Salafist Leaders Celebrate Death of Coptic Pope in Egypt

Open contempt for head of church of more than 40 years bodes ill for Christians.

By Wayne King

CAIRO, Egypt, March 23 (Compass Direct News) – As Christians across Egypt continued to mourn the loss of Pope Shenouda III this week, Islamist leaders of the Salafist movement issued a litany of insults, calling the late leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church the “head of the infidels” and thanking God for his death.

The vitriol indicated the level of hostility the Salafists, who now make up 20 percent of Egypt’s parliament, have toward Christians. In a recorded message released on the Facebook page of one leading Salafi teacher, Sheik Wagdy Ghoneim, the sheik celebrated the pontiff’s death.

The death of His Most Blessed Beatitude Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria Shenouda III comes at a perilous time for Egypt’s Christian minority.

Christians have a long history in the country – longer than their Muslim compatriots – and make up more than 10 percent of the country’s 80 million strong population.

But the rise of extremist forms of Islam has made their lives more difficult in recent years. A series of attacks, including one on the cathedral in Alexandria in January 2011 in which 23 died, left the community feeling vulnerable and fearful.

Egypt’s Islamist-dominated parliament to play pivotal role in drafting new constitution

By Associated Press,

CAIRO — Egypt’s Islamist-dominated parliament on Saturday voted overwhelmingly in favor of ensuring that its own lawmakers make up a large portion of a panel writing the country’s first constitution after the ouster of longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.

Lawmakers at a joint meeting of both houses approved a quota giving lawmakers half of the seats on a 100-member panel that will draft the new constitution.

The remaining 50 panel members will be chosen by parliament, and are likely to be legal experts, academics and Muslim and Christian scholars.

 

Insight: As government-in-waiting, Egypt's Brotherhood finds voice

Muslim Brotherhood supporters celebrate outside Egypt's parliament in Cairo January 23, 2012. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

 

CAIRO | Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:58am GMT

CAIRO (Reuters) - At the end of January, a guest speaker drew an unusually large audience of diplomats to the 33rd floor auditorium at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Cairo. For latecomers, there was standing room only.

Zakaria: Egypt's greatest threat - its military

By Fareed Zakaria, CNN

The video above shows a strange cartoon from Egypt. It's of Uncle Sam looking sinister and mean, hunched over a door with a keyhole. The implication, I suppose, is that the U.S. is spying on Egyptians. Another cartoon shows him with a pistol and he's pointing it at an Egyptian man with a cannon. The caption in Arabic says "dignity". The point here is quite clear: Americans are robbing Egyptians of their dignity.

 

Into the unknown

On October, Foreign Minister John Baird toured the former fortified compound of Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli, the first visit by a foreign minister to the compound since it was seized by Libya's rebel forces.

On October, Foreign Minister John Baird toured the former fortified compound of Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli, the first visit by a foreign minister to the compound since it was seized by Libya's rebel forces.

Photograph by: Sean Kilpatrick, Reuters , Ottawa Citizen

When the Libyan people rose up against Moammar Gadhafi one year ago this week, his regime's retaliation was immediate, and brutal. The world reacted almost as swiftly. Western leaders lined up to condemn the colonel they had once wooed and backed the rebels with warm words of support and relentless airstrikes. In Part 1 of a three-part series, David Pugliese looks at why we went to war - and what was missed in the rush to act.

http://www.cleveland.com 

Bloom is off Arab Spring

Tony George

 

17Ggeorge.jpg

Civilians flee from fighting after Syrian army tanks enter the northwestern city of Idlib, Syria, Wednesday. Syrian President Bashar Assad ordered a referendum for later this month on a new constitution that would allow political parties other than his ruling Baath Party, the centerpiece of reforms he has promised to ease the crisis, even as the Syrian military on Wednesday besieged rebellious areas.

After a year of bloodshed, the so-called Arab Spring is veering dangerously off course. The revolutions are seemingly more Khomeini and less Jefferson; theocracy is trumping democracy. U.S. policy appears to be more about wishful thinking than Islamic realism.

With the United Nations revved up about freedom in the Middle East, it's time to wonder whether radical Islam and democracy are even compatible.

After surviving sectarian mob, Egyptian Christians expelled from village

The case sends a worrying signal that Egypt's new parliament is allowing a Mubarak-era system of local justice to trump the rule of law.

By Kristen Chick

Romany Rashed stands in what was a furniture shop owned by Christian businessman that was looted and burned by angry Muslim mobs. The shop is across the street from Romany's home, where he hid as the mob tried to break into his house in Sharbat, a village near Alexandria in Egypt.

