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Egypt President Mohammed Morsi picks a fall guy for Sinai attack

David Ignatius

IN firing Egypt's chief of intelligence for his alleged failings in Sinai, President Mohammed Morsi sacked a general who has won high marks from US, Israeli and European intelligence officials - and who, ironically, has been one of the Egyptians pushing for a crackdown on the growing militant presence in Sinai.

This week's shuffle is bound to raise concerns among US and Israeli officials about the security policies of Morsi's government, and its seeming mutual self-protection pact with the Egyptian generals who still hold considerable power through the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, or SCAF.

 

British court found Pakistani parents guilty of honour killing daughter, sentenced to life

A court has sentenced a Pakistani-born couple, convicted of the "honour killing" of their 17-year-old daughter, to life imprisonment, remarking that they had sought to keep the teenager in the "sealed cultural environment" of rural Pakistan rather than modern Britain.

By: Anugrah Kumar

 

For the convicts, 52-year-old Iftikhar Ahmed and his 49-year-old wife Farzana, their fear of losing "honour" in their community was greater than their love for their daughter Shafilea Ahmed, Britain's Telegraph daily quoted Chester Crown Court judge Roderick Evans as saying.

The Ahmeds tortured their westernized daughter for years. And then one day in 2003, when she refused to give in to their demand to get married, the couple stuffed a plastic bag into her mouth in front of their four other children at her home in Warrington, Cheshire. Her dismembered body was found on a riverbank in February 2004.

The trial went for nine years for lack of evidence until the victim's sister Alesha spoke up against her parents in court. Alesha told the court she couldn't speak the truth earlier as she feared for her life, too.

The parents will serve at least 25 years in prison, as per the sentencing.

The judge said the parents' expectation that she live in a "sealed cultural environment separate from the culture of the country in which she lived was unrealistic, destructive and cruel."

"You wanted your family to live in Pakistan in Warrington," the judge said. "Although she went to local schools, you objected to her socialising with girls from what has been referred to as the white community," he added. "You objected to her wearing western clothes and you objected to her having contact with boys. She was being squeezed between two cultures, the culture and way of life that she saw around her and wanted to embrace, and the culture and way of life you wanted to impose on her," the judge added.

Victim's close friend Melissa Powner said she hoped the conviction and sentencing of the Ahmeds would send out a strong message to others. "If there is one thing that we pray will come from this, it is that her beautiful face and tragic story will inspire others to seek help and make them realise that this kind of vile treatment, no matter what culture or background they are from, is not acceptable and there is a way out," she was quoted as saying.

 

New Egypt government puts Muslim Brotherhood in key posts

Women and Christians get only token representation; leaders of uprising left out

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (photo credit: Amr Nabil/AP)

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (photo credit: Amr Nabil/AP)

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s Islamist president swore in his first new government Thursday, led by a devout Muslim and including five members of his Muslim Brotherhood in unglamorous but ideal ministries for a group whose long-term aim is to Islamize the most populous Arab nation.

The Cabinet is a far cry from the inclusive administration that President Mohammed Morsi has repeatedly promised. No other political factions came on board to join. Women and Christians received only token representation, and figures from the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak last year were left out.

   
US Lawmakers Clash Over Middle East Religious Minorities Bill
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) ripped into Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) on Thursday for holding up legislation to protect religious minorities that has bipartisan support.
  

Wolf's bill to create a special envoy to promote religious freedom of religious minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia despite the State Department's objection sailed through the House on a 402-20 vote one year ago and has been lingering in the Senate since January. After hitting an impasse with Webb, the co-chairman of the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission publicly castigated him by publicly sharing a letter he'd sent to the senator Wednesday night.

 MailOnline - news, sport, celebrity, science and health stories

Man charged with 'planning to car bomb London's Olympic Park during Games'

Javed Aktar, 42, will appear in court on Friday charged with a terrorism offence

He is one of more than a dozen suspected terrorists arrested in the last week

Anti-terrorism officers are grilling a man accused of planning to blow up the Olympic Park during the Games using a car filled with explosives.

