السبت، مارس ١١، ٢٠٠٦

Why an Independent Coptic State is Simply NOT an Option

Rumors of the Copts' desire to form a separate state, possibly in the Upper Egypt region, surfaced around the late 1970's, early 1980's. I had heard of these rumors before, but I thought they had died years ago. Apparently not! It seems recently (especially over the past couple of years) someone has been awakening those rumors, which are best described as ridiculous. A marvelous work by Free Copts on a Coptic flag, which they kindly allowed me to publish here lead to a discussion regarding this issue with a guest from Egypt.

Before I go any further, I'd like to clarify that what I say here is my opinion which I formed after researching the issue best as I could, and discussing it with some of the older members of the Coptic community here in Australia.


Why it's not an option...

1) Strategically, it would be a great mistake. A Coptic state in Upper Egypt wedged between what will be the Islamic north, and the Sudanese Arabs in Northern Sudan, will be the equivalent of painting big red spots on our foreheads, and giving out invitations to the Muslim extremists to attack from North and South!

2) Logistically, it would be a nightmare. Copts currently live in cities and villages all over Egypt. Some have businesses, all attend churches built in all corners of the country. We have monasteries and convents containing sacred relics, from St Catherine's in Sinai to Wadi el Nattroun and all over Masr El Qadima. It's not an option to leave all that behind, so how are we to transfer all this to Upper Egypt?

3) How would we defend ourselves against attacks that are certain to take place? The myth about secret stashes of weapons in monasteries and churches is just that...a myth!

a) Monasteries and churches are always open, and receive worshippers and visitors every day of the year. If anyone wanted to wander around a monastery they're free to. If the police, the military, or state security wanted to investigate and search they welcome to. If this were true, it would be a matter which threatens national security, why hasn't anyone bothered to search?

b) The Coptic church has preserved the faith for 2000 years. One of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ is: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Matthew 26:52. How is reasonable then for priests and monks and servants of Jesus to stash weapons in His churches and near His consecrated altars????


Who is claiming...

A greater insult added to the persecution suffered by the Copts in Egypt, is that Muslim extremists and indeed a lot of our moderate Muslim compatriots have denounced the diaspora Copts the right to speak on their fellow Copts behalf, but have freely given themselves that very right. They speculate and make conclusions regarding Coptic affairs without so much a thought for what we really believe and want.

An example of this is the references quoted by my guest Sara, in response to my request for verification as to why she believes Copts are planning to form an independent state. Let's examine them briefly. My comments will be between brackets:

This page is from an Arabic forum and the topic is the Israeli plan to break up the Arab nation. The members discussing this topic have cited the following page: http://www.bahethcenter.org/arabic/malafat/wathaek/alwathaka_alsohionia.htm
which contains an article by a writer named Mohammad Seif-AlDawla. Mr Seif discusses "The Zionist document for breaking up the Arab nation" which he says was published in an Israeli paper called "Kifonim" in 1982. Mr Seif laments the step taken by Egypt to sign the Camp David agreements which he says took Egypt out of the equation and left Israel to take on the other Arab countries (as if Egypt was the mighty force stopping Israel to begin with?)

The Zionist document apparently says teh following:

ـ في مصر توجد أغلبية سنية مسلمة مقابل أقلية كبيرة من المسيحيين الذين يشكلون الأغلبية في مصر العليا، حوالي 8 مليون نسمة. وكان الرئيس محمد أنور السادات قد أعرب في خطابه في أيار/مايو من عام 1980 عن خشيته من أن تطالب هذه الأقلية بقيام دولتها الخاصة، أي دولة "لبنانية" مسيحية جديدة في مصر...

-There is a Sunni Muslim majority in Egypt, and a Christian minority (8 million) living mainly in Upper Egypt. In his speech delivered in May 1980, president Mohammad Anwar Sadat expressed his fear that this Christian minority will demand an independent Christian state in Egypt.

(Right, so here we have an Israeli, saying that the Muslim president has concerns about a Coptic state. No mention however of where the respected president arrived at this conclusion. No mention that a Coptic personality, prominent or not, gave any indication of this intention)

2) http://www.al-eman.com/Islamlib/viewchp.asp?BID=294&CID=12
An article by Mr Mohammad Abdulla AlMo'ti published in the Arabic Times 11-20 September 1992.
Mr Abdel Mo'ti says: analysts are speculating that after the clashes between Muslims and Copts in Upper Egypt, the attacks on tourists busses and the government's apparent failure in managing the earthquake disaster, may result in a civil war which will result in 3 states in Egypt: A Coptic state, an Islamic state and a Nubian state.

