Letter from the Bishop of Sydney to The Ambassador of Egypt
18 Babah 1722 AM (Coptic calendar))
Friday 28 th October 2005
Our Ref: B.D.02.039.04.05
His Excellence, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Canberra;
Best regards and prayers for your continuous success in all issues.
We would like to congratulate you on the occasion of Ramadan fasting, asking the Lord God to accept all our prayers, grant His grace to the whole world, edified in peace and unity between all His people, world wide.
Your Excellence; when you hosted me in Canberra on 26th July 2005 celebrating the July Revolution, we noticed that you are an understanding, eloquent, calm, and a beloved person by all. Our relationship became strong, and on this basis we both are partners in weaving the one nation of Egypt, with its two wings. This nation which has a special love in our hearts, never waived by time or distance, or any other obstacle presented by the enemy of good, whether divisions or persecution, or sorrowful incidents which take place from time to time.
In recognition of this strong relationship, and on behalf of the Coptic Orthodox congregation in Australia and North East Asia, we would like to mention some points, which are recently bothering us:
1- The late incidents in Moharram Bek, Alexandria resulted in dangerous issues, the most important of which is the division between the children of the one nation.
It would have better been dealt with in a modern objective manner. Who is the beneficiate of this incident? Why would the Egyptian media remember something, which happened two years ago? Why especially at that time? Why didn’t the Egyptian media highlight what was hurting to one of the two wings of the nation (the Coptic Christians), as in the T.V. series of ‘The Time of Flowers’ (which is against the doctrine of the Holy Bible), the movie ‘I love Cinema’ (belittling the worship and Church), the series ‘A Girl From Shoubra’ (humiliating the Christian Religion as a whole)? This is not something new for the Egyptian media, as we can never forget what was released by ‘Al Nabaa’ (The News) Newspaper, which led to a calamity.
Would the Alexandria incidents lead some of our brethren from the other wing of the one nation, to ask H.H. Pope Shenouda III Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark in Egypt and the whole world, to offer an apology? The aim of the Church’s play was to enlighten our congregation, and to confirm their faith. Do we blame the Church for such an action? In addition, His Holiness and the Melli Council had reviewed this play, and they issued a report stating that there was nothing wrong with the play. What is really astonishing is that the Egyptian media totally ignored that report.
Do we have the right to ask an apology from Sheikh Al Azhar, if one of the mosques’ Sheikhs insulted the Coptic Christian brethren in Egypt (which happens frequently in some mosques in Egypt during the Friday sermon; I personally heard them during one of my visits to Egypt, saying that we are infidels)? Is it believable that the Alexandria incident would lead to the allowance of shedding H.H. Pope Shenouda’s blood, which was clearly stated in one of the Egyptian newspapers? Is it one of Islam’s teachings that one of its groups would destroy the neighbouring areas in the proximity of the place of the incident? Isn’t this considered unfair for those people whose possessions were destroyed?
Your Excellence the Ambassador: All these questions are flowing in the minds of the educated people, and those who have sincere love for their country. The issue is deeper.
We would honestly like to thank President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak for his quick reaction with Alexandria incidents, yet we have to investigate the matter in depth, objectivity and common sense. The huge amount of Egyptian media, whether articles, T.V. series, movies and many other media arms is in real need to an accurate investigation, carried by responsible officials in the country, reaching the level of modern thinking and caring for others, carried on an understanding, logic criticism, clearance and wise attitude.
We would also add that some of the Egyptian writers, play a big role in this situation, for example, Dr. Emara mentioned many times in his articles that the Holy Bible is not authentic, that Christians are infidels, and that there is no other religion but Islam. This issue also needs an understanding approach from the responsible officials.
The Alexandrian incidents were not demonstrations of thousands of Muslims without planning. If anyone is following these events, he would notice that there people planning a well organized destructive demonstration, there are people providing financial support, and there are people carrying these missions. The discovery of these realties is a real threat to the security of Egypt
The Investigation & Security Departments in modern countries discover the incidents before they takes place, then it becomes ‘Proactive’ and not ‘Active’. It also organizes a vision, a strategy and a plan to face such incidents, which threaten the peace of any country and destroy its civilization.
We need an investigation in the Alexandrian incidents, to discover the causes, so that such incidents never happen again. It is enough what was spent of time, effort and finance to fix such irresponsible actions. The time, effort and finance would have been rather spent in the development and upraising of Egypt, our beloved country.
2- Your Excellence, there is another important issue: What is the status of the Copts on the political and social map in their country Egypt?
- The nominations to the ruling National party, include only 2 Coptic Christians out of 444 Coptic and Muslim nominations. One of the two Copts Maher Khella, nominated for Ghorbal area in Muharram Bek in Alexandriawithdrew because of the late incidents. If we have a look at the statistics, we find that the percentage of one Coptic nominee in a total of 444 Coptic and Muslim nominees is a ratio of 0.225%. Our question is: What is the reason? Aren’t we the people about whom the President said: The Copts are one of the two wings of the one nation? H.H. Pope Shenouda III also said: Egyptis a nation which lives inside us, not a nation in which we live.
Your Excellence the Ambassador, the freedom of doctrine and opinion, the respect of others, living in peace and carrying out real democracy are basis for modern countries. In Australia
, we live in a society consisting of 200 nationalities; they all live in peace, love their country and do their best for its development. Our beloved country Egypt has only one nationality; which is the Coptic Nationality, as the word ‘Copt’ comes from the word ‘Egyptous’, which means in old Egyptian history “Egyptian”.
Your Excellence the Ambassador, we thank you for your love, we ask you to send a copy of this letter to President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Egyptian Minister of Information, the Egyptian Minister of Education and Sheikh Al Azhar.
Again, we wish full progress and success in your great mission, asking Your Excellence whenever you receive a response from any of the responsible officials in Egypt, if you could kindly send it to us, just to clarify the issue for the 70,000 (seventy thousand) Coptic Christians living in Australia, and the Coptic Christian families living in North East Asia, they are all very upset because of the latest incidents, especially the declaration of the shedding of His Holiness’ blood.
Your Excellence, we are the children of the martyrs, we do not fear death. Emperor Diocletian killed one million Coptic Christians in the third century (particularly in the year 284 AD), yet the Coptic Christians are still existing in Egypt and the whole world.
What had happened is inappropriate; it presents an unacceptable image of Egypt our beloved country.
May the Lord preserve Your Excellence for us, and for Egypt our beloved country.
The Faithful,Bishop Daniel
With the Grace of God
Bishop of Sydney And Affiliated Regions, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, China and Malaysia.
(Source: Copts United)