Saturday, December 24, 2005

Egyptian Journalist Mona Eltahawy Questioned on Election Column

Egyptian Journalist Mona Eltahawy Questioned on Election Column

Mona Eltahawy's website

Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy's just-issued International Herald Tribune op-ed has been published. It argues that "our recent parliamentary elections with their paltry 25 percent turnout would have been roundly condemned by international observers had they been allowed to come and see how the state hijacked democracy." She has been regularly reporting on the elections and the accompanying problems.

This has caused disturbing repercussions. A source reliably familiar with the post-publication situation confirms that expressing this opinion has resulted in Ms. Eltahawy being officially summoned to the Egyptian State Security for a brief meeting in which a message was conveyed that she was in trouble and being monitored. Persons, especially outside Egypt, interested in the situation may consider noting their concerns to the following organizations.

The international association to protect writers:

American Centre: President – Salman Rushdie
588 Broadway, Suite 303, New York, NY 10012, United States of America

The Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
3521 International Ct. NW Washington DC 20008
Phone (202) 895 5400Fax (202) 244 5131

More freedom to celebrate Christmas in the Gulf countries

More freedom to celebrate Christmas in Gulf....
But not in Saudi Arabia where freedom of religion does not exist and basic religious freedoms are denied to all but those who adhere to the state-sanctioned version of Sunni Islam

Egypt court sentences Ayman Nour

An Egyptian court sentenced opposition politician and former presidential candidate Ayman Nour on Saturday to five years in jail on forgery charges

Nour, leader of the liberal Ghad (Tomorrow) Party and the main challenger to President Hosni Mubarak in the September elections, will appeal against the conviction, his lawyer said.

Nour's wife, Gameela Ismail, who has organised daily protests against the trial, led supporters in chants of "Down with Mubarak, Down with the regime."

Egyptian opposition leader jailed

Friday, December 23, 2005

An Urgent Appeal to H.H. Pope Shenouda III نداء عاجل لقداسة البابا شنودة

On December 6th, we brought to Your Holiness' attention, an appeal written in Arabic concerning what happened at the Coptic Christian Centre of the Church of the Virgin Mary and St. Athanasius in Mississauga, Canada when the church allowed Mr. Omar Alghabra, the Liberal candidate for Mississauga-Erindale to deliver his speech for winning the nomination. Those who gathered in the Coptic Christian Center were chanting "Allah Is Greatest, Allah Is Greatest" to be followed by Mr. Omar's speech who started by saying "This is a victory for Islam! Islam won! Islam Won! Islamic power is extending into Canadian politics"

Omar Alghabra

Your Holiness, this is the same church that prevents Coptic activists from speaking out about the injustices against our people in Egypt saying the church is no place for politics. Now that the story is making it to the press and is getting the public attention, we are appealing to Your Holiness to investigate what happened inside the church during the speech of Mr. Omar and why was he allowed to deliver the speech in the first place!

Muslim Brotherhood Leader Denies Holocaust

Amid rumors of talks between the US State Department and the Muslim Brotherhood group , Mohammed Mahdi Akef , leader of the Muslim Brotherhood denied the Holocaust in his article published yesterday on the group's official Web site

Akef wrote: "Western democracies have slammed all those who don't see eye to eye with the Zionists regarding the myth of the Holocaust"

Alkef added" You Brothers, you are the guardians of Islamic Sharia (law) . Your main concern should be the heritage of Shariah, which you uphold.

While criticizing the Western democracy in favor of Islamic Sharia, Akef said : The sword of democracy has reached into one of the prominent businessmen, to freeze his assets " Akef was referring to Youssef Nada, a Brotherhood elder who fled Egypt in the 1960s after a crackdown on the then banned brotherhood movement, Nada is currently based in Switzerland and served for decades as the foreign liaison of the Brotherhood. He is also listed by the U.S. Treasury as a banker for al Qaeda and Hamas

Nada is also a close friend of Sheikh Qaradhawi considered to be the spiritual leader of Al Jazeera channel as well as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Qaradhawi also invested in Youssef Nada's Al Taqwa bank, that's why Al Jazeera always portrays Nada as the victim of America's war on terrorism.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