Specialist police from London are in Blackpool, Lancashire, to speak to Javed Aktar who has been charged with making the deadly threat.

 

 The Guardian home

Decree to restore Egypt's parliament cancelled

Supreme court issues ruling that overturns President Morsi's decision to reconvene parliament until a constitution is ratified

 House speaker, Saad el-Katatny, reconvenes the Egyptian parliament in Cairo

Egypt's highest court cancelled a decree by the country's Islamist president to restore parliament on Tuesday.

The supreme constitutional court issued a ruling that overturned President Mohamed Morsi's decision to reconvene parliament until a constitution is ratified and fresh elections are held.

 

Egypt president recalls parliament, generals meet

(Reuters) - Egypt's new president on Sunday ordered a parliament dominated by his Islamist party to reconvene, challenging the authority of the generals who had dissolved the assembly in line with a court order.

President Mohamed Mursi's decree appeared to catch off guard the generals who handed power to him on June 30. State media said the army's supreme council held an emergency meeting and a council member, declining to be named, told Reuters the generals had not been given prior warning.

Independent Catholic News logo 

Lord Alton addresses Washington Conference on plight of Egypt's Copts

Lord Alton addresses Washington Conference on plight of Egypt's Copts | Respect for religious liberty and minorities - the hallmarks of a civilised society, Lord Alton, Washington Conference on the Plight of Egypt's Copts, Capitol building, American Congress, (Prof Lord Alton of Liverpool, UK Copts Association,
he Coptic Church of the Two Saints in Alexandria, Amira Nowaira,

Respect for religious liberty and minorities - the hallmarks of a civilised society was the title of a speech delivered by Lord Alton yesterday at the Washington Conference on the Plight of Egypt's Copts held in the Capitol building of the American Congress yesterday, 28 June.

(Prof Lord Alton of Liverpool is Hon President of the UK Copts Association).

At the beginning of 2011, just after the carnage after Midnight Mass at the Coptic Church of the Two Saints in Alexandria, Amira Nowaira, a Muslim writing in The Guardian newspaper, described the changing nature of Egyptian society. She recounted two stories which sum up the alternative paths which Egypt can take – one is built on cultivating a civilised respect and tolerance of difference; the other rests on uncivilised intolerance, violence, and hatred of difference. One is about unfulfilled hope; the other about loss.

 

    

Another attack on freedom of belief and worship of Christians after the ascent of the Islamists to power 

Copts in Basra village in Alexandria, Egypt fear for their Freedom to worship deepens after a new attack last Friday by Muslims Salafis who surrounded “Saint Wanas Church” during the prayer headed by Father Sawiris the priest of the Church demanding the immediate expulsion of the Copts visiting the Church even before the completion of the prayer. 

Muslims threatened to burn the Church if the Priest did not respond to their demands to expel the visitors immediately and to prevent any outside trips to the Church. 

The Priest of the Church called the Police Department whose reply to the Priest was: “Solve the problem and prevent any outside visitors to come to the Church!!!” 

Coptic Solidarity Hosts Policy Conference on Egypt

 

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Coptic Solidarity will be holding a Policy Education Day at the U.S. Capitol building on June 28, 2012, only days after the major upheaval created by the election of an Islamist, who ran on a Shari'a implementation agenda, to be President of Egypt. The Policy Day is now even more important in light of the high level of uncertainty that the new president and his party will protect human and minority rights.

The focus of the Policy Day is "U.S. National Security and Advancing Human and Minority Rights in Egypt: Is there a policy connection?" with a special focus on policy imperatives, and U.S. foreign policy responses to the rise of extremism in the Middle East.

