Friday, April 22, 2011

An Egypt for 'Muslims only' and subjugated Christians who would remain: 1000's of Muslims form million-man march against Copt governor

Egyptian demonstrators gather in the streets of Qena, Egypt, following a call by Islamist groups for a one million people rally, against appointment of a Coptic Christian governor, Friday, April 22, 2011. After Friday prayers, protesters streamed in from various cities and villages, and gathered in front of the governor's office, in the southern province of Qena and a main square.

Protesters carried placards stating “Qena is Islamic” and “We don’t want Mikhail.” Some Salafists were heard saying that they would accept nothing short of an Islamic leader­ship for Qena, and that the life of any Christian occupying the Governor’s post would be in danger.


“Many families — hundreds, I would say — are either making firm plans to migrate to Canada or elsewhere where they have relations, or they are making tentative plans, just in case.”

Egyptian Coptic Christians look out from their window
overlooking a church in Qena, 700 km (435 miles)
south of Cairo, in this January 8, 2010 file photo
When do we get past the understanding Islam part?

The worry is that things will only get worst ~ worst in the Islamic world is more Islam ~Islamic laws applied to the letter. That said a Christian and a Muslim cannot have equal rights. Under Egypt's current constitution ~ Copts are not allowed to be President ~ but were allowed to run for lower level positions. What these protesters are saying ~ is that this area is Islamic ~ and therefore ~ Islamic law should be applied in the strictest sense ~ in regards to leadership.

If the Christians are forced to leave Egypt ~ it would be almost unforgivable. Christians have been forced to leave Iraq, they airlifted some of the remaining Jews out of Yemen recently. It seems the Egyptian Copts may be next. All while we make excuses and accommodations for Islam again and again.


Copts where once the majority ~ but with Islamic law and its forcible conversions and humiliating institutionalized treatment of the non-believer ~ made life very difficult to be a non-Muslim. But in the west the argument is that now it is only reasonable to introduce some of these same Islamic laws too.



EGYPTIAN Muslims have staged four days of demonstrations in the southern town of Qena, the capital of Qena province, after the appoint­ment of a Christian governor, on Friday, by the country’s interim military rulers.

The governors of several prov­inces were changed under pressure from the leaders of the popular revo­lution, removing from office figures who were closely associated with the rule of the ousted President, Hosni Mubarak.

Tens of thousands of Egyptian demonstrators gather in the streets of Qena, Egypt, following a call by Islamist groups for a one million people rally

The protests erupted as Egyptian Copts continued to assess the wis­dom of staying in post-revolutionary Egypt, with the prospect of previously banned Islamic groups’ form­ing political parties to contest the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

The new Governor of Qena province, Emad Mikhail, has yet to take up his post, because the civic offices and roads leading to them have been blocked by demonstrators.

Mr Mikhail’s predecessor was also a Christian, whom Muslim pro­testers — led by extreme funda­mentlist Salafists — accused of failing to address social issues, such as poverty and unemployment. They said that they objected to the province’s being governed auto­matically by a Christian.

Tens of thousands of Egyptian demonstrators perform Friday prayers in Qena, Egypt, following a call by Islamist groups for a one million people rally, against appointment

Protesters carried placards stating “Qena is Islamic” and “We don’t want Mikhail.” Some Salafists were heard saying that they would accept nothing short of an Islamic leader­ship for Qena, and that the life of any Christian occupying the Governor’s post would be in danger.

In January last year, six Copts were murdered in a drive-by shooting as worshippers were leaving a church in Nagaa Hammadi in Qena province. Earlier this year, an Emergency Supreme Security Court in Egypt sentenced a Muslim man to death for the killings (News, 21 January).

Egyptian demonstrators are seen through a taxi window as they march in the streets of Qena, Egypt

During the Egyptian popular up­rising Copts joined Muslims in huge protests in Tahrir Square in Cairo and elsewhere, but there has been no sign, thus far, of a new all-embracing political party emerging to attract those sections of the community that favour civil rather than Islamic rule.


Instead, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic groups have been using their already established social networks to prepare for a strong political campaign. Copts fear that, despite the public calls by Islamic groups for civil rule, their real aim is to make Egypt an Islamic state.

Youssef Moustafa, a Copt who works in the travel business in Alexandria, said that Christians had been holding discussions among themselves about what to do: “Many families — hundreds, I would say — are either making firm plans to migrate to Canada or elsewhere where they have relations, or they are making tentative plans, just in case.”

Copts point to the strong support that Islamic groups gave to the “Yes” campaign in the recent referendum in Egypt on changes to the con­stitution. The amended constitution still states that Islam is the official religion of Egypt — despite the in­sistence of the groups of young people who led the popular revolu­tion that this part of the document should be changed to take into account the interests of Copts and secular Egyptians.

Copts and Muslims have held rallies calling for a secular constitu­tion that is free of religious clauses and guarantees freedom of worship for all citizens. The latest was held last Friday.

Some Coptic commentators have suggested that Islam’s continuing status as the country’s official reli­gion will be used as a platform by fundamentalist Muslims for their ambitions to create an Islamic state.

Church Times

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