Western Media Ignores Slaughter of Coptic Woman by Muslim Brotherhood, says Coptic Solidarity

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Coptic Solidarity strongly condemns the latest attack on Egypt's Copts by the Muslim Brotherhood and their allies—and calls on the U.S. government to do likewise.

Read more: Western Media Ignores Slaughter of Coptic Woman by Muslim Brotherhood, says Coptic Solidarity

Coptic Solidarity Mourns Loss of Advocate Reverend Keith Roderick

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Coptic Solidarity is deeply saddened to learn of the unexpected passing of Reverend Keith Roderick in Springfield, Illinois on March 10th.

Read more: Coptic Solidarity Mourns Loss of Advocate Reverend Keith Roderick

Coptic Solidarity Urges Senators Lee and Coburn to Remove Holds on Special Envoy Bill

February 27, 2014 (Washington, DC)

Coptic Solidarity urges Senator Lee (R-UT) and Senator Coburn (R-OK) to remove their holds on Senate bill 653 which are the only measures currently preventing this important bill from passage.

The Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act provides for the appointment of a special envoy within the State Department whose responsibility would be to work on behalf of minorities in that region.

This initiative has been supported by a large group of NGOs dedicated to the issue, and nearly all federal legislators making these holds all the more ludicrous. Holding S. 653 is not an effective way to cut wasteful spending or unwieldy bureaucracy.

 

Some worry of duplication between a Special Envoy and the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom (IRF). However, the position of the IRF Ambassador, which is currently vacant, has not been given proper status or resources at the State Department previously. Coptic Solidarity also disagrees with arguments of duplication since the Special Envoy position would focus on protecting religious minorities in a specific region, addressing issues that result from their persecution, which are not a focus of the IRF Ambassador, such as socio- economic and refugee problems. This is the case for many Christians in the region who fled after being attacked or receiving death threats. Many Christians now have no way to earn an income, no permanent residence, and no options to educate their children.

 

Protecting against the creation of unnecessary bureaucracy is a laudable goal. Yet, it is asinine to block one small effort to support religious freedom for those suffering such extreme violence when it will create no additional cost, as the position would be funded by existing State Department monies and the bill does not authorize new spending.

 

The mass exodus of religious minorities from this region leaves some minorities in danger of becoming extinct. The crisis has deepened in countries such as Egypt, Syria, and Libya and it is imperative that US policy address the grievous violence, particularly since it has increased in countries after US involvement. The PEW Forum on Religion and Public Life released a new report this year stating that “The share of countries with a high or very high level of social hostilities involving religion reached a six-year peak in 2012… and that the sharpest increase was in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced this bill with original cosponsors Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). S. 653 has twenty two co-sponsors. The House version, HR 301, passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support in a vote of 402 to 22.

 

Coptic Solidarity President, Adel Guindy noted, “Rarely do legislators have such a clear opportunity to support the American ideals of human rights and religious freedom. It would be a shame for these two Republican Senators to develop a legacy as the only legislators preventing further protection and help for religious minorities who are literally being cleansed from their homelands. ”

Coptic Solidarity is non-profit organization dedicated to leading efforts to achieve equal citizenship for the Copts in Egypt. For more information, contact Lindsay 801-512-1713 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Coptic Solidarity Critiques Recent Obama Letter by Working Group on Egypt

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Coptic Solidarity is disappointed with a letter sent to President Obama on February 1 by the Working Group on Egypt, which misrepresents the current situation in Egypt and offers some counterproductive recommendations for U.S. policies to this strategic ally.  The letter perpetuates the Group's false juxtaposition of supposedly progressive Islamist victims facing supposedly unpopular and undemocratic forces in Egypt. 

Coptic Solidarity wholeheartedly affirms the desire to see human rights and democracy protected and expanded in Egypt.  Such desire, however, cannot be realized by simply disregarding the exceptional circumstances in which Egyptian society today finds itself.  Egypt faces unprecedented levels of domestic violence that is being perpetrated by the thousands of jihadists whom Morsi released from prison and paroled.  This danger is most pronounced in the Sinai Peninsula, directly adjacent to Gaza and Israel, which has turned into a hotbed of terrorism, and is spreading to the rest of Egypt and potentially the wider region.  Far from criticizing the efforts to contain and defeat such terrorism, the United States should be actively supporting them. 

The Group also laments a "democratic reversal," which presumes Egypt was democratic under Morsi's rule.  In fact, while Morsi was in power, women's rights rapidly deteriorated, religious minorities were openly targeted, political opponents actively suppressed, and legal powers usurped illegally by the presidency.  All signs pointed to an irreversible worsening of these regressive trends were Morsi's reign to have continued, making Egypt less compatible with modern societies, less stable and ultimately less reliable to the United States.  Granted, the current state of affairs in Egypt is imperfect and fighting violence and terrorism does not justify imprisonment and targeting peaceful journalists, human rights activists and political dissent by the transitional government, but Egypt is fighting back from the precipice.  

Importantly, and also diminished by the Working Group, is the fact that the overthrowing of the Islamist regime has wide-ranging support within Egypt.  Almost twenty-one million Egyptians participated in the recent constitutional referendum, notwithstanding violent campaigns perpetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood and supporting terrorist elements leading up to and even during the voting process.  As compared to the 2012 referendum, the net supporting votes on the new constitution was more than nine million votes higher than it was (19.9 vs. 10.7) for the deeply-flawed and quasi-theocratic constitution of the Islamist regime.  Less than half a million voted 'No,' compared with over six million in 2012.

While the new constitution and the implementation of the political roadmap may have been imperfect, the United States can and should support a strategic ally in these delicate times.  Instead of the repeated and pointed appeals of the Working Group to the Obama Administration to take a hostile stand toward Egypt – which feed into the very anti-Americanism the Group decries and which further stand in marked contrast with its broad-brushed approach toward Egypt under Morsi – the United States should be actively engaging with Egypt's interim leaders to see the country emerge as a stable and progressive leader in the Middle East.

In the end, we are disappointed by the stand of the Working Group, particularly that some of its members were strong supporters of the freedom forward policy under the Bush Administration and have in the past and under their respective think tanks, exposed the Islamists' determined push against democratic forces in the region. Especially disappointing is that experts known for their support to civil society continue to support an elusive, fully discredited, "Islamist democracy" political agenda. It is high time that the Working Group gets back into step with the realities in Egypt, as well as align itself with the hopes and aspirations of the vast majority of Egyptians and Egyptian-Americans, and America's real regional interests. 

Coptic Solidarity is non-profit organization dedicated to leading efforts to achieve equal citizenship for the Copts in Egypt. For more information, contact Hal Meawad at 240-644-5153 or 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.

SOURCE Coptic Solidarity

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New Egyptian Constitution Step in Right Direction

MON, JAN 20, 2014 14:51 CET

 Coptic Solidarity welcomes Egypt’s choice this week in favor of the new constitution, signaling a clear rejection of the regressive Muslim Brotherhood and affirming the mass June 30th uprising which deposed him. 

Read more: New Egyptian Constitution Step in Right Direction

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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.

 

 

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