Friday, February 26, 2010

European Union Moves to Defend Persecuted Christians?

International Christian Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #941 • Washington DC 20006-1846 / Email:
Jonathan Racho,
Regional Manager for Africa and South Asia,

European Union Moves to Defend Persecuted Christians?

Washington, D.C. (February 25, 2010)–International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the European Union has established a working group to protect persecuted Christians and prepare a manual for embassies of member states regarding the treatment of persecuted Christian minorities.

Italy’s Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, in an interview yesterday with Italian’s daily Avvenire said, “We could promote a group of like-minded countries who take to heart the right of Christians to profess their faith anywhere in the world. …You see, Christians have never had a political group offering them strong support through their governments.”

The Foreign Minister also stated that his country will hold an international conference on religious freedom this year and will soon introduce a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of Christians.

Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world, with more than 300 million Christians living in countries where they are persecuted simply because of their faith. Muslim countries are the leading persecutors of Christians followed by communist countries. Hindu majority countries such as India also severely persecute Christian minorities.

ICC’s president, Jeff King, said, “We welcome the move by European Union to protect Christian minorities that face persecution. Christians are facing increasing persecution mainly in Muslim countries. We urge the international community to join Italy’s effort in promoting religious freedom and protecting Christians from persecution in Muslim and other Christian persecuting countries.”

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Egypt Condemned For Its Lacks of Freedoms

Morris Sadek
25 February 2010 in Featured Blogumnist, Morris Sadek
Egypt came under review Wednesday, Feb, 17, 2010, for the first time at the United Nations Human Rights Council for its rights record.

Western countries criticized the emergency laws in effect in the North African country since 1981, along with related restrictions on freedom of press, expression and unions and the imprisoning of journalists and bloggers. The accusations included the death penalty, torture and illegal detentions and the use of violence against religious minorities.

Human Rights Watch had called on Egypt to

* repeal the emergency laws

* lift its longstanding abusive emergency regulations

* hold security forces accountable for serious human rights abuses such as arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention

* end systematic torture and unfair trials before state security courts

* halt its systematic arrest and harassment of peaceful political activists, as well as bloggers and journalists

* halt the policy of using lethal force to stop African migrants and asylum seekers from crossing the Sinai border into Israel

The government has never confirmed the number of those arbitrarily detained under emergency law orders issued by the interior minister, but Egyptian human rights organizations estimate that between 5,000 and 10,000 people are held without charge. Security officers arrested a group of bloggers and political activists who had traveled to the southern town of Nag Hammadi to pay their condolences to the families of 6 Christians shot and killed on Coptic Christmas Eve.

Egypt continues the reliance on state security courts, whose proceedings do not meet international fair trial standards manifested in several kinds of tortures, allegations, no access to lawyers and do not allow for appeal, is also of major concern.

The United States and several European countries called on the administration of President Hosni Mubarak to:

* ensure civil liberties in the run-up to parliamentary elections later this year and a presidential poll in 2011

* end the state of emergency that has been in force since his predecessor was assassinated in 1981 and which Egyptian critics argue is used to suppress dissent.

* replace the emergency law by counter-terrorism legislation.

* reform its penal code to include an internationally accepted definition of torture

We add to demands and agree with the recommendations of the Western countries which are to:

* Put an end to the state of emergency.

* Adopt a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to abolishing it.

* Investigate allegations of torture.

* Take further steps to fight violence against women and prosecute abusers.

* Eradicate female genital mutilations.

* Pass comprehensive anti-trafficking in person legislation.

* Prosecute those involved in incitement to religious hatred and violence.

* Put to trail all those involved the persecution and killings of the Copts and the Bahais.

* Investigate human rights abuses against human rights defenders and lawyers.

* Put to halt the torture of all Coptic captives being jailed after the Nag Hammadi’s incident and set them free.

* A fair trial to the innocent Guirguis Baroumi Guirguis in Qena Criminal Court since his last sitting was not fair.

* Eliminate all legal provisions and policies discriminating on a religious basis.

* Stop the abuse of the Copts rights, respect their rights and stop the systematic discrimination practiced against them.

* Take resolute steps to guarantee an open and free press, including on Internet.

* Amend legislation which inhibits NGOs’ activities and ability to raise finance.

* Establish an independent Electoral Commission.

* Reply favorably to the request of visit of the Special Rapporteur on Torture.

* Ratify the Rome Statute, and the Optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention against Torture.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Brotherhood’s new face

By Emad Nassif

The series of country-wide raids carried out earlier this month, in which some 13 members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) were rounded up, aroused controversy aplenty. The group’s deputy chief, Mahmoud Ezzat, was taken from his Cairo home, and senior Brotherhood members Essam al-Erian and Abdel-Rahman al-Berr, both of whom belong to the reformist current in the MB, were detained. Security officials said the detainees had been participating in banned political activity.
The authorities frequently crack down on the officially outlawed but tolerated MB, Egypt’s main opposition group A statement by the group suggested the arrests were linked to the political activity expected ahead of the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for next April, November, and 2011 respectively. After fielding candidates as independents in the 2005 legislative polls, the Islamists hold a fifth of the seats in the current Parliament.
Gradual reform

The recent arrests were the first since Mohamed Badie, 67, an associate professor of pathology at Beni Sweif University, was chosen as the group’s new General Guide last January, replacing Mohamed Akef, whose tenure was undermined by deep divisions between conservatives and reformists.

In his first announcement, Badie used politically correct rhetoric and said the group believed in gradual reform and peaceful methods of change. “We reject and condemn violence of all sorts, whether it is practised by governments, groups or individuals. The Brotherhood believes that the regime should protect personal freedom and shura [consultation] or democracy. The MB is not an adversary of the regime, despite the measures it [the latter] takes to clamp down on the group and confiscate its money. The basis of citizenship is equality among Egyptians in rights and duties. The MB strongly denounces all forms of sectarian violence…Christians and Muslims constitute a unified cultural and social texture.

“We are not in a state of antagonism with Western peoples, but with those regimes that accept to grant their people democracy and freedom yet deny us these rights,” he went on.

Conservatives vs reformists

Observers argue that the election of the Guidance Bureau (the 16-member executive body of the group) was by no means a mere systematic circulation of power. Rather, it marked the culmination of the long-lasting conflict between reformists and conservatives. The reformers, it was said, are led by Mohamed Habib, Akef’s first deputy-who resigned from office on 31 December in protest at the manner in which the election was held-and the conservatives by Mahmoud Ezzat. Until recently-before the conservatives held sway over the group-Habib had been viewed as the heir apparent.

Indeed, the election of the Guidance Bureau held in December deepened the rift between the two sides. Habib and Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh-another leading reformist figure-failed to secure seats. Essam El-Erian, a third reformist leader, was elected among the bureau’s members.

Analysts and experts on the Islamic movement provide different explanations of these latest developments. Ammar Ali Hassan, a specialist in Islamic groups, disclaims arguments that the Egyptian security apparatus has a hand in the divide. He says: “I cannot imagine the security apparatus standing behind the dispute between the reformists and conservatives.”

“The security devices cannot interfere in the election of the Guidance Bureau or choose who should or should not become a member. The regime, however, has used the discord for its own interest.


Diaa’ Rashwan, an expert on political Islam and analyst at the Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, sees the latest development as normal and that within such a large political group the presence of currents and wings is by no means odd. “Both the reformists and conservatives strive to tighten their grip on the group.” Dr Rashwan says. He says he cannot judge whether the State did or did not interfere in the conflict, but he believes that the conservatives’ victory came in the State’s interest because this wing focuses on dawa (preaching) rather than integrating the group into mainstream politics. “The reformists give the State a serious headache because of their readiness to get involved in politics.” he concludes.

Ibrahim al-Hudeibi, son of late General Guide Ma’moun al-Hudeibi and a researcher on Islamic jamaat, believes that the current development reflects a process of settling accounts between the MB and the regime. According to Hudeibi, the MB has three wings: the reformists (adhering to the ideas of the group’s founder Hassan al-Banna); the salafists (followers of Sunni ideas); and Qutbists (devoted to the group’s theoretician Sayed Qotb, the founder of Islamic Jihadism). “The vote was marred by irregularities and the sole hope is sticking to institutionalisation,” he says.

Coercive coexistence

On his part, political analyst at the Al-Ahram Centre Amr al-Shobki argues that, were the Brotherhood ever to withdraw from political life, it would not have a harmful impact on the current political mobility, since it was not expected that they would fight for reform. “The change began gradually, since the presence of various generations created differences and disagreements in terms of how to view political issues. The nature of the Egyptian regime led to a kind of coercive coexistence; the latest election reflected an approach of outright marginalisation through which Habib, who performed as the link between the reformists and conservatives, was toppled.

“The MB has to separate religious and political discourse if its future is to be in any better shape,” he added.

