Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Second International Coptic conference begins, don't expect much out of it

Just like preaching to the choir, no western media will cover the event, and this is why:


At the time of rising hostility against the Coptic Christian minority in Egypt, and at the time that the mere existence of Copts in Egypt is threatened by the rising tide of Islamic radicalism, one would expect a conference that claims to address the Coptic persecution in Egypt to focus on the suffering of Copts throughout the country rather than focusing on - according to many Copts -, few self-centered and self- serving individuals who introduce themselves to the international community as representatives of the Copts.

The foremost reason we should not expect much to come out of the conference held in Washington is the attitude of some organizers of the conference who issue press releases bragging about themselves rather than addressing the cause they claim to defend, and instead of trying to attract the Western media in a way that would appeal to them, they rather followed a self promoting sterategy.

Look at the original press release issued by the organizers to supposedly promote the conference to see how the conferenceis was being advertised:
Quote:


President of U.S. Copts Association, Michael Munier, to Host International Coptic Conference in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON Nov. 13WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The man behind the cause: Scholar and human rights activist, expert on Egyptian and Middle East political affairs, Michael Munier, President of the U.S. Copts Association, will host other Christian and Muslim pro-democracy leaders from Egypt and the broader Middle East as they will assemble in Washington for the second International Coptic Conference, announced the publicist for the event, Eleana Benador.

End quote.


- A known group of Coptic activists were also prevented from attending the conference even though they had a surprising video interviews subtitled in English of individuals who were beaten, tortured, their cross tattoos removed and replaced by skin grafts at government hospitals against their will while in sedation, in addition to videos of closed and burned churches !

37 Comments:

At 2:20 PM , Blogger COPTICFREEDOM said...

It is not time now to throw accusations...

 
At 2:23 PM , Blogger COPTICFREEDOM said...

I think that we shoud wait till the end of the conference, and then THINK... And see for ourselves, did the Coptic issue lost a ground or gained a ground in the fight with Islamic radicals. Alson, the Muslim Brotherhood is not better that Islamic Jihad. That is simple History 101...
Posting such article in this time shows what a small minded author who just fast in judging. WAIT TILL THE END OF THE CONFERENCE...

 
At 2:43 PM , Anonymous NASHED said...

I agree with you, WE WILL ALWAYS BE STUPID AND NEVER LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES:
THE SAME AS THE PRESS CONFERENCE:

the absence of major News Media Networks, and Newspapers , which in fact, is the responsibility of the Coptic group involveD in the Press Conference’s preparation .
http://www.copts4freedom.com/vivianwatts1.htm

 
At 2:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To hell with everyone that tries to benefit from the blood of our martyrs

 
At 3:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they also misled people when they said the event will be sponsored by the State Department and the White House. This is wrong as it gives people the impression that their problems are going to be solved once the conference comes to an end.

 
At 3:21 PM , Anonymous Raif said...

Friends...friends...

Fighting among ourselves will benefit no one except our enemies !

Let us try and keep a united front and leave any criticism till after the conference is finished. Remember that ANY chance to talk about the Copts at an international level, is definitely worth it.
My sincere thanks to all who financed, organized, and helped with this conference in any way.

 
At 3:30 PM , Anonymous Meriam said...

I agree with Raef, let's stop fighting, but I also think it's not right to mislead people and make them think as if their salvation is coming thru at the end of the conference. Let's be realistic and stop exaggerating things and blow them out of proportion.

 
At 3:40 PM , Blogger Peter said...

"one would expect a conference that claims to address the Coptic persecution in Egypt to focus on the suffering of Copts throughout the country rather than focusing on - according to many Copts -, few self-centered and self- serving individuals who introduce themselves to the international community as representatives of the Copts."

What a STUPID comment!! I would like to know who wrote that! This blog has been absolutely excellent up until I read that last statement.
Why would the author question the motives of Michael Meunier who I have met. Here is an individul who is GENUINELY concerned with the Coptic casue...so much that he's dedicated his life to it. Besides him there is Youseff Sidhom, editor of Watani, speaking at this conference as well...do you (the author) question his motives as well?! God knows that the Egyptians in Egypt, with its current social and political climate, will never be able to hold such a conference...