دعوى قضائية ضد قرار مبارك الخاص ببناء الكنائس

كتب عماد عزمى نقلا عن جرية الدستور الصادرة 21/12/2005
تنظر محكمة القضاء الادارى الدعوى رقم 7625 لسنة 60 قضائية التى اقامها ممدوح نخلة المحامى وطلب فيها الغاء قرار رئيس الجمهورية رقم 291 لسنة 2005 الخاص بتفويض المحافظين باصدار قرارات هدم واقامة الكنائس
قال ممدوح نخله فى دعواه ان قرار رئيس الجمهورية مخالف للمادة 44 من الدستور المصرى التى يقول نصها رئيس الجمهورية يصدر اللوائح اللازمة لتنفيذ القوانين بما ليس فيها تعديل او تعطيل او اعفاء من تنفيذها وله ان يفوض غيره فى اصدارها ويجوز ان يعين القانون من يصدر القرارات اللازمة لتنفيذها وبمطالعة هذا النص يتبين ان سلطة رئيس الجمهورية تنحصر فى اصدار القرارات اللازمة لتنفيذ القوانين بحيث لا تعدلها او تعطلها او تلغيها وقرار رئيس الجمهورية رقم 291 لسنة 2005 لا يستند الى قانون قائم والقانون 106 لسنة 1976 المعدل بالقانون رقم 30 لسنة 1981 فى المادة الرابعه حدد الجهه المسئولة عن اصدار قرارات ترميم الكنائس واضاف نخلة فى دعواه ان قرار رئيس الجمهورية المذكور يخالف الدستور والقانون الوحيد الذى يعطية هذا الحق الفرمان العثمانى المشهور بالخط الهمايونى وهذا سقط بمجرد صدور دستور مصر فى عام 1923 كما ان هذا القرار مخالف للمعاهدات الدولية فالاعلان العالمى الخاص بالقضاء على جميع اشكال التعصب والتمييز على اساس الدين والمعتقد الذى نشرته الامم المتحدة فى نوفمبر1981 ينص فى مادته الاولى على حريه العبادة واقامة الشعائر الدينية والممارسة سواء بمفرده او مع جماعة وتثبت هذه الدعوى الذى اقامها ممدوح نخلة المحامى ان الاقباط غير راضين عن القرار الذى اصدره الرئيس مبارك فى الوقت الذى تروج فيه صحف الحكومة لمقولة تؤكد ان الاقباط سعداء بالقرار الذى اعطى المحافظين حق اصدار قرارات هدم وبناء وترميم الكنائس فى نفس مكانها

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

السفارة المصرية بفرنسا والصمت الرهيب

"Lettre ouverte à l'Ambassade d'Egypte à Paris suite à la manifestation du 31 octobre 2005"

The Egyptian Embassy in Paris ignores the memo submitted by thousands of Coptic demonstrators on October 31, 2005

European Coptic Association denounces the Egyptian government's failure to respond to the Coptic Memorandum

مذكرة إلى / سفير جمهورية مصر العربية بفرنسا05/10/31
خرج الأقباط المصريين بآلالاف إمام السفارة المصرية بفرنسا في مظاهرة نظمتها المنظمة القبطية الأوربية بفرنسا والهيئة القبطية الفرنسية والعديد من المنظمات الإنسانية والقبطية من مختلف الدول منددين بانتكاسة حقوق الأقباط في مصر ومطالبين بحقوقهم كمواطنين لهم كافة حقوق المواطنة التي نص عليها القانون المصري ونصت عليها القوانين الدولية .
وتقدم المتظاهرون الأقباط وبطريقة حضارية جدا في هذه التظاهرة بمذكرة إلى السفير المصري الأستاذ حاتم سيف النصر حاملة كل مطالبهم وتساؤلاتهم لكي ينقلها إلى الحكومة والقيادة السياسية في مصر ولكن وبرغم مرور ما يقارب الشهر على رفع هذه المذكرة إلى السفير فلا حس ولا خبر ولا ندرى ماهو السبب في ذلك الأمر ؟
فنحن لا نظن إن مصير هذه المذكرة كان سلة المهملات لأننا نربأ بالسفير المصري بباريس إن يكون بمثل هذه السذاجة ويقع في هذا الخطأ خصوصا إن أمر هذه المذكرة وهذه التظاهرة لا يمكن إخفاءه بعد إن عرف به العالم اجمع والحكومة المصرية على رأسهم من خلال شبكة الانترنت ومن خلال الفضائيات العربية والصحافة العالمية والمصرية التي نشرت تفاصيل هذه المذكرة والأسئلة التي توجه بها الأقباط في فرنسا إلى الحكومة المصرية كما جاء في جريدة الدستور المصرية التي نشرت هذا الأمر في صفحتها الأولى في العدد رقم 34 بتاريخ 9 نوفمبر 2005 تحت عنوان ( الأقباط يسألون مبارك في مذكرة رسمية لسفيرنا في باريس : هل نحن كفرة ؟
بل نظن إن سفيرنا نقل هذه المذكرة بحذافيرها إلى الحكومة المصرية ولكن حكومتنا المصرية تخاف إن ترد على هذه المذكرة لعدة أسباب منها
1 حتى لا يقال أنها ردت على الأقباط في باريس وتعتبر بذلك سابقة تحسب عليها
2 أوانها أعطت وزن لهؤلاء الأقباط وأعطت وزن لمطالبهم
3 أو لم تجد اى إجابات للأسئلة التي توجه بها الأقباط .
هذا الصمت من قبل السفارة ماهو إلا استخفاف واستهزاء بالآم ومتاعب الأقباط .
وأخيرا فإننا نستنكر عدم تلقى اى ردود من حكومتنا المصرية على المذكرة التي تم رفعها إلى سفارتنا المصرية في باريس ليس خدمة للأقباط في مصر فقط بل خدمة لكل أبناء الوطن .