Crying against the injustice

By Nader Shukry

Last Sunday saw a demonstration by Copts and rights activists in Tahrir Square in Downtown Cairo. The demonstration, which was organised by the Copts for Egypt movement and the Million Centre for Human Rights, and in which some 300 people took part, was held to protest the escalating violence against Copts on account of their religious identity.
Even though the demonstration was originally planned to march from Tahrir to Parliament, some half-a-kilometre away, the security forces prevented the move. Nonetheless, they protected the demonstrators and no skirmishes occurred.
The demonstrators chanted slogans which condemned the violence against Copts and the government inaction on that head. One banner read: “What grief! What shame! An Egyptian has shot his brother”, and another: “I have a right to celebrate Christmas; instead I had to see my brother killed”.

Hany al-Gezeiri, head of Copts for Egypt, presented a memorandum to Speaker of Parliament Fathy Sorour demanding a unified law for building places of worship, enforcing the law to bring the culprits to justice, and taking to account the officials who were inadequate or deficient in tackling the sectarian issue.
The demonstration witnessed an unprecedented large participation of young Coptic women. Nivene Girgis said that most of the women participants did so spontaneously out of an increasing sentiment of being threatened in their country.


Egypt Court Acquits Muslims Accused of Killing Christian

An Egyptian court on Monday acquitted four Muslims accused of killing an elderly Christian, saying that testimony from witnesses had not established they were the murderers, a judicial source said. Current Font Size:

The men were arrested in October after the elderly Copt was killed at his home in the southern village of Dairut. They allegedly planned to attack the Copt’s son, who was dating a Muslim girl and was rumoured to have circulated a CD with explicit pictures of her.

But the judge presiding over the court in the southern city of Assyut said he was not satisfied that witness testimony proved the imprisoned men were the killers.

Muslim villagers clashed with Copts after the men’s imprisonment, stoning churches and Christian homes.

Copts account for between six and 10 percent of Egypt’s 80-million population. They complain of discrimination and have been the targets of sectarian killings and violence.

In the worst sectarian attack in years, Muslim gunmen shot dead six Copts and a Muslim policeman on the night before Coptic Christmas on January 6 in southern Egypt.

A state security court has since put on trial three Muslim suspects in the killings.

Egyptian State Security Accused of Torturing Christian Youth

AINA) — Egyptian State Security has been accused by lawyers, rights activists and victims’ families of torturing the Christian youths arrested in the aftermath of the Christmas Eve shootings of Copts on January 6, 2010. The shooting in the southern town of Nag Hammadi resulted in the death of six and the injury of nine Christians (AINA 1-7-2010).Two days after the shootings, nearly 100 Coptic teenagers as young as 15 were arrested randomly without warrants from the streets and their homes in Nag Hammadi and the neighboring villages (AINA 1-13-2010).

The arrests were intensified after Anba Kyrollos, Coptic Bishop of Nag Hammadi, heavily criticized the role of the security forces in the massacre, and the demonstrations that took place in Nag Hammadi by the angry Copts against the security forces. Gen. Mahmoud Gohar, Security Director Qena, explicitly threatened Copts and said that he will deal firmly and strongly with any protests.

The arrested youngsters were tortured and released without charges after nearly one week, except for 15 who were charged with “rioting and resisting the authorities” on January 24, and sent to detention camps; 13 went to the New Valley Camp, 700 km south of Cairo and 2 went to Alexandria. It is not known how they are being treated there. “When we visit them, there is always supervision,” said one relative.

Those that were released confirmed that they were beaten and subjected to electrocution. They were asked by security forces to falsely testify against Bishop Kyrollos that he incited them to make demonstrations.

Activist Wagih Yacoub of the Middle East Christian Association carried out interviews on February 19 with two Copts who were tortured. The young men were arrested randomly from the street and kept incarcerated 4-7 days before being released. They have now both left Nag Hammadi for fear of being re-arrested.

Bola (surname withheld), 18, said that he was picked up from the street at 6.30 on January 8, and taken to the police station. Next morning they were blindfolded, with their hands tied behind their back, and transferred to the State Security prison in Nag Hammadi. “We had to take our clothes off, and we were electrocuted with electrodes in our private parts for 8 hours.” He said “Electric shocks only stopped when we could take it no longer — only to be resumed again.”

Reziky (surname withheld), 17, said he was picked up by the police from the street and was taken the next morning blindfolded to State Security prison. He described how they underwent electric shocks by being made to take their clothes off, stand barefooted, and drenched with water. “They electrocuted us through our private parts,” he said. “We were threatened by security that if we disclosed what went on, we will be re-arrested.” A relative of Reziky told an investigator he believes that Reziky and the others Coptic boys were also sexually abused by the police.

Coptic News Bulletin conducted an aired interview with the brother of a 15-year-old teenager who was released. He wanted to remain anonymous for fear of revenge from State Security. “They tortured my brother, and the other Copts. They were flogged and electrocuted through their private parts. The doctor said that none of them will be able to father any children or get married,” he said sobbing “He did not tell us exactly what happened. He is ashamed.” He said that the police wanted them to falsely accuse Bishop Kyrollos of inciting them to go out on demonstrations. The brother said that his brother is under medical treatment but is suffering psychologically and is afraid to venture out of his home.

In a balancing act, security forces also arrested Muslims as well, but they were not tortured, according to the brother. “When the police beat the Christians they tell them “your only problem is that you are Christian,” he said.

He added that he knew from his brother that those who were released had to sign on a blank paper beforehand, and they were threatened that should they divulge what went on inside prison, they will never see their families or daylight again. He also said that when human rights organizations came to see them, the Security forces sent them away and they were prevented from seeing anyone.

Dr. Naguib Gobraeel, President of the Egyptian Union for Human Rights (EUHRO), released a statement on February 17, volunteering to represent the young men who were subjected to torture in connection with the Nag Hammadi Massacre. “The Organization is aware that all those who were detained have been subjected to torture in sensitive parts of the their bodies that would make them completely lose their masculinity.” He explained that such crimes of torture have no statute of limitation. A hot-line number to the EUHRO was advertised.

Volunteer lawyers have complained that the affected families are afraid to sue the security forces for torturing their children. “Who is going to protect us from the vengeance of the security forces if we sue them?” said a relative of the 15-year old teenager Mina to Coptic News Bulletin. “We are poor and helpless people.”

As is the case in all sectarian incidents, State Security hold Christians in captivity to use them as “pawns” or “hostages” for twisting the Church’s arm into accepting their unfair settlement to secure the release of its children. The same tactic was used with the Nag Hammadi incident.

It was reported the families of the arrested youth appealed to Bishop Kyrollos for the release of their children, who were being tortured by the security forces in Nag Hammadi. A source near the Nag Hammadi Diocese, who wished to remain anonymous, said that Security officials in Nag Hammadi made a ‘deal’ with Bishop Kyrollos to release the incarcerated young men in exchange for his downplaying his accusation of the negligence of the State Security in the shooting incident. “Bishop Kyrollos was surprised to find detention warrants issued against 15 young men. He honored the agreement, but State Security did not,” said the source. “The Bishop was told by security officials to pursue normal channels secure their release, so he hired a team of lawyers from Cairo.” He believes that the 15 youngsters were purposely detained to be used again by the security officials to barter for something new from the Church.

Attorney Nabil Ghabrial, one of their legal team said that there is no proof for the charges of ‘riot and resistance to authorities’ brought against his 15 clients, as there were large numbers of bystanders, “so why are those in particular are accused?” An appeal was filed in Court on February 8 by the defense team challenging their arrest and detention.

Following the Nag Hammadi shootings, State security prevented human rights organizations from entering Nag Hammadi. However, Coptic advocacy groups were able to contact the families of the arrested young men and air their recorded interviews.

The majority of families interviewed found it difficult to talk about the torture their children underwent, especially the damage caused by electrocuting their private parts; they felt their children were humiliated as men. Most of the released teens were undergoing medical treatment and many have been fitted with catheters in order to urinate. Families also complained that their children are living in fear, do not sleep at night and do not venture out in the street.

The mother of 20 years old Milad Nageh, who is presently in a detention camp, said that her son was picked up from the street and accused of rioting. “I saw him when he was here in Nag Hammadi, they electrically tortured him.” His mother said that they do not know his whereabouts, some told her he was in the New Valley and some said in Alexandria. “When human rights groups were here, the police officer did now allow them to speak to us; they just took the names and had to leave.”

Mother of 20-year-old Milad Badei said that he was dying in the New Valley camp as a result of the torture and the electric shocks he received in Nag Hammadi prison at the hands of State Security. “They said they would get him doctor to look after him, but I have no money to go and see him in the New Valley,” she told Coptic News Bulletin in an aired interview.

She recounted the family’s ordeal when they were attacked at home in Bahgoura on the evening of January 8. 2010. She said the Muslims broke into their home after cutting off the electricity supply. They were naked so that no one could get hold of them. “They were throwing gas at us to burn us and had knives. My sons Milad and Mina were hurling bricks at them as we had nothing else to defend ourselves with. We could hear the Muslims telling each other to drag the girls out.” She said. Her second son Mina, who is also wanted by security is presently hiding. “Is Milad committing a crime to hurl bricks at perpetrators to protect his family and save his unmarried sister from being raped?” asked the mother, sobbing.