Kristen Chick/ The Christian Science Monitor

Sharbat, Egypt

Are Egypt's Islamists Heading for a Fall?

by Daniel Pipes

Terrified of the secular/modern/liberal demonstrators who made their presence known in Tahrir Square, as well as of the soccer hooligans, Mohamed Tantawi and Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces have forged a mutually beneficial relationship with the country's Islamists, thereby blocking their joint opponents from power. Very clever – but maybe too clever by half. Here's why:

Over half of Egypt's caloric consumption comes from abroad, leaving the country vulnerable to international staple prices.

In Egypt, which imports more than half its caloric intake, wages must keep up with the price of food or people begin to starve. Yet the country appears to be heading for a monumental financial collapse in 2012,

 

 Christians fear losing freedoms in Arab Spring movement

CAIRO—From her home in a labyrinth of stonewalled alleyways, Samia Ramsis holds a key chain bearing the face of the Virgin Mary as she sits in her yellow pajamas on the morning of Orthodox Christmas.

Sunlight pours in through a window. Outside, visitors come to look upon the spot where Egypt’s Christians—most known as Copts—believe the Holy Family found refuge after fleeing Bethlehem and assassins sent by King Herod to kill the baby Jesus.

Once crowded with Christians, Cairo’s Coptic quarter where Samia lives with her husband, Mounir, and two children is home to fewer than 50 Christian families.

  

مستقبل مظلم

مدحت قلادة

تساقطت دموعى رغم إرادتى.. حينما رأيت أبناء وطنى يتساقطون واحداً تلو الآخر وكأننا أمام حرب أهلية.. فالمجلس العسكرى حاكم لا يحكم أو شاهد ماشفش.... وكل الأجهزة الاستخباراتية والرقابية أجهزة من ورق.. سبعة أجهزة رقابية تدعى عدم المعرفة.. مما يعطينا مؤشرا لانعدام مصداقيتهم وتصريحاتهم وأعمالهم أيضا.
لقد شاهد العالم بأسره كيف أسيلت الدماء المصرية وزهقت أرواح شباب مصر.. على أرض مصر.. بأيدٍ مصرية!.. فى أحداث بورسعيد المروعة والتى راح ضحيتها 74 من خيرة شباب مصر، فقدوا أرواحهم بيد الخسة والغدر.. الأيدى الخفية المعروفة للجميع.. والتى لم تحاسب حتى الآن... إنه حادث مروع بكل المقاييس.. يوم احتفال كروى يتحول إلى مناحة فى البيوت المصرية.. لتتحول الفرحة إلى دمعة.. والبسمة إلى آهات ولقاء الأحباب إلى فراق..

 

Afghan Pedophilia: A way of life, say U.S. soldiers and journalists

Jim Kouri's photo

Law Enforcement Examiner

Apologists say that Bacha Bazi or 'Boy Play' is a very old cultural practice in Afghanistan and part of that nation's mainstream.

Citing the Afghanistan strategy review, Vice President Joe Biden reported "great progress" in the counterterrorism effort that has significantly degraded al-Qaeda and the Taliban, particularly their leadership. Lagging behind, he said, is progress on the counterinsurgency front – eliminating terrorist safe havens in Pakistan and building a stable Afghan government.

 

The Muslim Brotherhood's "General Strategic Goal" For North America  

lawfare1 

In July 2007, seven key leaders of an Islamic charity known as the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) went on trial for charges that they had: (a) provided "material support and resources" to a foreign terrorist organization (namely Hamas); (b) engaged in money laundering; and (c) breached the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which prohibits transactions that threaten American national security. Along with the seven named defendants, the U.S. government released a list of approximately 300 "unindicted co-conspirators" and "joint venturers." During the course of the HLF trial, many incriminating documents were entered into evidence. Perhaps the most significant of these was "An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America," by the Muslim Brotherhood operative Mohamed Akram.

Hudson Institute, Americas Premier source of applied research on enduring policy challenges. 

Why Christians in Egypt Are Holding Their Breath

 

The Monastery of St. Simon the Tanner lays nestled in the shadow of Cairo's Muqattam Hills, in an unbearably squalid neighborhood (unofficially known as "Garbage City") that is home to tens of thousands of mostly Christian trash collectors for the massive urban sprawl. It's not an easy trip for visitors to get there, but once the front gates are open, it's clear that something special is inside. St. Simon's is an active and thriving monastic community, but it is also a sort of celebrity sacred space, with two large congregational meeting halls literally carved from the Muqattam Hills—the smaller of which regularly holds 10-15,000 spirited worshippers for weekly meetings.

