Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi defended his latest decree granting himself sweeping powers before supporters in Cairo as anti-Morsi demonstrators set fire to Muslim Brotherhood offices in cities across Egypt on Friday.

By FRANCE 24

As enraged demonstrators torched Muslim Brotherhood offices in several Egyptian cities, a defiant Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi defended his recent decree granting himself sweeping powers before a crowd of supporters outside the presidential palace in Cairo Friday.

"Political stability, social stability and economic stability are what I want and that is what I am working for," said Morsi. "I have always been, and still am, and will always be, God willing, with the pulse of the people, what the people want, with clear legitimacy" he said from a podium before thousands of supporters.

Morsi’s speech came a day after he issued a presidential decree stating that any challenges to his decrees, laws and decisions were banned.

 

EU urges Morsi to respect Egypt's democratic process

The European Union on Friday urged Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to respect the democratic process after he assumed sweeping powers decried by the opposition as dictatorial

AFP, Friday 23 Nov 2012

"It is of utmost importance that democratic process be completed in accordance with the commitments undertaken by the Egyptian leadership," a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement.

 

Morsi must ensure the separation of powers, the independence of justice, the protection of fundamental freedoms and the holding of democratic parliamentary elections "as soon as possible," said spokesman Michael Mann.

 

Muslim Brotherhood offices set on fire in Egypt in protest at presidents new powers that mean he is above the law

By Richard Hartley-parkinson

Offices belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood in several Egyptian cities have been set on fire in protest against President Mohammed Morsi's latest decrees.

State TV says Morsi opponents set fire to the offices in the Suez Canal cities of Suez, Port Said and Ismailia.

Clashes also erupted between the two sides in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, the southern city of Assiut and in Giza, the sister city of the capital. In Alexandria, Morsi opponents hurled stones at Brotherhood supporters outside a mosque and stormed a nearby office of the group.

The clashes came a day after Morsi announced sweeping new powers for himself, putting himself above judicial oversight.

 

Fires were started at Muslim Brotherhood offices across Egypt including Alexandria, pictured

Fires were started at Muslim Brotherhood offices across Egypt including Alexandria, pictured

 

Egyptian opponents of President Mohamed Morsi break into the office of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria

Egyptian opponents of President Mohamed Morsi break into the office of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria

 

Egyptians Protest Sweeping New Presidential Powers

--Matt Bradley, Joshua Mitnick and Jay Solomon contributed to this article

CAIRO--Tensions and divisions mounted in Egypt as tens of thousands of people took to the streets in the capital and elsewhere across the country in competing demonstrations for and against sweeping new powers President Mohammed Morsi granted himself by decree the day before.

After regular weekly Friday prayers, large crowds started converging on Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the massive protests that toppled the country's former strongman, Hosni Mubarak, chanting anti-Morsi slogans and comparing him to his predecessor.

"The people want to bring down the regime," shouted some protesters echoing the most emblematic chant of the so-called Arab Spring uprisings that toppled Mr. Mubarak and several other regional leaders in 2011.

Large crowds opposed to Mr. Morsi also gathered in the predominantly Christian neighborhood of Shubra and on the west bank of the Nile in the Muhandeseen neighborhood.

On Yusuf al-Jundi Street, angry youth rushed back and forth toward giant concrete barricades separating them from the Ministry of Interior. They lobbed rocks and homemade gasoline bombs at security forces, who responded with tear gas.

"The general impression is that the country and all its institutions are gradually being taken over by the Brotherhood. But the problem is that they are filling most positions with loyalists, not competent people," said Diaa Rashwan, a senior analyst with the Cairo-based Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.

Similar grievances were aired by representatives of Egyptian churches and nearly two dozen liberal figures several days ago when they withdrew from a national panel tasked with drafting a new constitution for the country by mid-December.

In his weekly address on Tuesday, Mohammed Badie, the Brotherhood's head, lashed out at those criticizing Mr. Morsi for paying more attention to Gaza than domestic matters.

Egypt's Morsi branded new 'pharoah'

From: AFP

Mohammed Morsi

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has issued constitutional amendments, granting himself far-reaching powers. Source: AP

EGYPT'S Islamist President Mohamed Morsi assumed sweeping powers yesterday, drawing criticism he was seeking to be a "new pharoah" and raising questions about the gains of last year's uprising to oust Hosni Mubarak.

The move is a blow to the pro-democracy movement that toppled the long-time president, himself derided by many as a pharoah, and raises concerns that Islamists will be further ensconced in power.

"The president can issue any decision or measure to protect the revolution," according to a decree read out on television by presidential spokesman Yasser Ali.

"The constitutional declarations, decisions and laws issued by the president are final and not subject to appeal."