On February 20, 2010, the courts dismissed the appeals filed against the detention. Lawyers and human rights organizations will demonstrate in protest in front of the Supreme Court in Cairo at noon on Wednesday, 24/2/2010 requesting the immediate release of the detainees. They will also present to the Attorney-General a note of protest against the arrests.

By Mary Abdelmassih

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Copt Killed as Alleged Shooters Plead Not Guilty in Egypt

Another Copt Killed as Alleged Shooters Plead Not Guilty in Egypt

Coptic carpenter killed outside building that Muslims feared would be used as church.

ISTANBUL, February 16 (CDN) — Three men accused of killing six Coptic worshipers and a security guard pleaded not guilty on Saturday (Feb. 13) as the Coptic community mourned the loss of yet another victim of apparent anti-Christian violence.

The three men allegedly sprayed a crowd with gunfire after a Christmas service in Nag Hammadi on Jan. 6. In addition to the seven that were killed, nine others were wounded. The killings were the worst act of anti-Coptic violence since January 2000, when 20 Copts were killed in sectarian fighting in Al-Kosheh.

Defendants Mohammed al-Kammuni, Qorshi Abul Haggag and Hendawi Sayyed appeared Saturday in an emergency security court in Qena, a city 39 miles (63 kilometers) north of Luxor.

In front of the packed courtroom, the three men said little at the hearing other than to enter their plea before Judge Mohammed Adul Magd, according to one attorney present at the hearing. The men are charged with premeditated murder, public endangerment and damaging property.

Numerous Muslim attorneys volunteered to defend them for free as seven attorneys representing the interests of the victims looked on. The next hearing is set for March 20.

Even as the men entered their pleas, the Coptic community mourned the loss of yet another Christian, this one shot dead by police. On the evening of Feb. 9, Malak Saad, a 25-year-old Coptic carpenter living in Teta in Menoufia Province, was walking outside a meeting hall that police had seized from Christians when he was shot through his chest at close range. He died instantly.

Scant details are known about the shooting. Police surrounded the entire village and closed it to all reporters. In a statement, officials at the Interior Ministry said the Saad was killed by mistake when a bullet discharged while a police guard was cleaning his weapon. The Interior Ministry said the shooter has been detained and will be tried in a military court. Such courts are traditionally closed to the public.

One of Saad’s cousins, who requested anonymity, disputed the Interior Ministry’s version of the incident. He said that the guard had used the bathroom inside the meeting hall and had come outside of the building when he exchanged a few words with Saad and shot him at close range. The bullet went completely through Saad’s chest.

The building in question had been Coptic-owned for 16 years, but two days prior to the shooting, police seized it after a group of Muslims started a rumor that the owners planned to convert the hall into a church building.

Disputes over worship venues are common in Egypt. Copts and other Christians are extremely restricted in opening or even maintaining houses of worship because of complex government statutes. Anti-Christian elements within Egyptian society often use the statutes to harass Christians, Christian leaders said.

Christians Arrested
Following the Jan. 6 shootings, in a move that Christian leaders said was designed to silence the Coptic community’s protests, police began going door to door and arresting Coptic men in their late teens and 20s. Reports vary widely on the numbers of how many men were arrested, but 15 arrests have been confirmed.

Early in the morning of Jan. 8, officers from State Security Intelligence appeared at the home of Tanios Samuel looking for a different house. When officers realized they were at the wrong home, they arrested his brothers, Fady Milad Samuel, 21, and Wael Milad Samuel, 24.

“We are Copts. It is their country, they will do whatever they want,” Tanios Samuel said about the arrests.

He said the government is using his brothers and the others arrested as pawns to silence dissent. He said he lives in fear for himself and his brothers.

“The families are very scared – scared of violence, getting threats all the time,” Samuel said. “All we want is peace.”

Last month’s attack brought widespread outrage across the Coptic community and from human rights groups around the world.

Since his rise to power in 1981, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has avoided classifying any anti-Coptic attack as part of a larger sectarian struggle within the country. His critics however, have long said his policies or lack thereof contribute greatly to the anti-Christian climate within the country.

Although freedom of religion is guaranteed in Egypt’s constitution, Islam is the official state religion. In public schools, the Quran is used to teach Arabic.

On Jan. 21, Mubarak made an uncharacteristically strong statement about the shootings to MENA, the government-run news agency.

“The criminal act in Nag Hammadi has bled the hearts of Egyptians,” he said. “I hasten to affirm that the reasonable people of this nation, and its religious leaders and thinkers ... bear the greater responsibility to contain discord and ignorance and blind fanaticism and to confront the despicable sectarian strife that threatens the unity of our society.”

Despite Mubaraks’s comments, the government has characterized the attack as either a random criminal act or as one done in reaction to a November incident in which a 21-year-old Christian man allegedly raped a 12-year-old Muslim girl.

In an interview with BBC Arabic, Dr. Fathi Sourour, head of the Egyptian Parliament, said, “The Nag Hammadi shooting of Christians on Christmas Eve was a single criminal act, with no sectarian dimensions.” He added that the crime was “prompted by the ‘death’ of a Muslim girl as a result of being raped by a Copt.”

Later, commenting on a report about the incident, he described the shootings as “a clash between two brothers living in one home.”

Copts, however, have a starkly different impression of the shooting.

Georgette Qillini, a Coptic member of the Egyptian Parliament, described the attack as “a purely sectarian crime and by no means an individual criminal attack,” the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram reported.

Ibtessam Habib, another Coptic Parliament member, agreed that “sectarian rather than personal motives lie behind the Nag Hammadi attack.”

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Egyptian Regime: A Model of Arab Hypocrisy

Egyptian Regime: A Model of Arab HypocrisyWhile the

hypocrisy and deception of Arab leaders toward the West have reached serious levels, Western leaders continue to compromise and jeopardize our future by failing to find alternative energy sources,allowing Arab investments and receiving Arab culture. This enables the camel riders to penetrate our society and maneuver it to meet their goals.

The Arabs have gained new confidence in their agenda for the free world as Western political leaders go about their business. More importantly, Arabs have made inroads into our society thanks to the limitations on free speech called political correctness and various media controlled by petrol dollars.

Political correctness is taught in early childhood education to assure that our children grow up from a very young age accepting a certain reality. Political correctness can be interpreted as a form of brainwashing and prevents recognition of the goals and methods of our enemy.

Western leaders deal with Arabs in the same way that they deal with Western operatives in the Western world, forgetting that Arabs need to be treated in accordance with their own culture. Any plan that Arabs work to implement will serve to reverse the progress of our civilization and lead us back to the sixth century. Arabs are taking great advantage of our civil and democratic ways to achieve their goal of control of the West, a longtime dream of theirs to convert the whole world to Islam.

Western culture today does not allow us to be aggressors to force our ideas upon other nations. On the other hand, living in an era of technology makes the world connected, and we cannot ignore other cultural realities. The West tries to export democracy and modernism, but can we win by fighting the wind? Furthermore, who would dare travel into a jungle without carrying a defense weapon for protection? Who would even try to discuss civil behavior with primitives living in a jungle?

In order to make my point clear and this dilemma better understood, let us focus on both the Egyptian regime today and the history of Arabs leading Egypt.

First of all, Egypt has been ruled by Arabs for 1,432 years. Egypt is now one of our so-called Western friends, and the West is considered to have a close relationship with this regime. Furthermore, Egypt is considered a leader in the Arab-Muslim world.

The Egyptian regime has been leading international terrorism since 1952 when a military coup took over. Nasser created one of the twentieth century's most infamous heads of terrorism, Yasser Arafat. Nasser and Arafat together succeeded in building the bloodiest terrorist group ever to be recognized in modern history with the express purpose of killing the Jewish infidels.

At that time, the politically correct name given for this group was "Fedayeen," not terrorists. After years of killing innocent people in the Middle East and around the world, Arafat was recognized for the great work he and his group accomplished, and he was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 along with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.

The current dictator of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, learned well from his predecessors the lesson of how to fool Westerners. He is excellent in generating fake peace summits while financing, training and dispatching terrorists around the world.

Mubarak is the Arabic leader who talks to his Western friends, espousing peace, defending democratic principles and agreeing with individual human rights, while inside Egypt he instigates hate against these same friends, deeming them Western infidels.

For the past 29 years, Mubarak has imposed a law that allowed his regime to use law enforcement agents to act without any regulation against Egyptian citizens.
All Egyptian citizens live in fear reminiscent of the Hitler regime. Historically, Copts are living in one of the worst times ever under this dictatorial regime. Their current persecution evokes the sad memory of the first Arab invasion and massacre of millions of Copts.

On January22, 2010, Mubarak spoke at Al Azhar University to celebrate Science day! After 29 years of denying the existence of religious discrimination and all other discrimination in Egypt against Copts and other minorities, the Egyptian president on this day spoke to all Egyptians from this institution of higher learning that forbids Copts to attend because of their faith!

However Copts are taxpayers and Al Azhar University is a public university financed with Egyptian taxpayer money, as well as aid funding from United States and other Western countries.

