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Curbing NGO Operations Hinders Democratic Evolution of Egypt
By Coptic Solidarity

The wide-ranging restrictions and draconian sanctions proposed to be implemented on non-government organizations represent a danger to the democratic evolution of Egypt. 

 

Arab Uprisings May Doom Middle East Christians
By Hilal Khashan - Middle East Quarterly

“The overthrow of Morsi has not provided the Copts with relief from violence and persecution.”

“(some) Muslims tend to regard Egypt's Islamization as permanent and consider the Copts a historical nuisance.”

New Freedoms in Tunisia Drive Support for ISIS
By David D. Kirkpatrick- NYT

Nearly four years after the Arab Spring revolt, Tunisia remains its lone success as chaos engulfs much of the region. But that is not its only distinction: Tunisia has sent more foreign fighters than any other country to Iraq and Syria to join the extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State.

 

EU Human Rights Envoy Visits Egypt
By POMED

European Union Special Envoy for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis arrived yesterday in Egypt for a series of meetings with Egyptian government officials. Lambrinidis met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, during which meeting the minister emphasized Egypt’s interest in “maintaining human rights in political, economic and social aspects.”

 

Christians in the Middle East Focus of Vatican Gathering
By Aleteia

 “We cannot resign ourselves to imagining a Middle East without Christians," Pope tells cardinals.”


‘Complete Implementation of Sharia,’ Pledges Bassem Khafagi in Presidential Campaign in Egypt

Bassem Khafagi, Former Community Relations Director of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and A Founder of Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA) – Who In 2003 Was Convicted In U.S. and Deported – Says In His Presidential Campaign in Egypt: I Pledge To 'Complete Implementation of Islamic Law'

In statements televised on March 12, 2012 on the Egyptian Al-Nas TV, Egyptian presidential candidate Bassem Khafagi said: "[A]s a Muslim Egyptian, I am convinced of [the need to] complete the implementation of Islamic law in Egypt. I do not hide this truth in any way, because it is in keeping with the inclination of the Egyptian people." He added, "As president, I will personally assist in the completion of the correct implementation of the shari'a, by consulting the experts [in Islamic law]."

Khafagi was sentenced in September 2003 in the U.S. to 10 months in prison and deported to Egypt, after pleading guilty to two counts of bank fraud and one count of visa fraud. He had been charged with funneling money to promote terrorist activities through the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA). At the time of his arrest, Khafagi was also community affairs director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

According to the FBI, Khafagi was a founding member and former head of the IANA. Federal prosecutors said that the group's objective was the "dissemination of radical Islamic ideology, the purpose of which was indoctrination, recruitment of members and the instigation of acts of violence and terrorism." Federal investigators said the IANA has funneled money to activities supporting terrorism and has published material advocating suicide attacks on the United States. The IANA said it was formed to promote Islam.

Khafagi was one of four former or current students at the University of Idaho at Moscow, ID and at Washington State University at Pullman, WA who were arrested in 2003 during an investigation of a suspected terrorist-related network in the Moscow-Pullman area.

According to school records, Khafagi earned a master's degree in civil engineering in August 1988 at the University of Idaho. After working as a teaching assistant and taking postgraduate classes there, he enrolled at Michigan State University, earning a doctorate in civil engineering in 1993. He later lived in Ann Arbor, Mich., operating a business called International Media Group from his home, court documents showed; according to the documents, it was not clear what kind of business it was.

Following are excerpts from statements by Egyptian presidential candidate Khafagi that aired on Al-Nas TV on March 7, 2012: To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/3356.htm

___________________________________________

MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 4571—Egypt

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