 

Equally amazing are the massive mural carvings of Christian motifs that fill the surface of most of the monastery's towering cliff walls: here is the Resurrection, here is Jesus calming the storm, and here is St. Simon himself, leading the Coptic Christian patriarch and his congregation in prayers that Copts believe literally moved the Muqattam Hills in the late 10th century, after a do-or-die challenge from the Fatimid ruler of Egypt. The very existence of this monastery and the message of its larger-than-life murals punctuate its role as a neighborhood refuge and as an important meeting place for local Christians—including this massive gathering in November of up to 50,000 people for a night of worship and prayer for Egypt. How can such a place exist in the midst of the Arab world's most populous country? Who are these people with such a fierce sense of identity both as Christians and as Egyptians?

The Washington Times Online Edition 

Coptic Christians in Egypt fear Islamists' rise

Attacks increase post-Mubarak

By Sarah Lynch - Special to The Washington Times

 

UNDER SIEGE: Mona Hanna says she fears for the future of her town, Abo Korkas, Egypt. She and nine other families fled their homes last year after armed Muslim men set her house afire. (Sarah Lynch/Special to The Washington Times)

UNDER SIEGE: Mona Hanna says she fears for the future of her town, Abo Korkas, Egypt. She and nine other families fled their homes last year after armed Muslim men set her house afire. (Sarah Lynch/Special to The Washington Times)Ads by Google

Story Topics

ABO KORKAS, Egypt - In a sparse, gray room with little but two pictures of Jesus on the walls, Mona Hanna sits on the floor, remembering a night nine months ago when her house was set on fire by Muslim men brandishing guns and knives.

 

The Arab Spring: An Obituary

#

Thirteen months after a Tunisian street-vendor immolated himself and sparked the revolutions in the Middle East dubbed the “Arab Spring,” the bipartisan celebrations that attended those events last year appear premature, if not delusional. Now that Islamist parties are consolidating their power in the wake of the regime changes in those countries, President Obama’s claim that Egyptians merely wanted “a government that is fair and just and responsive,” or Senator John McCain’s assertions that Libyans were aiming for “lasting peace, dignity, and justice,” or Senator Joseph Lieberman’s article in Foreign Affairs that summarized the Arab Spring as a struggle for “democracy, dignity, economic opportunity, and involvement in the modern world” each reflects dangerous wishful thinking rather than sober analysis.

Back during the early days of the Tahrir Square protests I wrote, "59 percent of Egyptian Muslims want democracy and 95 percent want Islam to play a large part in politics. 84 percent believe apostates should face the death penalty. That is what Egyptian democracy will look like. A unanimous majority that wants an Islamic state and a bare majority that wants democracy. Which one do you think will win out? A democratic majority of the country supports murdering people in the name of Islam. Mubarak's government does not execute apostates or adulterers. But a democratic Egypt will. Why? Because it's the will of the people."

Threatening Shadows Over Egypt

Hassan_El-Benna

“Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Koran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”·

Hassan el Banna

It is this radical vision which animates all those in the region who seek a fully Islamic society and way of life.·

International Business Times 

Coptic Christians: Egypt’s Besieged Minority

Analysis

By Palash R. Ghosh: Subscribe to Palash's

January 10, 2012 9:52 AM EST

The emergence of conservative Islamist political groups in the wake of the Egyptian revolt has raised fears about the nation's Coptic Christian minority.

Long persecuted by the Muslim majority, tensions between the two factions have intensified in the past year, featuring riots, assaults, arson and other incidences of sectarian strife.

The Christian presence in Egypt stretches as far back to the earliest days of Christendom -- in fact, it was the nation's dominant faith until the Arab Muslim invasions of the 7th century.

Australian Coptic Movement LogoAustralian Coptic Movement ACM 

In Memory of Alexandria One Year On

 P1190730

A protest held in Sydney on the 19th of January, 2010 which was organized by the Australian Coptic Movement in outrage of the Nag Hammadi shootings.

2011 was the year the world's attention was focused on Egypt and its' great revolution.It was also the year that the Coptic civil rights movement and the plight of Egypt's Christians began to make headlines worldwide.

2011 commenced with the traditional fireworks celebrations in capital cities across the globe as a tragic event unfolded soon after midnight, in the once cosmopolitan city of Alexandria. The Mediterranean city - now a stronghold for Islamists - witnessed fireworks of a far more fatal nature, as CCTV recordings streamed across all major international news outlets, showing the moment of terror when a bomb exploded outside The Two Saints' church in Alexandria; killing dozens and severely injuring over 100 people.


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