Al Azhar University originatedin975 AD as a religious institution to teach Islam. It was privately funded, and Copts were not interested in attending to study another religion.

After the military coup of 1952, Nasser expanded it to teach subjects other than religion. In the Egyptian university system there is a finite number of enrollment slots, so the grades of a student graduating high school determines which state university he or she may attend.

For example, when a student with an 80% grade level is accepted into medical school at Cairo University, a Muslim student with less than 60% would be accepted into the same school in Al Azhar University. A Coptic student with less than 60% cannot find a place in any school belonging to any university in the country, and he or she then must choose between repeating a year of study, hoping to achieve higher grades in the following one, or accepting study at an interim school such as a two year community college in the USA. Meanwhile, his Muslim friend with the same grades gets accepted to medical school at Al Azhar University!

In Mr. Mubarak's current speech at Al Azhar University, he clearly threatened Copts with his strong message of opposition to those in Egypt and those in the Diaspora who madethe demonstrations and protests in response to the Nag Hammadi massacre.

The Copts were able to embarrass Mubarak and his regime with civil and peaceful protesting inside and outside Egypt which shed light on Egypt's deplorable actions and allowed Western governments to begin to see the real face of the regime.

Ashraf Ramelah

About Us
Voice of the Copts Website is an independent electronic news site which belongs to the Organization known under the same name.
Our goal is to report news of discrimination and oppression of religious minorities in every corner of our planet. A special attention will be given to those taking place in countries ruled by the Arabs, as well as providing an in-depth explanation of their mentality, behaviour and their way of living.
Since we are Copts, events of interest to the Copts concerning issues in their homeland, Egypt, will be covered, Our website would be an open window on the Coptic culture, as well as a comprehensive source of information on the Copts' suffering in their own land.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Five Muslim soldiers arrested at Fort Jackson for trying to poison the food supply


CBN News has learned exclusively that five Muslim soldiers at Fort Jackson in South Carolina were arrested just before Christmas. It is unclear whether the men are still in custody. The five were part of the Arabic Translation program at the base.

The men are suspected of trying to poison the food supply at Fort Jackson.

A source with intimate knowledge of the investigation, which is ongoing, told CBN News investigators suspect the "Fort Jackson Five" may have been in contact with the group of five Washington, DC area Muslims that traveled to Pakistan to wage jihad against U.S. troops in December. That group was arrested by Pakistani authorities, also just before Christmas.

Coming as it does on the heels of November's Fort Hood jihadist massacre, this news has major implications.

Egypt accepts major human rights recommendations

Lina Attalah

Egypt accepted most recommendations presented by fellow countries on improving its human rights record at the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva yesterday, expressing a new commitment to human rights in Egypt.

The review is a United Nations mechanism, established in 2006, whereby countries’ human rights records are assessed through recommendations of fellow countries. In the first hearing session, held on 17 February, Egypt received recommendations from many countries mostly calling for the lifting of the emergency law, putting an end to torture practices, eliminating discrimination against women, and ending sectarian violence, among others.

Out of 165 recommendations, Egypt accepted 119 and rejected 14, while the rest were deferred to another Human Rights Council session to be held in June 2010. “I think [Egypt’s acceptance of the majority of recommendations] shows that Egypt is taking the process seriously. You can’t go to the Universal Periodic Review and reject all recommendations. There’s a natural pressure and governments have to engage,” says Heba Morayef, researcher on Egypt and Libya with the New York-based Human Rights Watch.

Some of the recommendations accepted by Egypt include the release of administrative detainees, the redefinition of torture in the Penal Code to waive the state of impunity in torture cases and the compliance of the new anti-terrorism act with international human rights law. Egypt also recognized the need to amend the NGO law to facilitate the registration and functioning of civil society and to adequately respond to sectarian violence against Copts. Recommendations on freedom of expression, women’s rights of representation in the judiciary and more general social and economic rights were also accepted by Egypt.

Egypt also committed to the protection of refugee and migrant rights. A press release by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights says, “in an indirect reference to the shooting of African migrants attempting to cross the borders to Israel, Egypt has agreed to ensure that the police act with restraint unless they are in danger.” In the past year, Egyptian border police have shot and killed more than 12 African migrants crossing in to Israel.

According to EIPR’s press release, some recommendations were also deemed “inaccurate” and “factually incorrect” by the Egyptian delegation, especially with regards to freedom of religion and the use of the emergency law against journalists, bloggers and political activists.

“The government is lying when it describes as “factually incorrect” well-documented abuses such as the use of Emergency Law powers against bloggers and political activists or the impunity granted for perpetrators of sectarian violence,” said Hossam Bahgat, executive director of EIPR, in the press release. “We urge the government to support all of the review’s recommendations and establish a participatory and transparent implementation plan that is measurable and time-bound,” he added from Geneva where he observed the deliberations of the Universal Periodic Review.

Rejections by Egypt include specific amendments to the Penal Code on prison sentences to those who circulate false news that disturb public security and those who insult the president of the republic, hence limiting freedom of expression. Egypt also refused to abolish the death penalty, to invite international election monitors, to remove references to religious affiliation from identity cards, to amend personal status law to provide for more gender equality, and to stop prosecution on the basis of sexual orientation. Cultural reasons are mostly cited in explaining Egypt’s reservations on the latter rights.

Egypt postponed its response to certain recommendations to the next session in June. Those recommendations encourage Egypt to pass a unified law for the building of places of worship, to allow UN human rights reporters to visit Egypt and to provide Bahai’s with official documents and identity cards.

“Overall, it’s good Egypt accepted many recommendations, but several crucial issues remain in question,” says Morayef.

“A state position at the Universal Periodic Review can be used as a tool to remind it of the commitments it has voluntarily made,” Morayef told Al-Masry Al-Youm. “The advantage of the Review as opposed to other mechanisms is that it raises the level of engagement. The review included an intra-ministerial committee, involvement from the National Council of Human Rights and interest from the media. This means that it can be used as a powerful tool and as a minimal benchmark in [advocacy work],” she adds.

The final report on Egypt’s adoption of the Universal Periodic Review recommendations will be released at the Human Rights Council session in June in the presence of human rights watch dogs. While those groups only had observer status at the February round of discussions, they will have the right to present oral and written interventions in June.

