Tag Archives: Egypt

WSJ: ‘5 Things to Know About Egypt’s Coptic Christians’

A clear, brief explainer:

Marty Peretz: Will the murder of seven Egyptian Christians, outside a church after Midnight Mass for Coptic Christmas, be assigned to ‘isolated extremists’?

Actually, I don’t think we are going to hear the phrase “isolated extremist” again, at least not from the president. In fact, the more we hear from him from now on, the more entangled and united the terrorist international is likely to appear. The shock of Detroit has probably been most traumatic for Obama himself. He really did believe that the world of Islam was a civilized order, and he simply can’t believe it now. Or can he?

But the Copts won’t get much attention. After all, they are Christians. What “progressives” worry about the survival of a Christian church or, for that matter, of pious Christian lives? [emphasis added]

Read the rest of Marty Peretz’s post on The Spine blog for The New Republic here.

Egyptian court rules against religious liberty

In a blow to religious freedom in Egypt, a Cairo court has ruled against a Muslim convert to Christianity who requested that his religious affiliation be changed. Judge Muhammad Husseini said in a verdict on Tuesday (January 29) that it was against Islamic law for a Muslim to leave Islam, a legal representative for convert Muhammad Hegazy said. “He can believe whatever he wants in his heart, but on paper he can’t convert,” Husseini told the administrative court, according to the member of Hegazy’s legal team. Husseini based his decision on Article II of the Egyptian constitution, which makes Islamic law, or sharia, the source of Egyptian law. The judge said that, according to sharia, Islam is the final and most complete religion and therefore Muslims already practice full freedom of religion and can not return to an older belief (Christianity or Judaism). “What happened is a violation of my basic rights,” convert Hegazy told the US Copts Association following the hearing. “What does the state have to do with the religion I embrace?”

-Compass Direct News

Egyptian Christian in hiding due to death threats

CAIRO, November 15 — Sick of hiding in a secret apartment in Cairo, Mohammed Ahmed Hegazy risked his life to shop for groceries late one night last week, a cap pulled low over his face. The Egyptian convert from Islam to Christianity does not normally chance being recognized in public by running errands for himself. Death threats forced Hegazy into hiding in August after he made an unprecedented legal bid to have his national ID card changed to note his conversion. The Christian acknowledged that he was finding his life in hiding extremely difficult. He said it was impossible to hold a job because he couldn’t leave his apartment regularly for fear of being attacked by Islamists or state security police. On a rare occasion that Hegazy took the chance of shopping in public, he said, a Christian recognized his face from a newspaper photograph. “If you are who I think you are, then God help you,” the Christian told Hegazy.

-Compass Direct News

Egypt releases human rights activists

CAIRO — Egyptian police this week released two Christian rights activists detained for three months. A host of journalists, lawyers, clergyman, family and friends gathered at the Cairo home of Adel Fawzy Faltas last night to celebrate the acquittal and release on Monday (November 5) of the Egyptian head of the Middle East Christian Association and an associate. Faltas, 61, and colleague Peter Ezzat, 25, had been held on unsubstantiated charges of insulting Islam and tarnishing Egypt ’s reputation abroad. Faltas had conducted an online interview with a controversial convert from Islam to Chris tianity only days before his arrest on August 8.

Sporting a wide grin, shorts and tennis shoes as well-wishers pressed around him at his 8th floor flat, Faltas said, “I was always a free man. When you respect yourself and what you are doing, then you are free.”

-Compass Direct News