Paris le 20 décembre 2005

15 Avenue du Bel Air 75012 PARIS - Tel 33 1 30 37 06 29
E mail : Site :

Rights groups demand the immediate release of Ayman Nour

Fourteen Egyptian human rights groups have urged the government to release detained -Egyptian- presidential election runner-up Ayman Nour, who is in a prison hospital after starting a hunger strike .

Nour's al-Ghad Party issued a statement on Tuesday signed by 14 groups including the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights that said Nour's trial had "become a means to oppress him and punish him for his political views".

Life in Danger EOHR demands immediately releasing Dr. Ayman Nour

المنظمة المصرية لحقوق الإنسان تطالب بالإفراج الفوري عن د. أيمن نور
تطالب المنظمة المصرية لحقوق الإنسان بالإفراج الفوري عن د. أيمن نور رئيس حزب الغد وعضو مجلس الشعب السابق نظراً لسوء حالته الصحية، مطالبة النيابة العامة بالتحقيق في أسباب إضرابه عن الطعام

بيان آخر

الإفراج الفوري عن أيمن نور وضمان محاكمة نزيهة

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

مبارك يحاول طمأنة الاقباط امام صعود الاخوان المسلمين

اعلن الرئيس المصري حسني مبارك الاثنين في افتتاح الدورة التشريعية لمجلس الشعب الجديد الذي تحتل جماعة الاخوان المسلمين 20% من مقاعده، بدء عملية اصلاح دستوري وبعث برسائل تطمين الى الاقباط الذين زادت مخاوفهم بعد الصعود السياسي للاخوان كما تعهد بالاستجابة لمطالب القضاة والصحافيين
وقال مبارك "اننا نمضي في مرحلة جديدة من الاصلاح الديموقراطي" واضعا على رأس المبادئ الاسترشادية لهذا الاصلاح "التزامنا الراسخ بمبدأ المواطنة كاساس للمساواة الكاملة بين جميع المصريين بغض النظر عن الفكر او الجنس او العقيدة او الدين"
واكد انه يأمل في "بناء مجتمع عصري يعزز التعددية ويرسخ المواطنة والمشاركة في الحقوق والواجبات ويناهض كل اشكال التمييز والتفرقة وتنتشر فيه قيم التسامح بين مسلميه واقباطه ويتمسك بان الدين لله والوطن للجميع ويحاصر الغلو والتطرف"
واعلن مبارك بدء عملية اصلاح دستوري من دون ان يكشف عن محتواه ولكن الصحف المصرية وبعض مسؤولي الحزب الوطني الحالم تحدثوا اخيرا خصوصا عن احتمال تغيير نظام الانتخابات التشريعية بالدوائر الفردية الى نظام القوائم النسبية
وقال الرئيس المصري "اطالب باستطلاع رأي نواب الشعب حول ما طرحه برنامجي الانتخابي من ملامح للاصلاح الدستوري كي تأتي التعديلات الدستورية التي اتقدم بها محققة لامال الشعب ومراعية لمصالح الوطن وابنائه"

The Revolutions of the Copts of Bashmur

A study highlighting the resistance of the Copts against the invaders:

The Revolutions of the Copts of Bashmur

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Real War on Christmas

Being a Christian can be deadly.
By Nina Shea *

Christmas is a time of joy for Christians and, for multitudes around the world, a time of suffering. Last Wednesday, under the auspices of Senator Rick Santorum and the Congressional Working Group on Religious Freedom that he cochairs with Congressman Roy Blunt, some of the world's foremost defenders of persecuted Christians gathered in the U.S. Capitol to draw attention to this suffering.

