An Egyptian newspaper has reported that a group of Coptic organizations have formed a new international organization and implied that Egyptian government’s fear of the Muslim Brotherhood is responsible for the troubles of Copts in Egypt. According to the report:
Some 9 Coptic Organizations announced on Saturday their withdrawal from the International Coptic Council and the formation of the International Federation of the Coptic Organizations, including the Copts of the United Kingdom, The American Coptic Friendship Association, the Copts of Australia, the Coptic Youth in Australia Association, the Copts of Germany, the Coptic Youth in France, Kemi Organization for Human Rights in Austria, the Egyptian Federation for Human Rights and Nor el-Shams Organization for Development and Human Rights. The announcement comes after the organizations met in Bonn, Germany, on March 26 and 27. Helmy Gerges was elected as the new association’s general coordinator and the spokesman of the new International Federation of Coptic Organizations, which agreed to hold its General Assembly meeting within the upcoming 6 months. The statement from the group added that the Federation welcomes any new members, “and continues to work to give the Copts their rights back and to maintain equality for all Egyptians on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Before the final session of the conference, Coptic activist Bahaa Ramzy, head of the Dutch Coptic Association, said that the attacks that occur against the Copts in Egypt, “number more than 1500 of assault and rape and murder.” Ramzy questioned who was behind these events, adding that in all these events, “the results of the investigations were unknown.” Ramzy added that the Copts in Egypt suffer from many problems and persecution, noting that there is “no Coptic person in the decision-making centers, in addition, the current Parliament does not have a member, but Copts had access to Parliament through appointment.” He said that in Egypt there is “no freedom, no freedom of religion, only ideology, except for the freedom of Islamists,” pointing out that the Civil Code contains a lot of “sterile material that should be changed.” He added that the Egyptian government is afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood and the government is “unable to manage the state and it is impossible to submit her resignation.” Ramzy called on the Egyptian government to adopt the common law for houses of worship, the approval of a law against religious discrimination, separation of religion and state, the enactment of the common Personal Status law for the three sects and changing the “extreme curriculum in schools,” which he said will raise terrorists within 20 years.
Copt is a term which usually refers to Egyptian Christians. An earlier post discussed denials by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood that religious intolerance was to blame for a shooting attack against Coptic Christians in southern Egypt. Another previous post discussed statements by a prize winning Egyptian author and former Shell Oil CEO blaming the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood for the deteriorating position of religious minorities in Egypt.