Statement of condemnation of the Disgraceful Position of the Salafist Members of the Egyptian Parliament

March 22, 2012

The European Union of Coptic Organizations for Human Rights (EUCOHR) condemns the disgraceful behavior of the Extremist Salafists Members of the Egyptian Parliament who refused to observe a moment of silence in honouring the departure of Pope Shenouda III (117th Pope of Alexandria and the Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy Apostolic Seat of Saint Mark), or to at least step out of the room during such observance. Such behavior towards a man honored and respected across the country for his patriotism, portrays nothing but mute minds, rejection to pluralism, and hate towards religious icons who are honored and respected by others; not by normal Egyptians, but by Members of Parliament who were elected by the people to act on behalf of all Egyptians of all denominations, and of all religious backgrounds.

At a time when The Speaker of The House, El-Azhar Institute, and SCAF (Supreme Council of the Armed Forces) have all opted to portray a civilized image of Egypt; one that respects religious figures and honors patriotic symbols of the country; and in a unified act, stood side-by-side with diplomats and representatives of foreign governments to commemorate the life of a great national figure such as Pope Shenouda III, these honorable Salafist MP's have presented us with a sickening behavior; one of hate towards other religions and religious symbols; one which threatens to drag the country down the destructive path of sectarian violence, and in doing so, have abolished any remaining legitimacy of the Egyptian Parliament.

We similarly condemn the disgraceful remarks made by a number of renowned Islamist Sheikhs & spokespeople such as "Yasser Borhami", "Bakkar", and "Wagdi Ghoneim" who attempted to belittle a highly respectful figure such as Pope Shenouda III through their media appearances, and who constantly aspire to establish a Taliban model in Egypt; one which employs religion to create a permanent divide among the Egyptian people.

Vice President: Dr. Ibrahim Habib

President: Medhat Klada

Association General Coordinator: Magdi Youssef

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