Over Christmas 2000 in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country and one traditionally renowned for its religious toleration, terrorists bombed churches in 18 cities, killing scores and wounding hundreds. At Wednesday's forum, Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver observed that "violence against the Christian minority has steadily continued over the past decade." As an example, he cited the beheadings of three Christian teenage girls in Sulawesi in late October. International Christian Concern's Jeff King brought photos of the incident; the girls' heads were left at a church, each with a note that vowed, "We will murder 100 more Christian teenagers and their heads will be presented as presents."

Last Christmas in Iraq, St. John's Church near Mosul was attacked. Assyrian cultural expert Eden Naby described the scene: "The Mass begins. It is cold inside the stone church. Suddenly you hear automatic fire. The doors fly open. The Christian guards are shot, and in march armed Kurdish Peshmarga who shoot up the church, beat up the priest and drive the parishioners cowering home." In prior months, other churches in southern Iraq had been bombed by Islamic militants, some during worship services. Though the terror came from two different sources, in each case the purpose was the same — to intimidate and force out the ancient Chaldo Assyrian Christian community.

In Saudi Arabia, Christians, a large percentage of the foreign workers making up a quarter of the population, will not be able to find any churches whatsoever to worship in this Christmas — churches are forbidden. Dozens of those who pray together in private houses were arrested and jailed earlier this year. This fanatically intolerant kingdom even forbids Muslims, under threat of death, to wish a Christian "Happy Holidays," much less "Merry Christmas."

Christians face similar repression in Iran. Episcopal priest, Rev. Keith Roderick, representing Christian Solidarity International, reported that as the Christmas season got underway around the world last month, Tehran's tyrannical President Ahmadinejad met with 30 provincial governors and reportedly declared, "I will stop Christianity in this country," avowing to shut down the country's growing house-church movement.

Egypt had been a place of refuge for the Holy Family fleeing Herod's wrath. Today, however, Christians are fleeing Egypt itself. As Fr. Roderick attested, Christians are treated as "second-class citizens" under state-sponsored discrimination and actively persecuted by Islamic militants apart from the government. He cited the week-long riot in October against St. George's Coptic Church in Alexandria by a 10,000-strong mob incensed by rumors of blasphemy.

Christians in Pakistan will be wise to keep their Christmas celebrations low-key this year. One of them, Yousaf Masih, a 60-year-old illiterate janitor from northwestern Pakistan, is among those under arrest for "blasphemy" because he allegedly burned a Koran. As Paul Marshall of the Center for Religious Freedom recounted, three weeks ago in Sangala Hill, after word of his case got out, mobs destroyed three churches, a convent, a Christian school, and Christian homes. Last week a militant mob rallied to demand Masih's public hanging and the eradication of the entire Christian community there.

And while China manufactures and exports Christmas lights and ornaments, it arrests and imprisons Christians who lead worship services, preach, or minister without state approval. Richard Land, director of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, gave as an example Catholic Bishop James Su Zhimin of Hebei, who on December 25 will be observing his 27th Christmas in confinement. Cai Zhuohua, a Protestant pastor in Beijing, was sentenced in early November to three years in the gulag, or laogai as it's called in China, for printing and distributing Bibles. His defense lawyer, the prominent civil rights attorney Gao Zhisheng, also a Christian, has been disbarred and now worries he may become his own next client.

