November 17, 2017

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  • Maspero victims remembered

    A Pharaonic boat led the procession, bearing the pictures of last year's Maspero massacre.

    BY RACHEL ADAMS Cairo Thousands marched in Cairo yesterday to commemorate last year’s Maspero massacre, when 27 mostly Coptic Christians were killed in the worst night of violence since Hosni Mubarak was ousted only months before. The memorial demonstration organised by the Maspero Youth Union (a Coptic group) was a mock funeral procession which began at Rod El Farag metro station in Shubra and ended at Maspero. “We haven’t forgotten them [the martyrs],” said Father Mathias Minkarious at the beginning of the march. “We have forgiven everyone but justice must be served, so we ask the presidency and the government…

    Op-ed: Copts blamed, again

    Screen grab shows Egyptian protesters scaling the walls of the US embassy in Cairo.

    BY KARIM MALAK Cairo: A deeper look into the antecedents to the US embassy clashes in Cairo Tuesday is necessary to explain the context in which the attack took place. Yet before that, it is also important to understand what’s at stake, who benefits from what and how all those details intersect. As a start, it is peculiar that the production of a film deemed “insulting to Islam” would be condemned by the US embassy. With incumbent President Obama nearing the end of his first term and gearing up for an election, this will give ammunition to the neo-conservatives. Egypt…

    Dahshour and sectarianism

    if an accurate census reveals that Copts account for more than the official six percent, they would be in a more powerful position to demand more rights.

    BY KARIM MALAK The sectarian incident in Al Badrashin is a relatively low-level one. It does not measure up to the magnitude of violence that was associated with other incidents such as Al Kush’h or Zawya Al Hamra. The conflict itself was triggered by the killing of a Muslim by a Christian over a petty argument and the excessive Muslim backlash of burning Coptic shops and attacking the local church. Almost 120 Coptic families have allegedly been subjected to forced displacement. Both the government and the Church know that it’s a minor incident and this is probably why it will…

    Reel Estate: Probing Coptic faith

    Namir Abdel Messeeh in a scene from "The Copts, the Virgin and Me"

    BY JOSEPH FAHIM Cairo: When I was a kid, I caught a bad fever that almost ended my life. The doctors didn’t think I’d survive. My mother, the devout Christian she’s always been, prayed and prayed. She promised God that if He saves me, she’d make me dedicate my life to Him. I miraculously recovered, but I never became the “servant of God” my mother so wished me to be. I failed to become an altar boy, always felt alienated at Sunday school and never belonged to any church group. I discovered Sartre and Plato at 12, lost faith for…

    Sectarianism: Pandora’s box

    If all of Egyptian society is segmented into an enclave, then is "sectarianism" an imagined culture?

    BY KARIM MALAK Egyptian society oscillates between admitting it has a “sectarian” problem and denying it. When I say Egyptian society, I ask you to think beyond Cairo, Alexandria and urban areas. I am talking about areas that have witnessed what some international commentators would call massacres. Immediately one may ask what does the international community have to do with this; it’s an Egyptian problem. It is precisely this attitude of keeping “family problems within the family” that Egyptian society is symptomatic of. I will later come to the international element and the fascination that the West has with “sectarianism.”…

    Copts pave the road ahead

    Copts say their citizenship rights should be integrated with the national agenda of political parties.

    BY MAI SHAMS EL-DIN Cairo: “It saddens me to be asked to protect Coptic rights,” President Mohamed Morsi told a delegation of clergymen in the presidential palace soon after he was elected the country’s first civilian president. But the gesture did little to quell the Coptic community’s fears. After Morsi’s victory over Mubarak’s last prime minister Ahmed Shafik, who arguably garnered most of the Coptic vote, fears of the dominance of the Muslim Brotherhood group to which Morsi belongs are mounting among Egypt’s Copts. To many observers, the Coptic community emerged more as an organized and politicized force than a…

    Not my president

    The vast majority of older Copts voted for former Mubarak Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik.

    BY JOSEPH FAHIM My name is Joseph. I’m a liberal Coptic Christian writer. Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s newly elected president, does not represent me, nor does he represent the 10 million Christians who refused to vote for him, or his party, at this month’s presidential election. Mohamed Morsi is not my president, and he’ll never be. Like millions of Christians, I sat home on the day Morsi’s victory was announced, watching the festivities in Tahrir Square from a distance, overwhelmed with a sense of alienation. How did it go so wrong? How did we allow ourselves to compromise so much?  Unlike…

    Election may spur sectarian divide

    About 2.5-3 million Copts voted in the first round, effectively 10-13 percent of the turnout.

    BY SAFAA ABDOUN Cairo: Egypt’s choice for president has been narrowed down to an Islamist and an ex-army general, stoking in the process potential sectarian tension. As soon as the results of round one were out, accusations were hurled on social media and across the airwaves: The Copts did it. They helped former air force commander Ahmed Shafik make it to the runoff. Their fear of Islamists led Egypt back to the arms of the Mubarak regime. As critics were blaming the Brotherhood for using mosques in electoral campaigning, the church was accused of mobilizing Egypt’s Christians, estimated to be…

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