Lina Attalah Senior Reporter

Thursday, February 18, 2010

European Parliament Condemns Violence against Christians in Egypt & in Malasya

European Parliament resolution of 21 January 2010 on recent attacks on Christian communities
The European Parliament ,
– having regard to its previous resolutions, and in particular that of 15 November 2007 on serious events which compromise Christian communities' existence and those of other religious communities,
– having regard to Article 18 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
– having regard to the 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion and Belief,
– having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas the promotion of democracy and respect for human rights and civil liberties are fundamental principles and aims of the European Union and constitute common ground for its relations with third countries,
B. whereas, according to international human rights law and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in particular, everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; whereas this right includes freedom to change one's religion or belief, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest one's religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching,
C. whereas Europe, like other parts of the world, is not exempt from cases of violation of that freedom, and experiences individual crimes committed against members of minorities on the basis of their beliefs,
D. whereas the European Union has repeatedly expressed its commitment to freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion and has stressed that government has a duty to guarantee these freedoms all over the world,
E. whereas on 6 January 2010 a drive-by shooting killed seven individuals – six Coptic Christians and a policeman – and injured others when worshipers were leaving a church after midnight mass on Coptic Christmas Eve in the city of Nagaa Hammadi in Upper Egypt; whereas, in recent weeks, further clashes involving Coptic Christians and Muslims have broken out and have been qualified by the Egyptian Government as individual incidents,
F. whereas on 8 January 2010 the Egyptian authorities announced that they had arrested and were holding three people in connection with the attack in Nagaa Hammadi on 6 January; whereas the Egyptian Public Prosecutor decided that the three accused should be tried before the Emergency State Security Court for premeditated murder,
G. whereas Coptic Christians represent around 10% of the Egyptian population; whereas there have been recurrent acts of violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt over recent years,
H. whereas the Egyptian Constitution guarantees freedom of belief and freedom to practise religious rites,
I. whereas it attaches great importance to relations with Egypt and underlines the importance of Egypt and EU-Egypt relations for the stability and development of the EU-Mediterranean area,
J. whereas the Malaysian Catholic Church had filed a lawsuit against the Malaysian Government in 2007 after the Government threatened to prohibit publication of the Herald newspaper on grounds of national security if it did not stop using the word "Allah", commonly used by the Bahasa-Malaysia-speaking community, of Christian faith, as a translation of "God",
K. whereas, on 31 December 2009, the Malaysian High Court ruled that Christians in Malaysia have the constitutional right to use the word "Allah" to refer to God and that the word is not exclusive to Islam,
L. whereas, following the ruling, there were at least nine attacks on Christian churches in Malaysia,
M. whereas in 2009 the Government had confiscated more than 15 000 copies of the Bible in the Malay language, in which the word "Allah" was used to refer to God, and it has not, to date, returned them,
N. whereas the Malaysian Government accepts the use of the word "Allah" by the Christian communities in Sahah and Sarawak states, while questioning it in other regions of the country, thus generating additional discrimination among the whole Christian community in Malaysia,
O. whereas inter-community dialogue is crucial to promoting peace and mutual understanding between peoples,
1. Stresses that the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion is a fundamental human right guaranteed by international legal instruments, and strongly condemns all kinds of violence, discrimination and intolerance, based on religion and belief, against religious people, apostates and non-believers;
2. Expresses its concern about the recent attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt and its solidarity with the families of the victims; calls on the Egyptian Government to ensure the personal safety and physical integrity of Coptic Christians and of members of other religious minorities in the country;
3. Welcomes the efforts made by the Egyptian authorities to identify the authors and perpetrators of the 6 January 2010 attack; calls on the Egyptian Government to ensure that all persons responsible for that attack, as well as for other violent acts against Coptic Christians or other religious or other minorities, are brought to justice and tried by due process;
4. Calls on the Egyptian Government to guarantee that Coptic Christians and members of other religious communities and of minorities enjoy the full range of human rights and fundamental freedoms – including the right to choose and change their religion freely – and to prevent any discrimination against them;
5. Deplores incidents of religiously motivated violence on European soil, including the murder of Marwa al-Sherbini, and expresses its solidarity with the families of the victims;
6. Expresses its concern about the recent attacks against churches and places of worship in Malaysia and its solidarity with the victims; calls on the Malaysian authorities to ensure the personal safety and physical integrity of people practising their religion and to take appropriate steps to protect churches and other houses of worship;
7. Calls on the Malaysian authorities to carry out thorough and rapid investigations into reported attacks against places of worship and to bring those responsible to justice;
8. Considers that the action of the Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs constitutes violation of the freedom of religion; is especially worried that the Malaysian Government has acted outside the law and that its interference has contributed to mounting tensions among religious groups in the country;
9. Welcomes the ruling by Malaysia's High Court and calls on the Malaysian authorities to respect its decision; calls on the Malaysian Government not to seek to reinstate the ban on use of the word "Allah" but to try to defuse the resulting tensions and to refrain from further actions that might upset the peaceful coexistence between the dominant and minority religions, as stipulated in the Constitution of Malaysia;
10. Calls on the Council, the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in the framework of EU relations and cooperation with the countries concerned, to pay particular attention to the situation of religious minorities, including Christian communities;
11. Supports all initiatives aimed at promoting dialogue and mutual respect between communities; calls on all religious authorities to promote tolerance and to take initiatives against hatred and violent and extremist radicalisation;
12. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of Egypt and the Government and Parliament of Malaysia.

Human Rights Council – Universal Periodic Review

Human Rights Council – Universal Periodic Review
For use of information media; not an official record

Date: Thursday 17 February (morning)

Country under review: EGYPT

•Documents: national report (A/HRC/WG.6/7/EGY/1), compilation of UN information (A/HRC/WG.6/7/EGY/2), summary of stakeholders’ information (A/HRC/WG.6/7/EGY/3)
•Troika: China, Italy, Madagascar
Concerned country - national report

1.Represented by a 15-member delegation and headed by the Minister of State for Legal and Parliamentary Councils, H.E. Dr Mufid Shihab
2.National report presented by HE Dr Mufid Shihab

•About to end the state of emergency and replace it by an anti-terrorism law.
•Effective policies to strengthen the participation of women in political life, i.e. quotas for Parliamentary elections.
•Criminalization of the practice of female genital mutilation.
•Human rights training of the police. 16,000 officials trained over the past 4 years.
•Freedom of belief and worship constitutionally guaranteed.
•Programmes to raise the quality of education, with a special focus on girls.
•Measures taken to combat worst forms of child labour.
•Programmes to fight women’s unemployment and poverty.
•Children and maternal mortality on the decrease.
•National plan to establish 2,500 primary care units across the country.
•Signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Interactive discussion

Number of States taking part in the discussion

1.Member States: 25
2.Observer States: 28
Positive achievements

1.Efforts to curtail the practice of female genital mutilation.
2.Women’s participation in politics.
3.Sanitation projects, with the goal of providing safe water to 100% of urban areas by the end of 2010.
4.Literacy programmes and promotion of human rights education.
5.Human rights institutions such as the National Council for Human Rights and the National Council for Women.
Issues and questions raised

•State of Emergency in place since 1981
•Torture, ill-treatment and secret detention.
•Violence against women and children.
•Persistence of female genital mutilation.
•Discrimination against religious minorities.
•Arrests and detention of bloggers and journalists.
•Gender gap in education.

•Put and end to the state of emergency.
•Adopt a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to abolishing it.
•Investigate allegations of torture.
•Take further steps to fight violence against women and prosecute abusers.
•Eradicate female genital mutilations.
•Pass comprehensive anti-trafficking in person legislation.
•Prosecute those involved in incitement to religious hatred and violence.
•Investigate human rights abuses against human rights defenders and lawyers.
•Eliminate all legal provisions and policies discriminating on a religious basis.
•Take resolute steps to guarantee an open and free press, including on Internet.
•Amend legislation which inhibits NGOs’ activities and ability to raise finance.
•Establish an independent Electoral Commission.
•Reply favourably to the request of visit of the Special Rapporteur on Torture.
•Ratify the Rome Statute, and the Optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention against Torture.
Response of the concerned country

•State of emergency – Unavoidable measure as terrorist attacks have continued since the 1981 assassination of President Sadat.•Death penalty – Applied only for very serious crimes. Executions on the decrease.
•Discrimination against women – Gender equality is absolute and safeguarded by the National Council for Women.•Female Genital Mutilation – Strong commitment to eradicating the practice, counselling services provided to families at risk. •Rights of the child – Child rights are on top of the national agenda with the recent inclusion of a budget for children in the State’s general budget.Adoption of the report by the UPR working group scheduled on Friday 19 February, as from 15:00
More information

•Country under review (documents submitted):

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Egyptian Government Attempts to Silence Coptic Diaspora

Written by Mary Abdelmassih
17 Feb 2010

(AINA) -- The drive-by shooting of Copts as they left Christmas Eve mass on January 6 in the southern Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi has shocked and enraged Copts all over the world.

( International condemnations poured in after the attack, which left six Copts dead and nine injured, with Italy, Canada, France, the Vatican, the US Congress, and the European Parliament, expressing their concerns about the safety the Copts in Egypt. In reply, a statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said, "It is an internal Egyptian matter that no foreign party is allowed to consider."

The shootings triggered unprecedented protests by Copts inside Egypt and abroad. Explaining this Coptic reaction, Coptic intellectual Magdi Khalil said on Life TV on February 4 "This incident is not like the rest. Copts feel they are in danger, and a bigger one is forthcoming. They finally have realized that the crimes against them are not individual incidents but rather 'crimes against humanity' planned by the Egyptian State itself."
Thousands of Copts participated in peaceful rallies in Western countries, voicing their grievances and exposing the Egyptian Regime's infamy. For the first time Coptic clergy participated in the rallies, and in some countries members of parliament also attended. Petitions have gone out to most Western leaders, and a great number of Copts have contacted their Parliament representatives asking for support (video).

After the shootings, state security imposed a news blackout on Nag Hammadi. The media and rights activists were forbidden to enter the area, and those who did were arrested. To counteract this, Votoc and Middle East Christian Association, two Coptic advocacy groups from outside Egypt, exposed the false information given by the government using their heavily frequented Paltalk chat rooms. They carried out updates and live interviews with Coptic witnesses from the scenes. Their servers were hacked twice by government operators.

The outrage of the international community and the success of the Coptic immigrants in raising awareness of the serious situation of the Copts caused the Egyptian government to intensify its efforts to silence them.

The Coptic Diaspora has always been accused by the Egyptian regime of "tarnishing" Egypt's image by presenting Coptic problems before foreign governments instead of solving them inside the country.

"Weakening their role as a pressure group abroad is a way to sabotage Coptic efforts in obtaining real gains," Khalil said, "and depriving the Copts in Egypt from the lungs through which they breath. The real work for the Coptic Issue is done abroad, and not inside Egypt. Coptic emigrants are effective on the political and human rights levels."

According to Khalil, the Foreign Minister, Ahmad Abu el-Gheit, held a secret meeting on January 19 with all his aides and ambassadors -- excluding the two Coptic ambassadors -- around the world to announce a "new strategy" to encounter the activities of the Coptic Diaspora. Abu el-Gheit said the Coptic Diaspora is a "fifth column," "enemies of Egypt," "who have a separate identity" and "all measures ought to be taken in all Egyptian Embassies around the world to curb their activities." The second part of the "new strategy" is to "convince the homeland Copts that the activities of the Copts abroad will increase Muslim attacks on them, and the outside world will not be able to save them." Khalil said that he got this information from a Muslim ambassador who attended the secret meeting and who disagreed with the policy.