In addition to remarks by several Members of Congress, a number of prominent politicians, academics, human rights experts, and policymakers will share their views. Speakers include: Lord David Alton, Member of the UK House of Lords; Jim Karygiannis, MP, Canadian House of Commons; Commissioner Katrina Lantos Swett, Chair of the USCIRF; Nina Shea, Director, Center for Religious Freedom, Hudson Institute; Fred Grandy, Vice President of the Center for Security Policy; Walid Phares, Advisor to the Anti-Terrorism Caucus in the U.S. Congress; Emilie Kao Esq., previously at the Office of International Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State; Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy; Fr. Filopater, a leader of the Maspero Youth Movement, Egypt; and Tawfik Hamid, Chair for the Study of Islamic Radicalism at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.

 

Egypt military warns Muslim Brotherhood

The stand-off between Egypt’s military and the Muslim Brotherhood escalated on Friday as the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces accused the country’s largest political party of raising tensions by claiming victory in last week’s presidential election ahead of the official result, which is still pending.

In a televised statement issued as tens of thousands of Brotherhood protesters poured into Tahrir Square in central Cairo, SCAF warned that the military and police would respond “firmly” to attempts to “harm public and private interests”.

The Muslim Brotherhood is convinced that its candidate, Mohamed Morsi, won but fear that the military intends to hand victory to his rival, Ahmed Shafiq, a former air force commander who also served in the regime of the ailing former president Hosni Mubarak.

 

former prime minister ahmed shafik to be named president on Sunday, Semi-official Alahram say

Egypt remains on edge during wait for election results

By the CNN Wire Staff

Former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik is claiming victory as Egyptians await presidential election results.

Former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik is claiming victory as Egyptians await presidential election results.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Speculation increases on who won presidential runoff
  • The military says all should abstain from acts that spur chaos
  • The military criticizes the announcement of unofficial results
  • Ahmed Shafik and Mohamed Morsi both have claimed victory

Cairo (CNN) -- As Egypt's generals warned of potential chaos, thousands of civilians jammed Tahrir Square late Friday, eager to learn results of last week's runoff election and see the country move away from military rule.

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Trial of soldiers accused of killing Maspero protesters adjourned to 31 May

Al-Masry Al-Youm

Coptic protesters and military forces clash at Radio and Television building "Maspiro", Cairo, October 9,2011. Clashes erupted between Copts and military forces, which resulted in dozens of injuries, and 22 killed.

Photographed by Mohamed Hossam Eddin

A military court adjourned Thursday evening the trial of three soldiers accused of killing protesters in front of the Maspero state television building last October to 31 May. The court will continue hearing defense witnesses at that time.

Nearly 30 protesters were killed and hundreds were injured on 9 October when military forces violently broke up a Coptic-led demonstration in front of Maspero. At least 14 people were crushed by armored military vehicles, which were seen mowing protesters down in videos spread on the internet.

world 

Egypt Police Acquitted Of Protesters' Deaths

The Associated Press 

CAIRO -- An Egyptian court on Thursday found 14 policemen not guilty in the killing of protesters during last year's popular uprising, the latest verdict in what activists claim to be a pattern of acquittals for police blamed for the deaths of hundreds of people during the revolt.

The men are among nearly 200 security officers and former regime officials – including former President Hosni Mubarak himself – who face trial for the deaths of nearly 850 protesters during the revolt. A verdict in Mubarak's case is expected next month.

Many in Egypt accuse authorities of failing to bring to account those responsible for the deaths, and the cause of the "martyrs" has been a rallying crying by protesters who say that Egypt's new leaders are dragging their feet in meting out justice against responsible for the deaths. They accuse the authorities have of being reluctant to punish the culprits.

 
Egyptian Policeman Sentenced to Death for Killing Christians
 

(UCGB: This is the third convection for killing Christian on identity in the past 30 years and the second since the revolution...is justice started to come to Copts?)

(AINA) -- Yesterday an Egyptian court in Minya sentenced a Muslim man to death for the killing and wounding of six Christians. Judge Mahmoud Salama pronounced the sentenced against 29-year-old policeman Amer Ashour Abdel-Zaher. During its previous session, the court had referred the case to the Egyptian Grand Mufti, as is usual with a death penalty verdict, who supported the court's decision. Yesterday's court session was to pronounce the verdict.

