Thursday, November 03, 2005

Images of the Coptic demonstration in front of the UN in NY



Click to view the pictures:

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Egyptian Government Detains A Progressive Muslim Writer

Mr. Nabeel Abdul Kareem is in detention for his progressive views !
According to Copts United , Security Forces in Alexandria city (Egypt) has detained Mr. Abdul Kareem, a writer- on October 26, 2005 at the Bab-Sharqi Police Station for his writings published on different web sites (including www.Copts-united.com) Mr. Abul Kareem was then transferred to one of the detention centers on November 2, 2005

Copts United deplored these repressive measures that contradict the Egyptian constitution and in particular Article 40, which calls for freedom of expression. Copts United asked for the immediate release of Mr. Abdul Kareem.
Many Copts along with moderate Muslims accuse the Egyptian government of causing the rift between Muslims and Christians in Egypt by adopting repressive and discriminatory practices against Coptic Christians. Mr. Abdul Kareem is among a number of proactive Muslim writers known for their calls to end discrimination against Copts in Egypt

Monday, October 31, 2005

Images from the demonstration in Paris

Coptic and Human Rights organizations in Europe planned a succesful demonstration in front of the Egyptian Embassy in Paris on Monday 10/31/2005 . These are some of the images ( with thanks to M.E.C.A)

Please don't forget to join the Coptic demonstration planned in NY city, on November 3, 2005 at 12:00 noon in front of the UN

Click on the image to enlarge





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

Bishop’s Office

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)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Demonstration planned in New York

THE AMERICAN COPTIC ASSOCIATION (CHRISTIANS OF EGYPT) is planning a large demonstration in front of the United Nations

Location:
43 rd. ST. & 1 st. AVE. NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK.

Date:

Thursday, November 3, 2005 at 12:00 PM

Contact:

THE AMERICAN COPTIC ASSOCIATION
500 SUMMIT AVENUE
Union City, NJ 07087
TEL: 201-902-7999 FAX: 201-863-4111

For New Jersey residents you can take the :

Demonstration buses departing from :
Martin Luther King School (Across from C Town)
Bergen Avenue, Jersey city

At 10:00 AM


إن كان يوم الجمعة الماضى قد مر بدون أحداث عنف و شغب،فما أكثر الخداع فى حروب هؤلاء الأرهابيين فإن هذه المهادنة لن تستمر طويلاً فهل سنترك أبنائنا و بناتنا يعانون دون أن تتحرك ضمائرنا ؟ ما يحدث الآن فى الأسكندرية هو مصير أقاربك و أحبائك فى مصر، أبائنا و أمهاتنا و إخوتنا فى كل أنحاء مصر، فما يحدث هو حصاد سكوتنا عن حقوقنا كل هذه السنوات بل القرون، فهلا قمنا من ثباتنا، هل آن الأوان أن نقوم من ثباتنا لنصرة الذين ليس أحد لهم سوى المسيح و نحن ؟
إن الأمر يحتاج إلى وقفة رجل واحد و إتحاد فى كل الأراء حتى نستطيع أن نوقف حملات الظلم وخطط محاولة التصفية العرقية لشعبنا القبطى، إننا نناشد ضمائركم بأن تخرجوا معنا فى مسيرة سلمية يوم الخميس الموافق 3 نوفمبر فى تمام الساعة الثانية عشر ظهراً أما مبنى الأمم المتحدة بنيويورك سيتى و ستقوم الأتوبيسات من أمام مدرسة مارتن لوثر كينج ببرجن أفينو جيرسي سيتى الساعة العاشرة صباحاً، فتعالي و إحضر معك أخرين. و الرب يعوض تعبكم
إضغط هنا لتحميل النشرة الخاصة بالتظاهرة (لغة عربية) فقط

Canadian Coptic Association holds a conference

Canadian Coptic Association
Invitation from the Canadian Coptic Association:

"To attend an important Conference to discuss the latest rioting in Alexandria by Islamic Masses that led to the destruction of Churches, burning Bibles
and other properties
The tragic events thought out the Middle East lead us to believe that these violent actions will continue to escalate unless we rise and our voices get heard.
The Egyptian Government is the first to blame for the discrimination against Copts and their persecution that does not seem to end.
Your presence is very important come with your friends, family to stand by our People in Egypt. Our God will move only after we take the first step.
On Friday Nov. 11, 2005 from 7 – 10 PM
At
Hôtel Ruby Foo's
7655 Boul Décarie, Montréal, QC, H4P 2H2 - Tel: (514) 731-7701"

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Statement from the Coptic Church in Alexandria

Official statement from the Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria:

"The church and its congregation announces that they do not accept any defemation of Islam nor belittling the religious convictions of our beloved Muslim brethren .