Reacting to world pressure President Mubarak said on January 25, during his speech to mark national Police Day, that there have been "continued attempts" to disrupt national unity in Egypt and provoke sectarian strife in the country. "There exist extremists on both sides, and there are individuals who try to exploit Egypt's ordinary people. We must resist these efforts with all our powers." These comments were viewed as a threat directed at the Copts, particularly in North America, who are always vocal about the persecution of Egypt's Copts.

Intensive media campaigns were waged to distort the reputation of Coptic migrants, accusing them of treason, fanaticism and of seeking "empowerment through foreign support," a term invented by the government to intimidate and terrorize them.

Khalil criticized this moniker, saying "as American citizens, we use our constitutional rights to help our Coptic brethrens in Egypt to get their citizenship rights. We have not asked for any financial aid to be cut from Egypt, or sought military intervention from a foreign power. We are only asking that the Egyptian State honor its international obligations."

It has been reported that a draft has recently been presented to parliament making "empowerment through foreign support" a criminal offense.

Outspoken journalist Salah Eissa of Dostor Newspaper wrote an article on February 5, claiming the Egyptian regime hired PLM Lobbying Group to influence members of Congress to support the Egyptian policy and the Mubarak regime. "The regime mounts a campaign against Copts in the Diaspora because they are knocking on the doors of Congress and sending letters to its members about conditions in Egypt," wrote Eissa. "The regime wants to monopolize America for itself and prevents any of Egyptians, even U.S. citizens, from contacting anyone."

For a long time the government has put pressure on the Coptic Church to discourage Coptic human rights activities in the West. It was infuriated by priests participating in the latest rallies.

In an article published on January 25, The Al-Gomhourya Newspaper accused Pope Shenouda of causing sedition by allowing the Coptic priests to join the rallies abroad. "We expected the Pope to instruct his chaplains to stop these demonstrations," the article said.

A letter dated January 26 from the Egyptian Ambassador in Canada, Shamel Nasser, to Rev. Marcos, of St. Mark Church of Toronto, contained a veiled threat: "both Muslim and Christian preachers to adopt speeches that would assure and confirm the religious unity and equality between Muslims and Christians." This letter was viewed as an indirect threat to priests not to join the rallies and to also discourage their congregations from joining the protests.

On January 30 the Toronto rally went out as planned with 10,000 Copts participating.

Egyptian Embassies abroad were known to have successfully terrorized Coptic participants in rallies, taking their photos threatening retaliation by state security when they visit Egypt.

"Copts in the West are not afraid of any kind of government threat and we are ready to face all challenges," Khalil said. "We are not better than Martin Luther King, or the people who were martyred in Nag Hammadi."

Terror on the children of the village dominated Baqusip,Upper Egypt

Written by My christian blood blog

Child's of village "boka" of the Center for Qusiya Assiut exposed to the vilest kinds of persecution and beatings in the streets of the city from fellow Muslims and the same school called school "boka" elementary ancient Eastern and during discharge from the Examination

Committee, forcing the coptic 's parents of the children to go with them for the exam and asked the village system of forgiven conduct and reporting of security because of the harassment of children and when the Archbishop Archbishop Abdel-
Malak, priest of the Church of Archangel Michael in the village complained to the security authorities and, in turn, the prevention of such exposures, and our meeting with one of the parents and the named / Adel Ibrahim Faraj, from the village, told us that his daughter I asked him to go with her to school and awaited post-exam, because their colleagues in the same school and are Isagtonhm them to the ground and went with his daughter and asked the rest of the parents to go with him, and refused to go with him and justified by fear and cowardice of these children and their families, adding that many of them their parents abroad There is no go with them for the exams!!.

Is still fear in these children and their parents, forcing them to accompany them to the examination committee back and forth so that they can protect them from such acts which they are exposed.
He asked the Crown is one of the students, saying: "If children aged twelve years, such acts are what will they do when they grow up?".

We met with the son of the village and named Honorary happy, and assured us that there is harassment happens also for the village girls as they left the preparatory phase of the Examination Committee.
He wondered about the reason for this harassment, and said, Is is the blueprint has been prepared and management has to include students and preparatory phases Alaptdaip or does it receive the teachings of those in school and at home?.

And when our meeting Baalghems Archbishop Abdel-Malak, priest of the Church Bbouk owners, told us that some of the children of the church while they were throwing bricks belonging to these schools when they were Iqzvouna to students as they left the Examination Committee, and had made a complaint and security in turn call the parents of these children is under investigation with them.
There are reports that there is an attack has occurred on the observers of examination boards in the village of Total oak adjacent to the village trumpet, the additional security forces from the police station Qusiya to go to the village to maintain order

The abduction of a Christian girl kidnapped in Egypt Islam her mother's condition to Returned

Written by My christian blood blog

News and reports from our correspondents : My daughter was forced Islamization of the name was changed in the card from Selma to Justina.

In one instance, the college gave this young man a bottle of mineral water to drink and told her, "Drink the water de-sterile" and after drinking this water has changed her mind completely.

There is a prosecutor and a relative of the man who kidnapped my daughter. • ask you to connect the complaint to the whole world .. Because I have no one my daughter is the only Cindy. Books: George Bushra - particularly Christians Uniting A dangerous precedent in a kidnapping of Coptic girls in Egypt by Muslim youths, a young Muslim man named Mahmoud Hassan Deeb Mohammad Omar, a student of the Faculty of Commerce, University of Sohag, and resident children in the village of Ghazi of the city of Sohag, Gerga, "south of the Egyptian capital of Cairo," Coptic girl kidnapped colleague in college called "Justina Safwat Ghattas," resident city of Nag Hammadi, The Boslmtha, but it is a condition to her mother to enter Islam in order to return her daughter, said the girl's mother called "sincerity Abdel-Nour," said her daughter had been kidnapped

on May 17, 2007 at the hands of the young man mentioned and Mokhttefha "he said, had been in college in front of colleagues that his brothers living and commercial projects companies in Abu Dhabi, and came to my daughter learned this, she told me that there is a colleague at the college, his brothers and sisters of their projects in Abu Dhabi, and pointed to ask the colleague help my son holds a diploma in obtaining a visa to Abu Dhabi, thus, my daughter and then offered her colleague on the subject, agreed to help my son.

He told his brothers in this matter and agreed to send a VISA, and we then collect money visa and collected about 7 thousand pounds and take a Muslim man, and then began Eetmatal and sidestepping the issue and confirmed that the girl's mother at one point it at the college gave this young bottle of mineral water to drink and told her: "Drink water de-sterile", and after drinking this water has changed her mind completely, and returned home, after she returned directly contacted by this young man and told her: "revision of the article Sports Center Horus Sohag", asked me to go to attend the audit in order to succeed, So I went and since then did not return until this moment, the girl's mother explained that it had informed the state security and police went to the father of the young man in the village said to her, "I do not know his place" with that he knows everything about him is helping him.

Also confirmed the girl's mother for "Copts United" after it informed the State Security for the young, the young man immediately contacted, and threatened her and told her: "Inti Btaheddine Tbghei and state security certificate was they who Msaeidini," and stipulated that the young girl's mother to enter the hijacked Islam, until her daughter returns, she said that the Islamization of the young daughter by force, and changed its name in the card from Selma to Justina, and the girl's mother suggested that there is a prosecutor and a relative of a kidnapped girl, in the same context, the girl's mother that her daughter was on good terms with God and was serving in the Church, and everyone attests to her good, and called Connect Srechtha Astagattha and to the world after it has been to ignore the messages, complaints and SOS sent by the state security police and the Presidency, Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak and Gamal Mubarak, because the girl is with her only daughter of her brother, which was support in the life.

Mobile rape message

Written by Christians Under Attack blog

Congratulations, we have earned a laptop .. Congratulations You've won a number of the latest Mobile .. Congratulations, you win a plasma screen.

These samples of the texts of messages of up to some Christian girls in the schools, and Assiut Upper Egypt Mobaillathn which explains the sender of the sender of the way to receive the award, which has shed the saliva of her phone and some of them already go to receive the award at the place or apartment or company mentioned in the letter and then start bargaining and tricks Altraeib until you reach more dangerous phase of a rape and photographed in situations and Alnhaip against us as it is known from previous events abduction and rape of Christian girls ..

This is part of the horror in control of the parents of students who hold a mobile phone and is the cause of Ziaahn and of course a question may arise about how to know Orkamhn but the answer is simple as the exchange of numbers between colleagues has become common among them without putting into account the extent to which the second party to this figure. . Dominates county school state of anxiety, fear and horror of what they're planning for Christian girls amid the lack of parental awareness and educate their sons and daughters and the absence of central control and a strong security to arrest the perpetrators of these plots?!!

Nag Hammadi crime: a destruction of the concept of the State

Written by Gamal Hindawi’s blog
Bikya Masr

By a simple calculation and from a full perspective we can discuss the long term human bleeding and the excessive depletion of the wealth, resources and the destiny of the Arab peoples. The bloody sacrifices and the tears of the movements espousing the slogans of the revolutionary process of liberation and emancipation and anti-colonial powers … and compared to the results shown day-to-day, it is the most losing deal in human history as a whole.

