Summary Report and Conference Resolutions
US National Security and Advancing Human and Minority Rights in Egypt: Is there a policy connection?”
Thursday June 28, 2012
On Thursday June 28, 2012 a special Coptic Solidarity Policy Education Day took place in the Capitol.
- Appropriations Committee, Committee on Intelligence
- Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) Foreign Affairs Committee
- Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) Armed Services Committe.
- Hon. Jim Karygiannis MP, Canadian House of Commons
Dr Swett gave key recommendations including the importance for the United States to designate Egypt as a “country of particular concern” as one of the world’s most serious religious freedom abusers.
- Ms. Stephanie Hammond, Foreign Policy Legislative Assistant and Director of the International Religious Freedom Caucus.
The second panel entitled, “
- Dr Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD)
- Dr. Tawfik Hamid, Chair for the Study of Islamic Radicalism at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
Speakers examined with great alarm the dangerous rise in religious totalitarianism, clarified that Muslim societies need ‘reform’ (renewal) rather than revival of old tenets, and emphasized the role of moderate Muslims along with others to defeat the Islamo-fascistic powers.
- Ms. Ann Buwalda Esq., Director, Jubilee Campaign U.S.A.
- Dr. Carl A. Moeller, President/CEO, Open Doors USA
- Pr. Michele A. Clark, Board Member, Christian Solidarity International
- Ms. Tina Ramirez, Director of International and Government Relations, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
Speakers reiterated the mounting suffering by the religious minorities in the Middle East, often amid silence, indifference or misinformation in the West.
- Ms. Faith J. H. McDonnell, Director of Religious Liberty, The Institute on Religion and Democracy
- Mr. Jordan Sekulow, Director of Policy and International Operations, The American Center for Law & Justice
- Dr. Essam Abdallah, Egyptian liberal intellectual
- Mr. Maher Aziz, President, Egyptian Democratic Solidarity, Cairo
- Mr. John Hajjar Esq., World Council for the Cedars Revolution
Under the rule of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), and their “civilian” allies from the international Islamist organization of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Egypt daily deviates towards a Pakistani model with almost full domination of governmental institutions, which threatens basic freedoms and liberties in Egypt, well as creating a security hazard with far-reaching internal, regional and international implications.
Coptic Solidarity’s main objective is to raise awareness of the political situation in Egypt through offering factual on the ground data and a comprehensive analysis of Egypt’s religious, social and political demographics and their dynamics to help increase awareness of the international community; as well as soliciting support of the international community and elected officials regarding the situation of the Copts through offering a different approach to American and European foreign policy.
The international community needs to be made aware of the strategic long-term negative implications of misunderstanding and undermining the dangers of religious fascism actively working to dominate Egypt and the region; and that advancing human and minority rights in Egypt, and countries with similar socio-political nature, should be a national security priority of the countries of the free world.
- In the “new Egypt” it is more vital than ever for the Copts have to take a proactive role with representation in policy making, along with other secularist and liberal forces, in forming the future of Egypt. This is rather an existential imperative for Copts, Egypt, and the future of regional and international peace.
- It is of great importance that the U.S. and Europe condition any form of aid to Egypt to the country’s abiding, constitutionally and legally, by its commitment to international human rights conventions and treaties; and to designate part of the aid to compensate victims.
- Coptic Solidarity will form strong alliance with Middle Eastern Christians and other minorities, and liberal secular Muslims to advocate against religious fascism in Egypt and the region.
- Coptic Solidarity in alliance with various NGO’s, policy makers will work to support USCIRF recommendations that Egypt gets designated as a Country of Particular Concern due to its grave institutional assault on basic freedoms and state sponsored persecution and sometimes murder of religious minorities; as Egypt satisfies the definition of a Country of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998 (H.R. 2431) and its amendment of 1999 (Public Law 106-55).
- The role of religion in Egypt’s future constitution is a fundamental issue with long-term implications. For historical, factual and legal reasons, Copts (with their allies’ help) must reject any “religious reference” in the constitution. If imposed by the Islamists, the constitution would lose its consensual basis.
- Actively support the passage of S. 1245 legislation which would require President Obama’s administration to appoint a Special Envoy for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia.
(H.R. 440 was passed by the House last year, but Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) has placed a hold on the bill S. 1245 in the Senate, preventing it from moving forward. If S. 1245 is not passed in this session of Congress and signed into law, the process will have to be started all over next year in the new session of Congress).