We MUST stay united together if we stand a chance. I absolutely applaud this conference and thank everyone involved. It's a start and those involved are trying their best and not self-serving or self-centered like the author said!

A concerned Copt from Chicago.

 
At 3:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you should expect a paid-for attack on the site LOL

 
At 3:52 PM , Anonymous Emad said...

I was in church once trying to convince abouna to host one of these activists and abouna said, look at their websites and tell me how much are they talking about Copts and how much are they talking about themselves.

 
At 3:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monet talks my dear...

 
At 3:59 PM , Anonymous Vivian said...

I urge you to remove this subject and post it back later on, please. you do have the right of freedom of speech but I urge you in Jesus name to pospone it for few days.
Thanks!

Vivian

 
At 4:01 PM , Blogger Peter said...

I don't understand where the anger in some of these posts are coming from???

THESE PEOPLE AT THE CONFERENCE ARE TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!

Should we be doing nothing instead?? Let's refrain from criticizing our fellow Copts for trying to help...

 
At 4:09 PM , Anonymous Mena1964 said...

Peter, I think you don't know much about what's going on. When someone is serving a good cause he should not talk about himself more often than talking about the cause itself. When someone mentions his name 7 times at a press release it makes you want to puke. The lord of the universe don't get to mention his name 7 times in 2 paragraphs !

 
At 4:31 PM , Blogger Peter said...

My friend Mena - I am not too concerned with how many times a name is mentioned in a "press release." What I am concerned with is SUBSTANCE. Michael Meunier and the U.S. Copts Association have worked very hard to bring to light the suffering of Copts in Egypt. These "self-serving individual" were able to gain an audience in Washington with some VERY notable figures (former congressmen, current congressmen, International Human Rights activits, etc.) to discuss the current situation. No one said that all of the Copts problems would disappear after this conference?! But again, it's a start and it's a positive step forward. With that said, it is not the only Coptic organization in the U.S. that has worked towards peace and equality in Egypt...there are many others. But to sit here and question the motives of fellow Copts when we should stand united together is absolutely idiotic!!

And to say that I don't know what is going on is quite upsetting...

Instead of criticizing the efforts of fellow Copts maybe those who are complaining should come up with an alternative...

 
At 4:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like everybody knows it except for you Peter! Look ate what Tarek Hejy who is a very famous intellectual had to say about him: (Members of the Coptic community (Orthodox Christian Egyptians) and other individuals will convene in Washington, D.C. to discuss the problems facing Copts in Egypt. Despite the complete personal disagreement between myself and the individual who initiated this conference, I will put aside the personal angle in dealing with this topic… since I feel that my way of thinking and writing is above getting dragged into the kind of style known from the security services' investigations department, which [tends to] abandon the heart of the matter and pursue marginal issues related to personalities, suspicions and conspiratorial thinking.)
For Tarek to say that, it means something is going on behind the scenes!

 
At 4:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear adminstrator: There is a website that keeps on stealing your blogs

he stole this from you
http://amcoptic.com/n2005/US_Embassy_in_Cairo.htm
......... he also stole this as well
http://amcoptic.com/n2005/sound/TateCOngressEgypt9Nov05.rm

 
At 5:00 PM , Blogger Peter said...

God bless Tariq Heggy and anyone else who defends the Copts. Michael Meunier is one of them!! I am one of them. He was able to gain an audience of influential people to discuss the current problem in Egypt...WHAT'S THE PROBLEM WITH THAT???? I simply don't understand. Someone needs to explain to me what these personal motives are of the conference holders...

What is it with Middle Eastern people and their conspiracy theories?? Is Israel behind this conference???? Come on...let's work together and support each other anonymous...

