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In Memory of Dr. Helmy Guirguis
By Lord David Alton

Remarks by Lord Alton of Liverpool at a Memorial Service for Dr. Helmy Guirguis at the Royal Society of Medicine, London, 6.30 pm, March 3rd 2015.

 

In 1997, when I was raised to the Peerage as a Baron, and entered the House of Lords, one of my young children asked me "Dad, does it mean we get a castle?".

 

ISIS Sets Sights on the Mediterranean
By Peter Martino

The failed state of Libya has become easy prey for ISIS. The terrorist organization has announced that it is planning to use Libya as a gateway to Europe.

 

From Sabratha and Sirte, ISIS is able to launch attacks on Italy and Malta.

 

12 Things to Know About “What ISIS Really Wants”
By Zelda Caldwell

In his much talked about article, “What ISIS Really Wants” in the March issue of The Atlantic, Graeme Wood punctures Western fantasies that the Islamic State is made of psychopathic discontents, or, in President Obama’s estimation, al Qaeda’s “JV team.”

 

Managing the ISIS Crisis
By Richard N. Haass – Project Syndicate

One day, historians will have their hands full debating the causes of the chaos now overtaking much of the Middle East. To what extent, they will ask, was it the inevitable result of deep flaws common to many of the region's societies and political systems, and to what extent did it stem from what outside countries chose to do (or not to do)?

 

But it is we who must deal with the reality and consequences of the region's current disorder. However we got to where we are in the Middle East, we are where we are, and where we are is a very bad place to be.

 

The stakes – human, economic, and strategic – are enormous. Hundreds of thousands have lost their lives; millions have been rendered homeless. Oil prices are low, but they will not remain so if Saudi Arabia experiences terrorist strikes or instability. The threat to the region is large and growing, and it menaces people everywhere, as extremist fighters return home and still others who never left are inspired to do terrible things. Indeed, though the Middle East is facing an abundance of challenges to its stability, none is as large, dangerous, and immediate as the Islamic State.

 

Those who object to calling the Islamic State a state have a point. In many ways, IS is a hybrid: part movement, part network, and part organization. Nor is it defined by geography. But it does control territory, boasts some 20,000 fighters, and, fueled by religious ideology, has an agenda.

 

Ultimately, of course, deciding whether to call what has emerged “ISIS" or “ISIL" or the “Islamic State" matters much less than deciding how to take it on. Any strategy must be realistic. Eliminating IS is not achievable in the foreseeable future; but weakening it is.

 

A strategy must also be comprehensive. First, the flow of money to the Islamic State must be reduced. Lower oil prices help, and there are only so many banks to rob. But extortion continues, as does financial support from individuals. Such flows should be shut down both by governments and financial institutions.

 

Curtailing the flow of recruits is even more essential. Countries can do more to make it difficult for individuals to leave for Iraq or Syria; a Europe-wide watch list, for example, would help. But nothing would have a greater impact than Turkey deciding that it will no longer allow itself to be a conduit, and that it will enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 2178, which calls for stronger international cooperation against terrorism.

 

Another component of any strategy must be to counter IS's appeal and propaganda. This means publicizing the misery it has caused to those living under its rule. It also means persuading Muslim religious leaders and scholars to make the case that IS's behavior is illegitimate from the standpoint of Islam.

 

Of course, any strategy must challenge IS directly in Iraq and Syria. In Iraq, there is some evidence that its momentum has been halted; but the growing role of Iran and the Shia militias it backs all but guarantees that many Iraqi Sunnis will come to sympathize with or even support the Islamic State, whatever their misgivings. This is why outsiders should place greater emphasis on providing military and political support to Kurdish forces and Sunni tribes.

 

Syria is a far more difficult case, given its civil war and the competition among outsiders for influence. Attacks from the air on IS forces are necessary but insufficient. Because IS is a territorially based entity, there must be a ground dimension if the effort is to progress; after all, only ground forces can take and hold territory.

The best approach would be to create a multinational force consisting of soldiers from neighboring countries, particularly Jordan. The United States and other NATO countries could offer assistance, but the fight must be waged largely by other Sunnis.

 

 

Shaping Al Sissi’s Role in the New US-Saudi Middle East Order
By MEBriefing

Signs of a new regional order in the Middle are becoming clearer with the visit of Egypt’s president Abdul Fatah Al Sissi to Riyadh. The presence of Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the possibility of a meeting between the two presidents. Intensive efforts by many regional leaders made Al Sissi’s visit possible.

 


Coptic Solidarity Second Annual Conference _2011

 

PR Newswire – for immediate release

Policy Education Day July 8 & 9, 2011

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an important show of support to the Copts as they, and Egypt, go through difficult times, eight U.S. Congressmen addressed a Policy Education Day organized by Coptic Solidarity on July 8. Altogether, some thirty five speakers took part in the two-day event, including policy experts, human rights and legal experts and representatives of several Middle Eastern minorities and indigenous communities. The conference, held under the theme of "Will Religious and Ethnic Minorities Pay the Price of the 'Arab Spring'?", discussed such issues as the geopolitics of the Copts in Egypt; democracy prospects in Egypt; respect of human and minority rights; persecution before and after the Arab Spring; Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists and the Copts; aid to Egypt; building alliances; role of the media; and the Coptic Youth in the Revolt and in the diaspora.

 

 

 

 

Key among the conference's resolutions:

Work in close alliance and coordination with genuine democratic, liberal and secular civil society forces in Egypt in order to save the country from the drastic consequences of falling under the control of a regime based on totalitarian religious ideologies;

Help the international community understand the strategic, long-term, negative impact of misunderstanding the nature of, or flirting with, the forces of religious fascism trying to dominate Egypt and the region;

Call upon the international community to tie any aid to Egypt to the country's abiding, constitutionally and legally, by its commitment to international human rights conventions and treaties; and to ear mark part of the aid to compensate victims of religious hate crimes.

Join hands with other N.E. religious minorities and indigenous communities to form a new regional organization that upholds values of secularism and human rights in the area;

Actively support the passage of resolutions H.R. 440 and S. 1245, on the appointment of a special envoy on religious freedom of N.E. religious minorities.

 

The Christian Copts are the native religious community of Egypt, descended from ancient Egyptians. They number around 15 million, including a large diaspora with more than half a million strong community of American Copts.

The Copts have been subjected to aggression and discrimination in Egypt at the hands of extremists and colluding authorities. Since the fall of Mubarak's authoritarian regime, the Coptic and other minority communities face an uncertain future shadowed by the prospect of a Muslim Brotherhood dominated government in the near future.

Coptic Solidarity is an INGO seeking to support of the Coptic community in Egypt and the protection of the fundamental human rights of all Egyptians.

For further information please contact:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 202-725-3091

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 240-644-5153

SOURCE Coptic Solidarity

 

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Coptic Solidarity is a U.S. public charity organization under section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are deductible under Section 170 of the Code.

 

 

Fifth Annual Conference

Coptic Solidarity 2014 Conference

The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 26-28, 2014.

 Click here for details 

 

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