–otherwise, it warned, the levels of foreign aid currently allocated to Egypt would be reconsidered.

The report also notes that the commission had advised US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton last September to object to the nomination of Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni to the post of UNESCO director-general due to earlier statements by Hosni that he would burn Jewish books in Egypt.

The report goes on to state that the Egyptian government had failed to employ firm measures against religious discrimination and human rights violations against Coptic Christians, Baha’is, Shia Muslims, Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses and members of the Quraniyoon sect.

Egyptian churches and human rights organizations voiced support for the report’s findings, although leaders of Egypt’s Baha’i community conceded that the status of religious freedom in Egypt had recently improved.

For his part, Hossam Nassar, adviser to Hosni, charged that the West “does not want an Arab Muslim to preside over UNESCO.”

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