Egypt Crisis Sidelined at U.N.



UNITED NATIONS—When hundreds were killed in Egypt after interim authorities cleared out antigovernment protest camps in August, the country's political crisis moved front-and-center of the world stage.

U.S. President Barack Obama suspended joint military exercises with Egypt. European foreign ministers rushed back from summer vacations for an emergency meeting. Iran's foreign ministry said Egypt was drifting toward civil war.

Six weeks later, at the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, Egypt's crisis has seemed a side issue, a regrettable irritant that needs mentioning but not tackling.

That is partly because of the magnitude of other news here this week, including the highest level U.S.-Iranian diplomacy since the 1979 revolution and a much-prized U.N. Security Council deal ordering Syria to hand over or destroy its chemical weapons by mid-2014.


Saudi Arabia Promises to Aid Egypt’s Regime



Saudi Arabia blamed the United States and other allies for failing to support Mr. Mubarak in 2011 when Egyptians took to the street provoking his ouster. But their criticism was mostly in private, and low-key. Even after the Muslim Brotherhood-backed government of Mr. Morsi was elected, the kingdom responded quickly to keep the treasury solvent with a substantial $5 billion in aid.

By July 10, one week after the military takeover, the Saudis had put together a package of aid totaling $12 billion: $5 billion from the kingdom, $3 billion from the United Arab Emirates and $4 billion from Kuwait.

Unlike American aid, much of the Saudi assistance goes directly into Egyptian coffers with no strings attached. Much of it is cash transferred directly to the Egyptian Central Bank, with the rest grants of free or subsidized oil products, which free an equivalent amount of money for Egypt to budget as it wishes.


Muslim Brotherhood claim: We've got 'goods on Obama'

Son of jailed leader says evidence could put U.S. president in prison

U.S. Republican Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

NEW YORK – The son of a jailed Muslim Brotherhood leader in Egypt is claiming his father has evidence that will land President Obama in prison.

The claim came as the Obama administration, with the assistance of Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and the open involvement of the No. 2 man at the U.S. State Department, made a concerted effort to see Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt released.


Key congressional committee backs Egypt coup

An Egyptian man holds a portrait of military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images) 

An Egyptian man holds a portrait of military chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

The Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and its ranking Democrat have released a joint statement suggesting support for the Egyptian military’s July 3 coup against President Mohamed Morsi.

released a joint statement suggesting support for the Egyptian military’s July 3 coup against President Mohamed Morsi.

The statement, by Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), argues that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood had not pursued “real democracy.” It also urges the military to “exercise extreme caution” in moving forward and to “support sound democratic institutions” as it does so. The House Foreign Affairs Committee could play an important role in determining how Congress guides or pressures the Obama administration’s response to events in Egypt — which may itself be a key factor in how the coup-backed government behaves.


In spite of all Muslim Brotherhood lies the REVOLUTION WILL SUCCEED 

Esam El-Hadad continues to lie and call the popular revolt a military co

30 millions in the street of Egypt witnessed by the world

While USA say it is a military co 


Religious Minorities in the Middle East


Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt has responded to a Written Question tabled by Conservative MP Sir Edward Leigh, who asked what steps the Foreign Office is taking to ensure the safety and rights of religious minorities in the Middle East. In his reply, the Minister stated that the Foreign Office regularly urges governments across the Middle East to uphold the rights of all religious minorities, and closely monitors the situation of minority religious groups.

After mentioning the Foreign Office’s recent representations to the Egyptian and Syrian Governments to protect minorities, the Minister stated that across the Middle East the situation is one of “exceptional seriousness” for many religious minorities.

 The Associated Press

Egyptian Christian teacher convicted of blasphemy

LUXOR, Egypt (AP) — An Egyptian court has convicted a Coptic Christian teacher of blasphemy but didn't hand down a prison sentence and only imposed a fine on her.

The court on Tuesday ruled that elementary schoolteacher Dimyana Abdel-Nour had insulted Islam. It ordered that she pay a fine of 100,000 Egyptian pounds ($14,000). Abdel-Nour was not in the courtroom for the verdict.

The case in the ancient southern city of Luxor began when three parents said their 10-year-olds complained at home, saying their teacher showed disgust when she spoke of Islam in class.

Angry Islamists protested the verdict outside the courthouse.

Egypt has witnessed a surge in blasphemy charges in recent months, widely seen as a reflection of the growing power of Islamists.

Blasphemy became a criminal offense under Egypt's new, Islamist-backed constitution.