 
At 5:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Israel behind the conference>>> LOL, you are funny Peter. I think both opinions are true though. Michael is serving the cause but above all he is serving himself as well. I'm just wondering why are you guys paying so much attention to him? what we care about is the Coptic problem, having said that I think whoever wants to defend the Coptic rights should be in self denial just as the Bible teaches us, as for those who are taking advantage of the cause, God is watching from above, so leave it up to Him.

 
At 5:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter, what you don't know is that Michael Munier is able to get where he is because he is primarily backed by a wealthy individual. If you study all of his press releases and public statements, you will see the same recurring theme -- he keeps praising himself and ignoring the main issues. Or when he does address pertinent issues, he later lets them fall to the wayside, which does not add to the much needed progress for the Coptic cause. But the lynch pin in all of this is that he is clearly too narcissistic and it is his narcissism that ends up being highly problematic for all of us.

Because of his self-centeredness, he rejects many of the intellectuals who are more talented in certain areas than he is -- meaning -- he only wants the light to shine on Michael Munier. This does not help us.

So even if he is able to draw lawmakers to the conference, how could this best be served if he snuffs out those Copts who can articulately communicate what is happening to our people, while also snuffing out crucial film footage?

The reality is those lawmakers will never see any of this at the conference, solely because of Michael Munier.

It is dangerous to put so much credence in an individual whose overarching agenda is one of self-promotion.

Michael Munier has a known history of rejecting all Copts he perceives to be a threat to his own "personal" goals. And if you look at the facts, you will see that he has done this to many good Coptic individuals and groups. This is what destroys our unity.

Do you really think such a thing will ever tangibly help our persecuted brothers and sisters?

Our cause is a serious one. We need as many good people as we can get. But when Michael Munier cuts off Coptic intellectuals, as well as the important eye-witness film footage on persecuted Copts, which could really give US lawmakers reason to act, then we need to start asking the critical questions about his organization, and its motives. We should not wait until the conference is over in order to do this.

 
At 5:58 PM , Blogger Peter said...

I AM funny anonymous. I take great pride in that...so thank you even though I doubt the sincerity of your remark.

My point with the Israel comment is that there seems to be conspiracy theorists all over the Middle East. I respectfully disagree with you that Micahel Meunier is putting himself above the cause that he is working for.
Please don't make blanket statements like that without proof or evidence. Comments like that serve nothing but to divide the Copts...WHY?!
This man was able to gather influential people in DC to discuss the disaster that Egypt is so why slam him?? Why?

COPTS UNITE TOGETHER!!!

 
At 6:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from CT, I spoke to Michael over the phone to help a case in CT , it turned out into a disaster! The 2 congressmen that he knows are helping the Copts because of the intervention of people from Christian organizations. These Christian organizations are also fed up with him, so stop fooling people and making him look like an angel.

 
At 6:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter looks like you are conflating the different anonymous posts into one.

What influential people actually showed up? And what was done? The influential people I spoke with said the atmosphere behind the scenes is one of bedlum and confusion. There were some influential people who complained that Munier never even called them back!

So how helpful is this?

There are others at the event, seeing the havoc he has caused, who are doing damage control. These are the reports I am receiving.

Since you are looking for facts, what has Michael Munier done that has been significant other than ask us for money?

Has the persecution of our people lessened because of his work in DC?

The truth is that it has NOT lessened, it has gotten worse.

This is what Michael Munier has done:

Despite the fact that he had much more funding than his opponent, he lost an election.

He has alienated many people in our own community.

He has failed to act in cases where action by his organization was required.

He has fasely taken the credit for things he never did.

He has distributed self-aggrandizing press releases ad nauseum.

These are the facts on record.

So you can scream "Copts Unite Together" all you want, but unless these issues are addressed honestly, we will all lose.

We can only win when sincere Copts work together for the cause and not for anyone's self-serving agenda.

 
At 7:49 PM , Blogger Peter said...

That's fine anonymous #2 or #3...I'm not sure who I am addressing because you are not using your names.

