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Sun Jul 6, 2014, 06:19 PM

Egypt's Copts may soon regret supporting Sisi

Most Coptic Christians will tell you that anything is better than the Muslim Brotherhood. Thus, the unequivocal support for current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi among Copts was no surprise. But now with the devastating curb of freedom of expression and the widespread crackdown on journalists and activists, the Coptic Orthodox Church’s support for the government’s post-June 30 Revolution policies may prove to be a grave miscalculation.

As the church is finding out, Copts, too, are not safe from the new government’s oppressive measures. Two weeks ago, a 23-year-old Coptic teacher was sentenced to prison for six months for insulting Islam. On June 23, a Christian convert reporter was sentenced to five years in prison for allegedly reporting false information about discrimination against Copts. The following day, a 29-year-old Copt from Upper Egypt was given a five-year prison sentence for liking a Facebook page put up by a group of Christian converts — so much for the secular utopia we conjured in our imagination.

The Coptic push for a secular Egypt stemmed largely from the fear of Islamists. The failed Mohammed Morsi administration may have not taken direct action toward minority groups, but for many Copts their policies and statements suggested that it was only a matter of time before wide-scale, concrete laws were put into place. The empowerment of radical religious leaders and fundamentalist groups after Morsi’s election in June 2012 provoked fear among Egypt’s 10 million Copts, who felt more threatened than at any time in recent history.

The debilitating fears were well-justified: Marginalization of Copts from political life was expected to increase, sectarian clashes were already on the rise and hate speech grew rife at the time. Most of all, the unprecedented infiltration of religion into every aspect of political and public life caused the alienation of Copts on a scale unseen since the banishment of Pope Shenouda III by Anwar Sadat in 1981.

Then the June 30 Revolution happened and suddenly Copts were emancipated from the foreboding Islamist rule. For nearly all Copts I know, June 30 had a bigger significance than the Muslim Brotherhood detractors and liberals alike. It was a renewal of hope, a promise of a secular Egypt where political Islam will never have a say again. The then-Field Marshall Sisi was no mere military leader; he was the great savior.

A month and a half later, all hope was dashed to pieces. On Aug. 14, 2013, and for the next couple of days, approximately 1,000 people were killed in police raids on Brotherhood protesters.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/07/egypt-coptic-christians-sisi-secular-islamist.html#ixzz36jIBbld1


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Reply Egypt's Copts may soon regret supporting Sisi (Original post)
Jefferson23 Jul 2014 OP
Historic NY Jul 2014 #1
cerveza_gratis Jul 2014 #2
Jake Stern Jul 2014 #3
dougolat Jul 2014 #4

Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 07:11 PM

1. One reaps the rewards they deserve......no sympathy..

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 09:41 PM

2. Not even a little bit of sympathy?

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 11:58 PM

3. Guess when you have a fundamentalist religious party's knife at your throat,

being under the boot of the military doesn't seem like such a bad place to be.

What a choice: Fundamentalist Islam vs martial law.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 04:39 AM

4. That's worse than us voting for the peace candidate and getting war...nt

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