Egypt Question


 Asked By Baroness Cox 

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the situation of religious minorities in Egypt since the Arab Spring.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, Egypt has witnessed an upsurge in sectarian violence during the transition period. Foreign Office Ministers have been clear throughout the events in Egypt that have taken place since the revolution that the freedom of religious belief needs to be protected and that the ability to worship in peace is a vital component of a democratic society. We continue to urge the Egyptian authorities to promote religious tolerance and to revisit policies that discriminate against anyone on the basis of their religion. We are also in contact with representatives of the Coptic Church and other religious groups.

Baroness Cox: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his sympathetic reply. Is he aware that since the downfall of President Mubarak there have been attacks on Sufi shrines, the marginalisation of the Baha’is, hostility towards Muslim secularists and a massive escalation of assaults on Christian communities, including the Coptic cathedral, when security forces stood by doing nothing to deter the violence? In what specific ways have Her Majesty’s Government encouraged the Egyptian Government to create an environment of social cohesion, reduce tensions and promote mutual respect between adherents of different faiths so that they can live together as equal citizens in a nation that recognises their rights and values their citizenship?


APPG on International Religious Freedom Parliamentary Monitoring June 11th‏


Ø  Lord Wallace has responded to an Oral Question tabled by Crossbench Peer and member of the APPG on International Religious Freedom, Baroness Cox, who asked what assessment the Government have made of the situation of religious minorities in Egypt since the Arab Spring.

In his reply, Lord Wallace stated that since the upsurge in sectarian violence, the Foreign Office have been clear about the need to protect freedom of religious belief as the ability to worship in peace is a “vital component of a democratic society.” After stating that the Government will continue to urge the Egyptian authorities to “promote religious tolerance” and “revisit policies that discriminate against anyone on the basis of their religion,” Lord Wallace highlighted the Government’s contact with representatives of the Coptic Church and other religious groups in Egypt.




June 10, 2013


Egypt Breaks Faith on Religious Freedom

By Katrina Lantos Swett and Mary Ann Glendon

In June 2012, more than 16 months following the Tahrir Square revolution and the end of Hosni Mubarak’s reign, Egypt went to the polls and elected Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi as its new president.

For many, this historic election was a hopeful step toward democracy and respect for human rights. Yet today, one year later, hope is flagging amid woeful neglect of pivotal rights, including religious freedom.

Members of the US Commission on Religious Freedom (USCIRF), on which we serve, saw this firsthand in February of this year. Upon arriving in Cairo, our delegation met with the US ambassador, high-level Egyptian officials, human rights defenders, women’s rights advocates, Muslim religious leaders and members of minority religious communities.

During this visit, USCIRF confirmed that Egypt is failing to meet international religious-freedom standards. In our 2013 annual report, released on April 30, we elaborated on our findings.

Among our concerns are Egypt’s new constitution, a code forbidding blasphemy, an impunity problem, restrictions on building places of worship and problems regarding religious identification and conversion.

While Cairo’s constitution affirms “freedom of belief,” it mentions only the right to practice religious “rites” and establish places of worship. It appears to limit even this narrow freedom to Egypt’s three “divine” religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, excluding Baha’is, atheists and agnostics, among others.


Egypt's President Approves 17 Year-old Church Building Permit

(AINA) -- President Mohamed Morsi issued a decree yesterday allowing the building of a new church in city of New Nubaria, in Beheirah province, the first such decree of his presidency. The 300 square meter church will be called Church of Apostles Peter and Paul. The Coptic Orthodox church applied for permission to build a church in Nobaria 17 years ago.

The Church's spokesman thanked the President for his decree, while Copts had a different reaction raising suspicion as to its timing.


Egypt: Hundreds march for President Mohammad Mursi protest

Protesters claim to have garnered more than two million signatures

Cairo: Hundreds of people marched on Cairo’s Tahrir Square Friday calling for Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammad Mursi to resign and demanding early elections, AFP correspondents and local media reported.

The demonstration was called by a number of opposition groups, including the Al Dustur party of former United Nations atomic watchdog chief Mohammad Al Baradei and the April 6 movement which spearheaded the 2011 uprising to oust then president Husni Mubarak.


Egyptian Christian Rights Groups Request EU Investigate Egypt

By Mary Abdelmassih

(AINA) -- Acting on behalf of the European Union of Coptic Organizations for Human Rights (EUCOHR), The Coptic Dutch Association submitted yesterday an official memorandum to the European Parliament to open an international investigation into Dr. Mohamed Morsi, President of the Republic, and the Egyptian Interior Ministry because into the unlawful imprisonment of Christians.