First of all, no one proclaimed that Michael Meunier was the Martin Luther King of the Copts. What I do know is that he is trying and trying very hard. I don't care WHO you are as long as you are working to help the poor suffering Copts of Egypt...which, despite the previous comments, Michael is doing. We don't have enough voices as it is...why silent one of the more vocal ones????

I don't care WHY the congressmen (and other heavy-hitters) are there...the fact is is that they're there and they're trying to figure out how to better the disaster that Egypt is.

Yes he did loose the election...to a person who had held that seat for 20 years or so. Should he stop trying to enter politics?? The answer is no. I'm sure he will run again and hopefully win...also one needs money to run an effective campaign...if you don't like him then DON'T give him any money...it's that simple!!

Michael Meunier is not my best friend but he is working to help Copts whether you want to believe it or not...I don't understand why some Copts are so down on him?

I'm pretty sure that the Coptic persecution that has steadily worsened in Egypt is NOT his fault like one of you anonymous bloggers claimed.

The situation is sad enough as it is...we don't need Copts hating on other Copts when we are all alone! THAT is what I meant when I said that ALL Copts should stick together and support each other.

A concerned Copt from St. Mark Chicago

 
At 7:53 PM , Blogger Peter said...

I am leaving now for the evening but I would love to finish these open discussions...

God Bless you all and may Jesus bring peace to Egypt!

 
At 8:21 PM , Anonymous andrew said...

I think it is important to keep an open mind and listen to both sides.

 
At 9:02 PM , Anonymous Rania said...

Peter,

Yes I agree with you, we don't need Copts hating other Copts, but it is not good to follow blindly either.

I have been reading all the comments and I notice that you keep asking for facts but then you don't give much proof to back up what you are saying. You give mostly your opinion. It is OK to stick up for your friend, but you don't give much proof when you do. And when proof seems to be given to you, you say "I don't care." So you want facts but don't care when they are given to you if you don't agree. This is what I see is going on with your posts.

It looks like you really want to stick up for your friend, but that doesn't answer all of the problems he has been accused of causing. It might be that you are too close to him and won't consider any other possibilities????????

I think it is good to follow Andrew's advice and listen to both sides.

 
At 9:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sammy why wait? People are complaining for years.

 
At 10:12 PM , Anonymous George said...

I have been feeling much concern about Munier and his group for a long time. I think it is good to bring it up.

 
At 7:48 AM , Anonymous Sameh said...

Peter seems to not want to get it, he keeps on calling for COPTIC UNITY, yet his hero he keeps on defending is not for COPTIC UNITY, but a self centered person with an ego. Your hero is the reason why people like Tareq Heggy did not attend the conference.
Your hero blocked people much better than he is such as Nabil Abdel Malek, Adel Guindy and many more others from attending the conference. Your hero bad mouthed other Coptic leaders of other Coptic association because he wants to have the exclusive right over the Coptic issue, try asking him about the leaders of other organizations and see how nasty he would go down.
Your hero calls back a press release if it does not have his name mentioned on it!.

It seems that you are misled the same way your hero has misled the Copts for yeas but many people who dealt with him are waking up to say this person does not and should not represent us.

 
At 11:40 AM , Blogger Copts said...

Please refrain from using a foul language otherwise your comment will be deleted.

 
At 3:15 PM , Anonymous Anthony said...

Mr. Abdel Aziz who is a Muslim was more passionate about the Coptic cause than was Mr Michael's in his speech. When a coptic leader reads his speech from a pre-written document and show no feelings while reading his document indicates a serious problem.

 
At 11:27 PM , Anonymous Amany said...

as a Copt I'd like to thank Fr. Keith , he is my hero in this conference

 
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At 5:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The final saying in this is that the person who wrote this blog was removed from the spaker's list by Michael Meunier and that is why he is attacking him. Also, that person is now in deep trouble with some women in NJ and Boston. Should we say more. Oh, he is also the same guy posting servarl times under anonymous.... great job ...or jcb

 
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