In December, 2010 Abdel-Zaher, who worked as a policeman at the Bani Mazar police investigations unit, went on a train bound for Cairo from Assiut in the upper Egyptian town of Samalut and fired his gun at six Copts after chanting "Allahu Akbar" (AINA 1-12-2011).

Egypt presidential candidate blasts Islamist

Associated Press

By Sarah El Deeb

Former Prime Minister and presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq talks during a news conference in Cairo, May 14, 2012. Voting starts on May 23-24 in an election to choose a new president after Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year. MP Essam Sultan of the Wasat Party has accused Shafiq of exploiting his previous position as head of Egypt's Young Air Force Officers Association by selling thousands of acres of state land in Ismailia earmarked for the association at reduced prices to figures associated w

Former Prime Minister and presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq talks during a news conference in Cairo, May 14, 2012. Voting starts on May 23-24 in an election to choose a new president after Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year. MP Essam Sultan of the Wasat Party has accused Shafiq of exploiting his previous position as head of Egypt's Young Air Force Officers Association by selling thousands of acres of state land in Ismailia earmarked for the association at reduced prices to figures associated w

CAIRO: A leading Egyptian presidential candidate has lashed out at an Islamist lawmaker who accused him of graft, treating voters to a new spectacle in an already unprecedentedly heated campaign.

CAIRO: A leading Egyptian presidential candidate has lashed out at an Islamist lawmaker who accused him of graft, treating voters to a new spectacle in an already unprecedentedly heated campaign.

These are the first competitive presidential elections in the country's modern history, and in the last week of the campaign period the candidates are facing a level of public scrutiny rarely seen before in Egyptian politics - including televised debates, interviews and legal challenges.

Vatican Radio 

Month of prayer for Christians in Egypt



Listen to the interview... RealAudioMP3  

Christians in the Middle East and North Africa are facing increasing insecurity as their countries undergo huge changes in their political structures.

It's a time of great opportunity for all those nations caught up in the Arab Spring, and as Andrew Boyd, press officer for "Release International" says, "nobody is going to stand up and say three cheers for hardline dictators who've kept their countries repressed for years. It's fundamental that there should be a move towards democracy in these nations, but at the same time, because the lid has been taken off - nation after nation - in that world, what we are seeing is an increasing tension beteween secular factions who want democracy, and islamist factions who want to see in one form or another, a form of islamic law brought into these nations".

The Guardian home 

Egyptians v Saudi Arabia: it's all got rather messy

Putting Mubarak in the dock upset Gulf's patriarchal order. Saudi Arabia is trying to play hardball but it may not work 

Magdi Abdelhadi

Saudi King Abdullah speaks with Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (right) speaks with Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa. 'It’s no secret that they have been terrified of the prospect of the Egyptian 'contagion' spreading to their societies.' Photograph: Reuters

While protesters were fighting street battles with the military police in Cairo last week, Egyptian officials were bowing courteously before King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia asking forgiveness for the unruly behaviour of demonstrators outside his embassy in Cairo.

The Guardian home 

Egypt's ruling generals deny killing protesters

Senior generals promise to cede power to new president by 30 June – a pledge regarded by many Egyptians with suspicion

Egypt's Major General Mokhtar al Molla (L) and Major General Mohammed al-Assar

Major General Mokhtar al Molla (left) and Major General Mohammed al-Assar at the news conference in Cairo. Photograph: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

Egypt's ruling generals have launched an aggressive defence of their record in power since the country's revolution last year and denied any involvement in the deaths of up to 20 protesters killed in violent clashes outside the Ministry of Defence on Wednesday.

See full size image 

Egypt movie star acquitted of insulting Islam

Actor Adel Imam attends the Awards Show and Closing Night Red Carpet and Screening of 'The First Grader' during the 2010 Doha Tribeca Film Festival in Doha October 30, 2010. REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's Adel Imam, the Arab world's most famous comic actor, had a conviction and three-month prison sentence for insulting Islam in his films and plays overturned on appeal, a state newspaper reported on Thursday.


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