It was discovered Thursday evening near Luxor in Egypt that a mother and her two daughters were killed and their bodies thrown into the Nile River.
"We have the chance to show that America values the dignity of the street vendor in Tunisia more than the raw power of the dictator ... America must use all our influence to encourage reform in the region ... we need to speak honestly about the principles that we believe in, with friend and foe alike."
Which prominent American spoke these words? It was neither Senator John McCain, enthusiast of democracy promotion, nor former President George W. Bush, architect of the Freedom Agenda. It was our realist, pragmatic President Barack Obama, in a major speech on May 19, 2011, during the heady early months of the Arab Spring.
Speaking at a conference in Milan, Italy, on May 8, 2013, that city's archbishop, Cardinal Angelo Scola, called for the abolition of blasphemy laws worldwide. Such a step would significantly help protect globally the freedom of speech and religion desperately needed by Christians in particular while countering Islamic fanaticism with freedom.
Morsi Sheikh, former head of the Appellate Court and director of the Center for Justice and Democracy of Human Rights, stated that Copts in Egypt face continual threats and violence from Islamists.
He was commenting on one of the fathers of the children accusing Coptic teacher Demiana Abdel Nour of insulting Islam after the child's father threatened to kill thousands of people. Her case had been postponed, prompting the father's outburst.
"The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis do not want justice to run its course, by threatening them, and judges often succumb to the pressure," Sheikh told Mideast Christian News.
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