Christmas has been banned in North Korea for half a century. Land reported on a new study conducted by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom — "Thank you, Father Kim Il Sung" — based on dozens of in-depth interviews with North Korean escapees. All of them said that there is absolutely no freedom of thought, conscience or belief in North Korea. All report, in fact, that such liberties are explicitly and actively prohibited. None had ever seen churches in North Korea. Most did not know of the three state-controlled churches in Pyongyang, the country's only churches. None of the interviewees was aware of any authorized religious activity inside North Korea. Two interviewees provided graphic and detailed eyewitness testimony of the summary executions of individuals accused of engaging in unauthorized religious activities. Another interviewee said that her brother was executed for involvement in such activities. One additional interviewee had heard of executions of North Koreans involved in unauthorized religious activities, and, as a police official, had been involved in two separate cases resulting in the arrest of eleven individuals accused of involvement in such religious activities. Of the eleven arrested, two died during interrogation; the interviewee believed that the other nine had been executed. Others mentioned executions they had heard about but had not witnessed themselves.

Vietnam, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, India, Cuba, Eritrea, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan were also among the countries cited for violent anti-Christian persecution. And, as the panelists remarked, this list could be extended.

One mark of hope for genuine religious freedom was offered by Marshall at the forum's conclusion. He noted that,this Christmas, many churches in Indonesia will be surrounded by the uniformed Muslim Banser group, a wing of Nahdlatul Ulama, the world's largest Muslim organization. The Bansers will not be there to attack the churches but to help protect them from extremists, to prevent any reprise of the Christmas 2000 bombings. Nahdlatul Ulama has done this for several years, in cooperation with the police and the Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist communities.

Christmas is a time of great suffering for these communities. But as these persecuted Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus from their jail cells, within their house churches, or silently in their hearts, it is also a time of joy. For them, truly, the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight

* — Nina Shea is the director of Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom.

Barnabas Fund Christmas Appeal : Transforming a Garbage City

Christians in Egypt still suffer discrimination and persecution in the twenty-first century. As a result many live in desperate poverty, barely able to feed and clothe their families.

The poorest of all are the thousands of Christians who have no home but the rubbish heaps which surround Cairo, the so-called “garbage cities”. Here they are born, live and die.

For more information please visit Barnabas Fund

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Mayor of London: Look at what your good friend is saying

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone with his good friend Sheikh Qaradhawi

Click below to read what his good friend thinks of Jihad

Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi on Hamas Jerusalem Day Online: "We are a Nation of Jihad and Martyrdom"; "The Resistance in Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon Must Go On"; "We Stand Alongside Our Brothers in Hamas and Islamic Jihad"

Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood: Egyptians must vote on 1979 treaty

Akef: Egyptians must vote on 1979 treaty

The leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood called for the country's peace treaty with Israel to be submitted to a referendum and described the Jewish state as a "cancer" in the region. "I declared that we will not recognize Israel which is an alien entity in the region"


The US response US on Muslim Brothers' review of peace treaty with Israel

Islamists Ride Wave of Freedom

LA Times : Religious parties in the Middle East are using democracy to gain power and legitimacy

مسجد لكل مواطن

على مسئولية الجهاز المركزى

فى حديثة لجريدة الاسبوع الصفراء لأصحابها بكرىوعائلته ، أكد اللواء ابو بكر الجندى رئيس الجهاز المركزى للتعبئة والاحصاء ان الجهاز فى عمله لايعرف الانتماءات الطائفية ويتجنب اثارة البلبلة حفاظا على استقرار وامن المجتمع وحول عدد الكنائس قال انه يبلغ الفو تسعمائة وخمسين 1950) كنيسة ودير اما اخر احصائية عن المساجد فى اغسطس الماضى فقد بلغ العدد 920611(تسعمائة وعشرون الف وستمائة و أحد عشر فقط ) مسجد وزاوية ( وهذا طبعا بخلاف الزوايا الموجودة فى المدارس والمصالح الحكومية واقسام الشرطة

ومن ناحية اخرى فقد اصدر مركز الكلمة لحقوق الانسان بالقاهرة احصاء عن عدد الكنائس المرخصة والاثرية وغيرالمرخصة وتبين ان مجموعها لايزيد عن 2400 كنيسة ارثوذكسية وكاثوليكية وانجيلية منها حوالى 900 كنيسة رخصت بعد قرار العزبى باشا الصادر فى 23 ديسمبر 1933 واكد المركز ان نسبة عدد الكنائس الى عدد الاقباط تبلغ كنيسة لكل 4166 مواطن باعتبار ان عدد الاقباط عشرة ملايين نسمة اما نسبة المساجد الى عدد المسلمين فتصل الى مسجد لكل 67 مواطن باعتبار ان عدد المسلمين 62 مليون نسمة