Nobel laureate and former UN atomic energy agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei lashed out at the declaration, which would effectively put the president above judicial oversight.

BBC

Egypt's President Mursi assumes sweeping powers

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi (file photo, July 2012)

President Mursi has ordered the retrial of officers accused of attacking protesters under Hosni Mubarak

Egypt's President Mohammed Mursi has issued a declaration banning challenges to his decrees, laws and decisions.  

The declaration also says no court can dissolve the constituent assembly, which is drawing up a new constitution.  

President Mursi also sacked the chief prosecutor and ordered the retrial of people accused of attacking protesters when ex-President Mubarak held office.  

Egyptian opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei accused Mr Mursi of acting like a "new pharaoh".  

The president may feel he has gained power through his role as international mediator in the Gaza conflict, but his latest announcement is likely to cause new struggles inside Egypt, the BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo reports.

 
The constitution-drafting assembly faces fatal threats
The withdrawal of a third of the members from the Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly throws the future of the constitution-writing body into question
Gamal Essam El-Din , Monday 19 Nov 2012
Months-old internal divisions and ideological disagreements among the 100-member Constituent Assembly – the body tasked with writing Egypt’s new constitution – have reached a crescendo on Sunday as more than 30 non-Islamist members have decided to withdraw from the Assembly’s ranks, accusing representatives of Islamist forces of doing their best to draft a constitution aimed at turning Egypt into a radical Islamist state.

 FRANCE 24 latest world news report

Egypt Salafists ordered off Coptic church land: report

An Egyptian Christian Copt touches the image of Jesus Christ during Sunday mass in Cairo, in September 2012. Egypt's prosecutor general ruled on Thursday that the Christian Coptic church is the rightful owner of a disputed plot of land that Muslim extremists had occupied, a judicial source said.

An Egyptian Christian Copt touches the image of Jesus Christ during Sunday mass in Cairo, in September 2012.

Egypt's prosecutor general ruled on Thursday that the Christian Coptic church is the rightful owner of a disputed plot of land that Muslim extremists had occupied, a judicial source said.

AFP - Egypt's prosecutor general ruled on Thursday that the Christian Coptic church is the rightful owner of a disputed plot of land that Muslim extremists had occupied, a judicial source said.

Prosecutor Abdel Magid Mahmud also ordered that legal measures be taken to stop the radical Salafists from building a mosque on the land located north of Cairo.

 

Pope Tawadros II, Egypt's New Coptic Leader, Opposes Religious Constitution

By SARAH EL DEEB

Pope Tawadros Ii

CAIRO -- Egypt's new Coptic pope said Monday the constitution now being drafted will not be acceptable if it is overtly religious, a sign he would campaign with his Christian minority and secular groups against increasing Islam's role in the new charter.

In an interview aired Monday, a day after he was selected patriarch of Egypt's Coptic Church, Pope Tawadros II said the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak last year has opened the way for a larger Coptic public role.

He said as pope, he will encourage the Christian community to participate more in political and public life, as well as elections. He charged that the country's Christian minority has been "intentionally" marginalized for years.

 

Coptic Church Chooses Pope Who Rejects Political Role

Tara Todras-Whitehill for The New York Times

Coptic clergymen at a ceremony on Sunday for choosing a pope.

CAIRO — A blindfolded 6-year-old reached into a glass bowl on Sunday to pick the first new Coptic pope in more than 40 years, a patriarch who promises a new era of integration for Egypt’s Christian minority as it grapples with a wave of sectarian violence, new Islamist domination of politics, and internal pressures for reform.

Tara Todras-Whitehill for The New York Times

The Associated Press 

US Coptic leader dismisses Obama pledge on Egypt

WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) — A board member of Coptic Solidarity is dismissing President Barack Obama's statement of support for Egypt's minority Christians as just "empty words."

At Monday's presidential debate, Obama said his administration has put "significant pressure" on Egypt's newly elected Islamic government to "take responsibility for protecting religious minorities."

But Coptic Solidarity's Halim Meawad (MEE'-wahd) says the Obama administration actually appears to be drawing closer to an Egyptian government dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and more radical Islamists.

BramptonGuardian.comBramptonGuardian.com 

Molotov cocktail thrown through church window

 

 
Recent celebration. The Ti-Ecclesia Choir (The Angels Group) sings at the opening ceremonies of the church two weeks ago. GeorgeBeshiri
Federal, provincial and regional politicians marked the official opening of a Brampton affordable housing...
Someone threw a Molotov cocktail through the window of a newly-opened church in the city's north end early this morning, Peel Regional Police report.