After decades of bitter years … and after many experiences of independence and the establishment of the so-called nation states, still some of the events that we go through and make us live with a struggle, compel us – from time to time – to revise our concepts about the phrases that we are tired of repetition and routine self-perpetuating about belonging and citizenship, social justice and the expression of these phrases on the ground of reality.

Some of the calamities that strike the national reconciliation by surprise and that affect the social fabric in its deepest infrastructure such as the one that took place in Nag Hammadi, may compel us to wonder about the semantic concept of the state in the media and political practice, and the rhetoric of the ruling Arab regime.

The State, as a ruling system, expresses the directions of the people, and in light of the notoriously illegitimate encroachment of the ruling regime and through collaboration and conspiracy with the politicized and mercenary religious system, the State has turned into a tool of suppression and dedicated to terrorize the intellectuals and to impose authoritarian ruling concepts that can not be justified and its existence is only to deprive citizens of their basic rights ensured by the constitution and the basics of belonging to their country.

Citizens’ right for freedom of choice is the main threat to the state. The peaceful transfer of power is an end to the regime that can not be offset by any arrangements for any kind of “safe exit.”

In other words, the State here has turned into a method of marginalization and exclusion rather than a tool of the formation of a coherent collective consciousness and national identity and unity. The official Arab political regime has historically failed in launching a project or a political process leading to a binary sort of the State and the Authority, with an emphasis on the primacy of the State as a unifying entity, guarantor of citizenship and fundamental freedoms and distancing itself from sectarian and ethnic divides.

We can even say that the official Arab main concern is the synthesis of the concept of the duo: the ruler and the ruled, through the establishment of a distorted concept of the State adopting delusional slogans in the interpretation and management of community-based intersections, and play its card on these intersections to ensure sustainability of dominating the national decision and control the distribution of financial income of the resources of the nation, turning a blind eye on the practice of inciting a sectarian and racial rift, which is practiced by the scholars of the Sultan under the pretext of doctrinal purity and decency and to refrain from the activation of policies aimed at sowing the seeds of belonging and consolidation in the state system and replacing it by a narrow short-hand formula that does not provide a space for the ethnic minorities and different ideological and philosophical minorities.

This produced the frightening reality, which is reflected in the emergence of sectarian slogans and racism in any friction or a mere criminal incident where its parties are different, ethnically or from different sects. This is a reflection of the tensions experienced by the citizen and that reflects the suffering of the deterioration of the limitations created by the excessive absence of social justice arising from the wrong policies of successive governments of our country.

The blood that has watered the land of NaJ Hammadi was another echo of the blood shed in Kurdistan, Darfur, Lebanon and elsewhere in the Arab ill structured world and was squandered by the destructive policies to national interrelation and popular communication. The policies that sought to disrupt the cohesion of community and dismantling it to ethnic or religious or sectarian references that were set to pounce on the national retreating gains under the pressure of routine weakening of the collective system, which is expressed as nation-state, which threatens and warns of civil war and dismantling the state into small-states and could lead to ethnic cleansing and genocides.

That petty criminal who raised his evil and unjust weapons in the face of his brothers is inevitably convicted and deserves the punishment that is commensurate with the heinous crime, but he shares the indictment, certainly, with the government that has suspended the principles of citizenship and justice. This obscurantist priesthood is also convicted because it did not use the enormous potential dominated by the clout nor the amount of people in spreading the values of tolerance, fraternity and unity.

The killer who committed the crime in Nag Hammadi was expressing a reflection of centuries of incitement and programmed alienation between the components of the same society and collusion between the governance and the scholars of the Sultan who incited racism and sectarianism, which contradicted by the blood of the Copt martyrs slain with their brother Muslim martyr, the security man whose blood was combined into a unity, in which the history, land, honor and determination refuses its collapse.

**translated by Mohamed Abdel Salam

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Detained Christians Face Electrocution and Severe Torture by the Egyptian State Security Intelligence

Written by Coptic American Friendship Association
FEBRUARY, 12, 2010

As we have previously reported, the Egyptian SSI has randomly arrested and detained about 40 Christian Copts in Naga Hammadi, Qena on January 8th, a day after a radical Muslim group sprayed Copts after the Eastern Orthodox Christmas prayers with gun fire killing six Copts and seriously wounding nine others.

The SSI intended to blackmail the families of the victims and the head of the local Coptic parish in Qena, Bishop Kirillos, by arresting the Christians asking the bishop to be silent about the incident along with the victims' families. The SSI threatened the bishop not to talk to the media and not to file any law suits against the state government in return of releasing the detainees. However, when the facts about the massacre became public, the SSI began to increase the torture of the Christian detainees, who have not been charged with specific charges to date.

According to recorded voice interviews taken place within the last 2 days with the parents and/or other family members of the detainees, who were finally allowed to see their detained family member where they are imprisoned currently at "al Wadi Al Gadeed" prison, it is confirmed that all of the remaining 15 Copts in prison have been tortured by high voltage electric cables connected to their private parts several times daily, beaten with metal elements, forced to sleep on cold water and spat on their faces.

Several of them had to be seen by prison doctors as they needed catheters for uncontrollable urination. Coptic American Friendship Association has copies of the voice interviews where the family members express in details and tears the current condition of their loved ones who were just released or are still imprisoned. According to their families, the tortured Coptic Christians were also threatened if they do not testify that the Naga Hammadi's bishop had played a role in igniting the violence that they would face ongoing torture and their release would not happen.

It is obvious that the SSI has released the Christian Copts who were under 21 years of age after torturing them for a few weeks to avoid any future legal responsibility. The ones that are still jailed believed to all be over 21 years old. One doctor described the medical and psychological condition of the released Copts as "beyond repair". The names of the detained Copts are:

Wael Milad Samoeel
Fady Milad Samoeel
George Nasry Sadeek
Youhanna Masoud
Mina Boktor Kirolos
Razaik Romany Gadallah
Bishay Maher Zekry
Emad Wanees Mofeed
Hany Nabil Ibraheem
Hany Zaher Ibraheem
Milad Badee Risalah
Mamdouh Fawzy Nasry
Milad Nagaah
Rafaat Refaat Adly
Nashaat Zaher Zekry

The Egyptian SSI has been repeatedly accused of torture by many organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and other international commissions as well as Egyptian civil and human rights groups. These organizations have also indicated SSI involvement in sexual abuse and humiliation of detainees (male and female) and for targeted persecutions of Christians.

Coptic American Friendship Association urges the United States Department of State, House's Human Rights Caucus, and Foreign Affairs Committee to immediately communicate with the Egyptian government asking for the release of those innocent Copts who face severe torture because of their religion.

For more information:

Ihab Aziz
Executive Director
Coptic American Friendship Association (CAFA)
Washington , DC . USA

Coptic.American@yahoo.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

703.337.5217 Ph.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

International Trusteeship for Egypt

Nag Hammadi martyr
vedio - click & watch
LOs Angeles : you must watch this -
Please circulate widely …

Free captured copts

14 February 2010 Morris Sadek
The Muslim Egyptian Government has practiced discriminatory policies against Copts since 1952, which led us to the massacres of Nag Hammadi earlier this year. Accordingly, the American Coptic Assembly in USA continues its diplomatic contacts with one of the states supporting the Coptic cause.

There is a case of disapproval and condemnation from the international community against the Egyptian government after the Nag Hammadi sectarian massacre. Countries like France, Italy, Canada and Great Britain condemned the incident, in addition to many other local and international organizations. Furthermore, the European parliament commented on the massacre of Nag Hammadi and demanded the protection of Copts.

The assembly endorses the Egyptian Liberal Party invitations for an international investigation into the massacre of Nag Hammadi. Also, The Assembly has demanded from the international community and the international trusteeship committee a system developed by the Charter of the United Nations to manage the troubled regions by the decision of the Security Council – to intervene to prevent what can be called a potential “Genocide” of the Copts in Egypt. In this case, the supreme powers will intervene and the United Nations’ mission in Egypt would be the management of the Egyptian military, Egypt’s diplomatic affairs and Homeland Security. NATO also could interfere to stop this genocide and hand over power to a transitional government.

Finally, the National American Coptic Assembly pays a special thanks to the United States Congress, The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and all Copts worldwide for supporting the Coptic cause and protesting the prosecution of Copts in Egypt.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Problems on hold:Confounding the Coptic issue

In his recent meeting with the delegation of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, Minister of Religious Endowments Hamdi Zaqzouq said that the bill for a unified law for building places of worship would be placed on the agenda of the Egyptian Parliament in its next round. Dr Zaqzouq’s declaration was highly applauded by the Shura Council (the upper house of Egypt’s Parliament) members, but the question which begged an answer was why the delay till the next round, even though the current parliamentary round extends till next July. Five months to go should be ample time to debate the bill, so why the procrastination—given that the bill has been with Parliament for five years now?

