Secretary Kerry met with Egyptian President Morsi last week, announcing that the US will give Egypt $250 million in aid. While applauding continuing economic support to the suffering people of Egypt, Coptic Solidarity expressed deep concern that US foreign assistance be used to bolster a Muslim Brotherhood-led government, which has actively undermined the civil rights of millions of its citizens.
Additionally, further US aid is promised to Egypt conditioned on reforms. Benchmarks to measure and monitor these achievements and reforms remain unclear.
Coptic Solidarity President, Adel Guindy, responded to this news saying, “Coptic Solidarity urges Secretary Kerry to responsibly distribute foreign aid, tying money to measurable benchmarks seeking to strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law, improve human rights, and ensure equal citizenship for all Egyptians.”
Religious minorities such as Coptic Christians have faced increasing discrimination since Morsi came to power. The Sharia based Constitution favors Sunni Muslims and all Egyptian law is subject to this interpretation. The “blasphemy” laws are effectively used to terrorize the Copts and liberal media and the new “Civil Associations and Institutions Act” will severely restrict the ability of NGOs to form and operate within Egypt, further limiting the ability of religious minorities and opposition forces to coordinate and mobilize. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are actively engaged in power grabbing and establishing a theocratic dictatorship.
Salafists and other Islamists have perpetuated numerous attacks on Coptic Christians including the Maspero Massacre with impunity. Last year alone, Muslims kidnapped or lured tens of Coptic girls, and Egyptian authorities have done little to rescue and return them to their families. The issues impacting the Coptic minority in Egypt are numerous, effectively relegating them to lives as second class citizens.
Egypt advance to democracy has been derailed. The country’s economic woes foretell greater instability and poverty. Morsi’s use of oppressive measures and his social and economic policies have greatly contributed to this situation. While US support is essential to ensuring the emergence of a stable and prosperous Egypt, bailing out an ineffective government undermines Egypt’s floundering democracy and decreases chances that Morsi will work towards making Egypt a more pluralist society.
Coptic Solidarity fully endorses the following statement issued on December 9:
The National Salvation Front (NSF) announces its full rejection to the shocking decisions made my the president and that is nothing but circumvention around the demands of the people, officially challenging the will of the millions of enraged protestors in the streets of Egypt, and thus we insist on the following:
«Coptic Solidarity» received with great surprise and dismay the news about Egypt's presidency “inviting” Pope Tawadros II to the presidential palace on Tuesday, November 20, in order to “congratulate” him on his recent enthronement.
This arrogant invitation, which amounts to a mere summon, is reminiscent of the days of the Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid or Ottoman Caliphates, where the heads of dhimmi communities were expected to provide loyalty and obedience to the Caliph, wali or sultan as soon as they assume office.
Indeed, Mr Morsi has been acting ever since assuming the presidency as a “Prince of the Believers” or a Wali, rather than as a president of a modern state.
We hence call upon the Pope not to accept to be subject to such humiliating blackmail, and to keep in mind that his personal modesty should not mean accepting contempt of his office. We further warn that such a visit will have serious humiliating implications on al Copts.
November 19, 2012
WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Coptic Solidarity is calling for a peaceful demonstration to tell Egyptian President Morsi that Coptic Christians deserve equal citizenship rights. This demonstration calls for peace, coexistence and equal human rights for all Egyptian citizens and that Egypt must not be turned into another Iran.
Egyptian President Morsi will be at the United Nations on Wednesday, September 26, 2012.
Ever since the Muslim Brotherhood took over Egypt's revolution of January 2011 and usurped the government's rule, several alarming changes have taken place:
¨ The increasing Islamization and Ikhwanization (from "Ikhwan;" Brotherhood in Arabic) of the State in Egypt with all its institutions;
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.