The Church announces that in case it is proven any of the participants in the stage play was at fault, they will be disciplined.

We are deeply saddened that brothers and sons were wounded and injured during these events.
The Church calls on the Attorney General to expedite the release of those arrested and were not indicted, in order to keep the social peace and provide happiness and joy to all on the occasion of the Eid celebrations.

The church would like to extend its congratulations to the Muslim brothers on the occasion of the month of Ramadan and the blessed Eid

General Deputy of the Patriarchate
Hegomen: Sharobeem Al Bakhomy"

A Call For Three Days of Prayer and Fasting


Bishop Serapion, the Coptic Orthodox Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles, Southern California, and Hawaii has called for "Three Days of Prayer and Fasting " starting October 31 to November 2nd, 2005. The letter says :

As we follow the hardship, which the Church in Egypt is facing these days, we lift up our hearts to our Lord, Who told us, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28) With complete faith and trust in God’s promises, we place all our troubles in His Hand with confidence, knowing that He alone is capable of saving and protecting all His children and preserve the peace of His Church

Click here to read the entire letters in Arabic & English

Friday, October 28, 2005

Grand Imam of Al Azhar: Attacking the church was wrong

Sheikh Muhammad Sayed Tantawi, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar told "Al Masry Al Youm" Egyptian newspaper that he met with H. H. Pope Shenouda III in an attempt to contain the situation in Alexandria, and added "This incident is pre-planned, and certain groups are behind it attempting to cause sectarian tensions and violence" . Tantawi also affirmed" Attacking the church was wrong, it is everyone's duty to reaffirm that we are brethren living in the same country".

Criticizing the Muslim Brotherhood group, the Grand Imam said " I hope that the Muslim brotherhood group would stay out of it in order to avoid the deterioration of the situation"

Tantawi is known for his moderation and is constantly criticized by some Egyptian newspapers known for their incitement against the West and non-Muslims in general.

Demonstration in Cairo

Some Muslims are currently demonstrating outside St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Helipolis, Cairo chanting "Islam is the answer"

=====
Update: 6:22 PM Egypt time (12:22 PM EST)
The small number of people who gathered outside the church were dispersed

Tension in Alexandria

Fearing a recurrence of demonstrations around St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Moharam Bek, Alexandria, security forces are currently surrounding the church for protection against any possible attacks. Copts in the area are afraid they might be targeted today since many of their homes were marked with an (X) sign, some of them have already left the town out of fear.

The governor of Alexandria, Mr. Abdel-Salam Al Mahjoub tried to reassure citizens by touring the streets of Alexandria over the past couple of days and participated in removing the (X) signs by himself.
We will continue to monitor the situation throughout the day and keep you posted

Pray for peace in Alexandria today

Demonstration planned in Paris

Coptic and Human Rights organizations in Europe are planning a joint demonstration in front of the Egyptian Embassy in Paris on Monday 10/31/2005 at 4:30 PM to protest the ongoing injustices against Coptic Christians in Egypt.

Location:
PLACE DES ETATS-UNIS
Face à l'Ambassade d'Egypte
56 Avenue d'Iéna
75016 PARIS
Métro IENA

Time: Monday, October 31, 2005

Participating organizations:

- ACKA (Association des Chrétiens originaires de Kabylie et leurs Amis)
- ADH (Action Droits de l’Homme)
- AFEMO (Association Francophone d'Etudes du Moyen-Orient)
- Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights, Europe
- Copts United Zurich (Organisation internationale de défense des intérêts des Coptes)
- CSI International et CSI-France (Christian Solidarity International)
- TAMAZGHA (Organisation internationale de défense des intérêts des Imazighen)
- UK Copts Association (Association des Coptes du Royaume-Uni)

To contact organizers:

ASSOCIATION DES COPTES DE FRANCE
15 Rue Montmartre
75001 PARIS
coptefrance@yahoo.com
Tel 01 45 85 09 13

or

ASSOCIATION DES COPTES D’EUROPE
15 Avenue du Bel Air
75012 PARIS
copteseuro@wanadoo.fr
Tel 01 30 37 06 29