Multiple factors strongly call for a unified law for building places of worship. In view of the cumulative build-up of Coptic grievances, and in the aftermath of the Nag Hammadi crime, we cannot afford to delay the implementation of measures to resolve the sectarian problem. The National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) said, in its last annual report, that the passage of a unified law for building places of worship would put an end to one of the chief causes of sectarian strife in Egypt. Again, in a declaration it issued in the wake of the Nag Hammadi crime, the NCHR said the passage of the law would be pivotal in ending religious discrimination among Egyptians. Moreover NCHR vice president Kamal Abul-Magd said that delaying the passage of the law would send out an erroneous message that the State was turning a blind eye to religious discrimination and disregarding the resultant sectarian strife.
I was unable to join in the Shura Council members’ applause of Dr Zaqzouq. Frustrated, I was wary about the seriousness of the government in tackling the root of the Coptic problem. Instead of applying prompt measures to reform the sectarian scene, the government has embarked on an attempt to beautify its image before a foreign delegation on an annual visit to Egypt. It is not as though the government is being cornered into a defensive stance, since the Copts in Egypt are far from opting for an internationally-imposed solution to their problem. Muslims and Copts alike have made it clear that Coptic grievances should be resolved inside Egypt, basing on citizenship rights. In this light, the government’s move to delay placing the bill before Parliament to a future round is unfathomable and unjustified.
Dr Zaqzouq said that the law, once passed in the future round, would once and for all end all Coptic complaints about difficulties in building churches. Rifaat al-Said, head of the Tagammu Party’s parliamentary authority in the Shura Council, said that the law would terminate the tensions resulting from official bias against a sector of Egyptians. Mamdouh Qinawi, representative of the free Constitutional Party in the Shura Council, said that the problems of building churches ought to be resolved since there was no alternative to rooting the citizenship rights of Copts. All these and similar declarations make it eminently obvious that Egypt is in dire need for a unified law for building places of worship. Why then place it on the backburner till a future parliamentary round?
This delay on the part of our executive authority may come as no surprise, however, if one is to take a closer look at the Egyptian legislative authority. The parliamentary fact-finding commission to Nag Hammadi issued a dire warning that sectarian crimes are bound to escalate unless prompt measures are taken to contain the inflammatory sectarian scene. But what should Speaker of the Parliament Fathy Sorour say to this? “Muslims and Copts have lived side by side in Egypt ever since Amr Ibn al-Ass conquered Egypt [in the 7th century]. They have continued to share equal rights and duties indiscriminately.” Does Dr Sorour believe that to be a supposedly precise depiction of the reality we are about to embark on reforming? Or is it intentional concealment and embellishment of the facts?
The Speaker of the Shura Council Safwat al-Sharif declared that, under President Mubarak, the Copts have restored ten times as many churches as they did under Mohamed Ali. I admit it was past me to fathom the comparison. Was Mr Sharif implying that Copts are better off now than at any time in history? Or was he implying that the rule of Mubarak could in any way be compared to that of Mohamed Ali who ruled Egypt from 1805 to 1840? The absolute irrelevance of the statement suggests the real problem is being discounted. With such messages emanating from the legislative authority, is it any surprise that the executive authority should delay any positive action? The stalling and side tracking of both authorities is obviously confiscating the direly needed reform which the sorry Nag Hammadi incident brought into focus.

Egypt's Copts fearful amid increasing tensions

By-Jeffrey Fleishman

As the majority Muslim nation turns more conservative, the Christian minority, which has lived in relative peace for centuries, faces an uncertain future. Recent killings and riots add to the fear.

Father Metyas Mankarios ministers to garbage men and runs a newspaper for Coptic Christians from an office crammed with brittle archives above vegetable sellers and fishmongers barking out prices along the muddy roads of a Cairo neighborhood.

Few have it easy here. From dawn until deep into the night, there is the clatter of making a living, no matter how small. But these days, Mankarios, his face engulfed by a graying beard, worries more about the increasing discrimination and resentment from Muslims who attack monasteries and teach their children that Christians are infidels.

"It's dangerous today," he said. "Egypt is going in new directions that are starting to affect the harmony between religions. This attitude is evident not only among ordinary Muslims but among top government and Islamic officials."

Egypt's Copts and Muslims have co-existed for centuries, through spasms of bloodshed and recrimination but mostly in relative peace. In recent years, however, tolerance has ebbed and tensions have multiplied in a predominantly Muslim society that has grown more conservative and inclined to drawing religious distinctions in schools, public offices and in mixed neighborhoods.

The atmosphere was further agitated this month after a bishop received death threats and six Christians attending a Coptic Christmas Eve Mass north of Luxor were killed in a drive-by shooting. The Muslim assailants were reportedly seeking revenge for the alleged rape of a Muslim girl by a Copt.

The killings highlighted years of sectarian unease in the village of Nag Hammadi, where riots erupted immediately and shops and businesses were burned.

A human rights group accused a member of President Hosni Mubarak's ruling party of inciting the animosities through his connection to one of the attackers. The group, which filed a lawsuit, alleges that lawmaker Abdel Rahim el Ghoul intervened to have one of the gunmen released from prison days before the shooting. Ghoul has denied wrongdoing, and the prosecutor general's office announced that there was no larger conspiracy.

"We need a parliamentary investigation to find out who was really behind this massacre," said Ashraf Radhi, one of a number of Muslim political activists who condemned the deaths. "It is clear to all of us that the three criminals or mercenaries did not act alone. They were backed by someone with authority."

The shooting roiled deep-seated religious prejudices in a nation where Islamic clerics were outraged by a recent ban on minarets in Switzerland but have been less vigorous in speaking out against abuses or protecting the rights of Copts in their own country.

Nag Hammadi "was not an individual act. It is a political, religious, social and above all a governmental crime," wrote Mohamed Shabba in the independent Nahdet Masr newspaper.

"It is caused by the backwardness of education that is teeming with racism, extremism and contempt for the other. It is also an economic crime because it took place in Upper Egypt, the area that has suffered from government neglect for years."

Others cautioned that the incident should not be overblown and that the religious and clan tensions in Nag Hammadi are not representative of the national mood.

Mubarak was quoted in the state-owned Al Ahram newspaper as saying, "We are one people. We are not fanatics because we are all children of this land, and there is no difference between Egyptian Muslims, Christians and Jews."

Copt's make up about 10% of the nation's population of 82 million. Founded by St. Mark in the 1st century, the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt predates Islam by hundreds of years. But beyond pews and vestibules, the Christian imprint fades: Public schoolchildren of all denominations are taught to recite the Koran as part of Arabic language training, and Egypt's civil laws are based on Muslim Sharia tenets.

The Egyptian Constitution protects religious freedom, but some churches have been attacked, and others encountered years of land disputes and government scrutiny before they were built.

Courts make it virtually impossible for Muslims who convert to Christianity to change their religious identity on national ID cards. Death threats have forced some converts to go into hiding or leave the country.

Al Azhar University's Islamic Research Academy, a leading voice on Sunni Muslim thought, recently suspended publication of a book it had commissioned after Copts protested that the work described Christianity as a form of paganism.

Conservative Islam began arriving in Egypt in the 1970s with migrant workers returning from Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. The tenor intensified through the 1990s, and today, even as voices in the media have grown more devout, the Egyptian government works to silence radical Islamic influences but not anger its Muslim population. Copts say this dilemma has left them vulnerable at a time of growing national economic and social pressures. The church leadership prefers diplomacy and has not publicly criticized the Mubarak government.

Awny Mikhail dodged talk of such volatile matters. A Copt, he owns a jewelry store in Cairo, where his customers are as likely to be Muslim women in veils as men with crosses tattooed on their wrists. Boys played marbles in the dirt outside; two police officers sat near another Coptic-owned jewelry shop that was shuttered after a 2008 machine-gun attack that left four Christian workers dead.

"I deal with Muslims every day," he said, while behind him Coptic Pope Shenouda III, whose seat is in Alexandria, was speaking on TV. "I just left my other shop to pick up something in this one. I have two Muslim customers waiting back there alone. They could steal whatever they liked if they wanted to. You have to have trust in people."

He leaned over his counter. "I don't want to see a chain reaction from the Nag Hammadi incident," he said. "The media will try to turn this into something more. Things aren't that bad. Muslims have become more conservative, yes, but I support the government in trying to stop Islamic extremism."

Minutes away, in a neighborhood populated by garbage men, Father Mankarios sat in his office, working on his newspaper, Tibian Battalion, named after a 3rd century band of Coptic soldiers who fought with the Roman army but were later executed for refusing to worship Roman idols. A woman handed him files.

He recalled his boyhood in the 1960s, when, like today, there were symbols of differences between Copts and Muslims: Copts bore the tattooed cross and Muslims a brownish callus on their foreheads, known as the raison, from years of prostrating in prayer. But mostly, he said, the faiths mingled with little anxiety because Copts were less demanding of their rights.

"When I was young, I didn't see all this tension coming," he said. "We got along with Muslims just fine. That's all changed.

"The Egyptian government is not worried about Coptic unrest. We don't have militias or a political party. Copts are no threat to the government. All we can do is shout."