Associated Press 

Egypt's top court to rule on constitutional panel

Maggie Michael

Egyptian protesters chant slogans outside the State Council, background, following the High Administrative Court's session in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Egyptian protesters chant slogans outside the State Council, background, following the High Administrative Court's session in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser) 

CAIRO: An Egyptian court on Tuesday asked the country's highest tribunal to rule on whether to disband the body tasked with writing a new constitution. The delay in a ruling is a possible blow to liberals, since it could give Islamists time to finish drafting the contested document.

 

Egypt school teacher fired for cutting girls' uncovered hair

An Egyptian school teacher was fired on Wednesday for cutting the hair of two 12-year-old girl pupils because they were not wearing Islamic headscarves, an act condemned as an illegal violation of human rights by a leading woman's organization.

Iman Abu Bakr Kilany, a science teacher who wears a full veil, said she had been dismissed from her school in the southern town of Luxor following complaints by relatives of the girls - the only two in her class who did not wear headcarves.

 

Thousands march a year after Egypt Copt killings

By Khaled Desouki

Thousands of Egyptian protesters marched Tuesday to mark one year since nearly 30 people were killed in a Coptic Christian demonstration that was violently crushed by security forces.

Demonstrators carrying posters of those who died during the violence walked solemnly down a main Cairo thoroughfare in the working class district of Shubra towards Maspero, in the city centre.

Some waved flags, others held posters of officials they want to see put on trial.

Groups of them chanted against Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the military ruler who took charge of the country following the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, and whose forces are accused of killing the protesters.

Daily News Egypt 

Copts remember Maspero victims at Cathedral

Basil El-Dabh

Pachomius: “We live in a new era of martyrdom.”

A special prayer service is held at Saint Mark’s cathedral to remember those killed in the Maspero massacre in 2011 and to ask for guidance in electing a new pope Basil El-Dabh

A special prayer service is held at Saint Mark’s cathedral to remember those killed in the Maspero massacre in 2011 and to ask for guidance in electing a new pope
Basil El-Dabh

The Coptic Orthodox Church held a liturgy on Wednesday at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Abbaseya. The service commemorated the protesters who died almost a year ago on 9 October 2011 and marked the next phase of the selection of a new pope.

Banners with photos of the dead protesters were suspended over the entrance of the cathedral as grief-stricken family members, dressed in black, and other Christians filed in to take part in the liturgy attended by many high ranking church officials and headed by Metropolitan Pachomius of Beheira, the Church’s interim leader.

 The Daily Beast

Amnesty Reports: Egyptians Still Terrorized by Police, Security Forces

APTOPIX Mideast Egypt

Post-Mubarak police and security forces haven’t stopped using excessive, unnecessary, and often deadly force against Egyptian citizens. In two new reports on the abuse, Amnesty International demands that the new government deliver on promised reforms.

Last November, deadly clashes between Egyptian security forces and enraged protesters cycloned through sections of Cairo in what, to many, appeared to be a revolution unraveling at the seams. Dozens of demonstrators—mainly Coptic Christians—had been killed the previous month in a battle with police outside Egypt’s state television headquarters, and the public had grown sick of unfulfilled promises for police reforms.

 

Pharmacist who asked colleague what her favourite sex position is LET OFF at tribunal because he had a 'restrictive Muslim background'

  • Professional panel accepted Khalil Jamil's conduct was not sexually-motivated
  • He claimed his strict Muslim background meant he lacked basic understanding of appropriate workplace behaviour
  • Jamil was cleared of professional misconduct and was instead given an official warning

By Kerry Mcqueeney

Warning: Khalil Jamil blamed his behaviour on his restrictive background

Warning: Khalil Jamil blamed his behaviour on his restrictive background

A pharmacist who made crude remarks to three of his female colleagues has escaped with a warning after a panel heard he came from a 'restrictive Muslim background' and was unaware of the offence his conduct had caused.

Khalil Jamil asked one of the women about her favourite love-making position and quizzed another about the mating habits of her horses - but a professional panel ruled his behaviour was not sexually motivated.

 

Egypt prosecutors refer to trial radical Islamist who tore the Bible over anti-Islam film

CAIRO — Egyptian prosecutors referred to trial Tuesday a well-known radical Islamist who tore up an English copy of the Bible during a protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo against an anti-Islam film produced in the United States.

The case against Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah is a rare example of Egypt’s blasphemy laws — often condemned by rights groups as restrictive of freedom— used against someone who allegedly insulted a religion other than Islam.

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage 

 

Editorial 

Egypt has no business accusing Canadians of insulting Islam

Egypt appears to be trying to make the crime of “offending Islam” a worldwide one. Or perhaps it just wishes to offer a bone to the mob. Its prosecutor-general has put out an arrest warrant for two Canadians and several other Coptic Christians allegedly involved in the making of Innocence of Muslims, the anti-Prophet Mohammed film that has sparked deadly riots in some Muslim countries.


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