This action was prompted by an Egyptian court in the Upper Egyptian town of Beba ordering the detention of the parents and cousin of a Coptic man, Ebram Andrawes, who allegedly disappeared with a 22-year-old Muslim girl, Rana El Shazly, at the end of February after she converted to Christianity, got married and fled to Turkey.


Egypt Investment Collapsing as Citizens Turn Into Vigilantes

By Tarek El-Tablawy, Mariam Fam and Salma El Wardany

Egypt Arms With Bootleg Guns as Vigilante Justice Replaces Law 

In a dimly lit Cairo workshop, Hussein spins a metal pipe on a lathe, sending sparks flying. In a few minutes, it’ll become the barrel of a gun. Sometime after that it will join the growing arsenal of illegal weapons on the streets of Egypt.

Artisans who make machine parts by day are turning into bootleg gunmakers at night, says Hussein, 54, who asked not to be identified by his full name for fear of prosecution. He only sells to a middleman because “trust the wrong person and you’re going to jail.” He can make as much as 3,000 pounds ($435) per gun -- about 20 percent of what a legally licensed one costs.

“Fear is big business nowadays,” Hussein said. “People buy the guns because they’re afraid. People buy the guns because they want to scare others. We’re in a jungle now.”

Egypt’s foreign reserves give cause for concern

Egypt foreign reserves lost value at an accelerated rate last month, even as a cash injection from abroad raised the fund’s net worth for the first time since October.

Egypt’s foreign currency reserves stood at $14.42bn at the end of April – up from a 10-year low of $13.4bn at the end of March. The cash and gold reserves, critical for financing imports, were boosted by $2bn in cash deposits by oil-rich neighbouring Libya, according to central bank information cited on Wednesday by the state-owned Ahram newspaper’s website.

The Egyptian stock market’s benchmark EGX30 index advanced half a per cent on the news.

Administrator has sent a message to members with the following characteristics:

The White House Office of the Press Secretary sent CopticWorld a message from President Obama for the occassion of Easter to forward to all of our members:

This weekend, Michelle and I extend our best wishes to members of the Orthodox Christian community here in America and around the world as they observe Holy Friday and the Feast of the Resurrection. For millions of Orthodox Christians, this is a joyful time. But it’s also a reminder of the sacrifice Christ made so that we might have eternal life. His decision to choose love in the face of hate; hope in the face of despair is an example we should always strive to follow. But it’s especially important to remember this year, as members of the Orthodox community have been confronted with persecution and violence, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. For centuries, the region and the world has been enriched by the contributions of Orthodox communities in countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Syr ia, and Iraq. As a nation, we reaffirm our commitment to protecting universal human rights including the freedom of religion. And in this season of hope and restoration, we celebrate the transformational power of sacrificial love.


Egypt’s president reaching compromise with senior judges to scrap contentious law

By Associated Press

CAIRO — The Egyptian president’s office indicated Sunday a compromise has been reached with the judiciary to defuse an uproar over a proposed law that would have forced out thousands of the country’s most senior judges.

Just three days earlier, the country’s Islamist-led parliament pushed ahead with the disputed bill that would have lowered the retirement age for judges from 70 to 60. That would affect nearly a quarter of Egypt’s 13,000 judges and prosecution officials.

Sky News 

One Boston marathon bombing suspect has been shot dead and another is on the loose, police have said.

It follows a shootout in Watertown between the two suspects and dozens of armed officers after a policeman was shot dead at Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, nine miles from Boston city centre.

Boston Police commissioner Ed Davis said: "What we are looking for right now is a suspect consistent with the description of suspect number two - the white-capped individual who was involved in Monday's bombing of the Boston Marathon.


Egyptian activists tell govt religious identification 'None of your business'


Photo of an Egyptian identity card that reads: "woman - and that's all (instead of 'religion') - single."

In Egypt, identity cards feature a citizen’s name, picture, profession… and religion! A group of young Egyptian activists feels that this last bit of information is irrelevant, and have launched a Facebook campaign against what they see as government intrusiveness.


IMF team leaves Egypt without broad backing from opposition for government’s economic plan

The IMF said in a statement that its delegation met with a range of political figures and Cabinet officials during the nearly two week-long visit that ended late Monday. In previous, shorter trips, the IMF has only focused on meeting with government officials.

The country’s political polarization has further delayed reaching agreement around the deal.

Finance Minister El-Morsi Hegazi, who will meet with officials in Washington D.C. this weekend for annual IMF and World Bank meetings, said the government’s meetings with the international lender were “fruitful.”

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