Please Help New English Review
For our donors from the UK:
New English Review
New English Review Facebook Group
Follow New English Review On Twitter
Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
The Real Nature of Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky
















clear
Tuesday, 5 February 2013
Tawadros, Coptic Pope, Criticizes The New Egyptian Constitution
clear

 Egypt's Coptic Christian pope says Islamist-backed constitution discriminatory

AP Interview: Egypt's Coptic Christian pope says Islamist-backed constitution discriminatory

FILE - In this Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012 file photo, Bishop Tawadros, 60, soon to be Pope Tawadros II greets well-wishers, not shown, after being named the 118th Coptic Pope in the Wadi Natrun Monastery complex northwest of Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's Coptic Christian pope has sharply criticized the country's Islamist leadership in an interview with The Associated Press, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, saying the new constitution is discriminatory and that Christians should not be treated as a minority. Pope Tawadros II also dismisses calls by President Mohammed Morsi for a national dialogue, saying, “We will actively take part in any national dialogue that would benefit the nation, but when a dialogue ends before it starts and none of its results are implemented then we do not take part.” (AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper, File) EGYPT OUT

AL-MUHARRAQ MONASTERY, Egypt - Egypt's Coptic Christian pope sharply criticized the country's Islamist leadership in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, saying the new constitution is discriminatory and Christians should not be treated as a minority.

The comments by Pope Tawadros II reflected the unusually vocal political activist stance he has taken since being enthroned in November as the spiritual leader of the Copts, the main community of Egypt's Christians. His papacy comes as Christians are increasingly worried over the power of Islamists in the country and the rule of President Mohammed Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Tawadros dismissed a national dialogue that Morsi has been holding, ostensibly as a way to broaden decision-making amid criticism that his government concentrates power in the Brotherhood. Most opposition parties have refused to join the dialogue, as has the Coptic Church, calling it mere window dressing

"We will actively take part in any national dialogue that would benefit the nation," Tawadros told The AP. "But when a dialogue ends before it starts and none of its results are implemented then we do not take part."

The 60-year-old pope took issue with references that Morsi has made to Christians as a minority, underlining that the community — which makes up about 10 per cent of the country's 85 million people [some claim there are 15 million Copts]— must be seen as having an equal voice with the Muslim majority.

"We are a part of the soil of this nation. We are not a minority when it comes to value, history and the love of our nation," he said, speaking during a visit to the historic al-Muharraq Monastery, a centuries-old site some 180 miles (300 kilometres) south of Cairo in the province of Assiut. [the Copts who remain as Copts are the descendants of those Egyptians who never succumbed to the "Arab gift" of Islam -- it is they who can lay claim to being the most authentic Egyptians, not those who first islamized and then arabized themselves]

He also criticized the constitution, which Morsi's Islamist allies rammed through to approval in December, angering opponents who said the move reflected the Brotherhood's determination to impose its way without building consensus. Provisions in the document allow for a far stricter implementation of Shariah than in the past, raising opponents' fears that it could bring restrictions on many civil liberties and the rights of women and Christians.

"Some clauses bore a religious slant, and that in itself is discrimination because constitutions are supposed to unite people not divide them," Tawadros said of the charter.

Tawadros' active public stance on politics reflects a new attitude among Christian activists, who say the community must become more vocal in demanding equal status with Muslims. In the past, activists say, Christians relied too much on the church to represent them behind the scenes with the country's power-brokers, a strategy they argue consigned Christians to second-class status.

Tawadros' predecessor, the late Shenouda III, was cautious about public criticism of Egypt's leadership, working instead in backroom arrangements. He close to former President Hosni Mubarak, who until his ouster in February 2011 was seen by many Christians as the community's protector against Islamists.

Nevertheless, under Mubarak's rule, Christians complained of widespread official discrimination and said police failed to move against those accused in attacks on Christians or on churches. Egypt has seen a string of such attacks, before and after Mubarak's fall — sometimes the result of local feuds that take on a sectarian nature, sometimes outright sectarian attacks. In the past two years, hardline Islamists have also become more open in anti-Christian rhetoric.

Tawadros said Morsi's government must take greater action to prevent attacks on Christians.

"Realistically, we want actions not words. We don't want a show. Egypt has changed, we live in a new Egypt now."

clear
Posted on 02/05/2013 8:19 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Comments
No comments yet.


Guns, Germs and Steel in Tanzania
The Thinking Person's Safari
Led by Geoffrey Clarfield
Most Recent Posts at The Iconoclast
Search The Iconoclast
Enter text, Go to search:
clear

 

The Iconoclast Posts by Author
The Iconoclast Archives
sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31    
clear

Subscribe