(there's too much conjecture and speculation here)

Also:"‏المحلل للمؤتمر الصحـفي الذي عُقد بالكـنيسة المصرية في مصر، يشعر أنه يحمل تهديدًا مبطنًا بأن الأقباط بإمكانهم طلب الدعم الخارجـي، وأنهم يعانون من الاضطهاد‏"‏‏.‏
Again, he says that from a political analyst's view point, the Coptic conference had hidden implications of the Copts requesting the support of foriegn nations as a result of their oppression.

Then he says: ازدياد الجماعات المتطرفة المسيحية ‏(‏هناك 14 مجموعة مسلحة‏)‏،
The number of armed extremist Christian gangs in Egypt has risen to 14 .

(WOW!!! FOURTEEN?? he doesn't say where they are, who their members are and how they managed to avoid detection by the state security forces, when they're obviously known to a journalist like him)


Why would they want to claim it...

In my opinion, it seems Anwar Sadat made that claim back then to divert attention from Camp David. It's no secret that he angered the masses, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, by merely shaking hands with the enemy, let alone signing a peace treaty. What to do? What to do?
Support fundamentalist Muslim gangs, give them another enemy to hate...this time an easy target so they can vent their anger successfully...THE COPTS. But how to arouse their ire? AHA! look out, they're storing weapons and they want a separate state!!

So successful was he, that the carnage increased in rate and in ferocity. He also paid a high price for his decision. Those very same gangs assassinated him. However, it seems he had the easy way out, while the Coptic community are still losing children, churches and freedoms til this day.


Blogger Bent El Neel said...

I've been remiss in failing to thank Sara in the above post, for bringing up the issue and providing those references. I have learnt a great deal through researching this topic.

Sara; you have my sincere thanks and apologies for not acknowledging this in the main body of the post.

مارس ١١, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Egypeter said...

Well, I'm pretty sure your articulate, logical and proofed response to this gibberish will end this speculation.

Here's an interesting point:

The reason the Copts are ALWAYS the victims, whether by Israel trying to cover its back or Muslim fundementalists, is because we are pacifists. And that is a good thing because it is commanded by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in Mathew 26.

But it's also a sad reality. One would think enough is enough. What's the problem for this recent demise? Is the problem the illiteracy rate in Egypt...where at best is 1/3 of the country? Have the people simply become too stupid, or what?! Is it the effectiveness of these Wahabbi Imams with their Saudi ideology who are preaching from mosque loudspeakers to the masses? I sometimes wonder if they told the sheep to stick their head up their a** if everyone would follow suit? Or could it be the Ikwan (MB), who's social services with the poor has gained them much popularity (much like Hamas), the ones that are promulgating these doctrines of hatred and intolerance?

Well, my vote is all of the above and more. But with all of that said, I know many other Egyptian muslims who I am good friends with and aknowledge the problems shared by all. Please, all good, open-minded, moderate muslims stand up for, no with, your Coptic brothers and sisters. We share a similar belief with you individuals and love our country and want to see it prosper and return to its cultural glory. We have been there for 5000 years and we need to figure out together how to make it work. So, here's to peace.

Thanks for a great post Neferteeti!


مارس ١٢, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous Sara said...

Hi neferteeti
Thanks you for opening that point to discuss on your blog:)
I read your reply and your post , but I'll post the replies here if you would mind:)

that is my reply for your comment on Coptic flag:

"The persecution is a human rights issue"
Human rights is not an effective official organization, it is a tool for the powered countries to invade weak countries.......I read many reports for those human right organization about gulf countries as an example which is far away from the truth "they talk about non existence events"……more over it is not official reports because Egyptian popes said that Copts don't feel persecution….
So I don't know from where they got these data….may be from mikkel mounir and adly abadeer!!!

the pope has indicated on many occasions, within Egypt and outside of it, that the Copts in fact do face "difficulties" as a result of their faith.

There is a big gap from the word difficulties and the world persecution…..difficulties as a result of faith…as I see he didn't use the word persecution…you know why…because simply it is not existed….he means as I read for him too….difficulties in specific career posts in Egypt like university professors and not too many in our politic presentation as an example.

I know they don't represent ALL Muslims, but it seems that even though they are a minority, the majority are unable to contain them

They are not a minority because you can't even give them a percentage in our total population ….. We are talking about how many????thousand , 10 thousands, 50 thousands??? Calculated it…they are less than 0.0001%...they are neglectable "and you can imagine the new percentage after excluding Palestinian groups and iraqi groups …it will become less than 0.00001%" …but a word minority is used for a real percentage like yours in Egypt 7%......... we don't contain them???? I didn't know what you mean by that??? But for now I'm with you but that's not the point.

I don't see what the numbers have anything to do with it

Actually you don't listen a lot to your popes who are claiming that Muslims are playing with the statistics to minimize their population …they are saying that this is a kind of bad intentions with Copts… believe me I heard it many times…
Your popes are getting angry when they listen to the 7% ratio….!!!
I hope that we would talk to them and bring us an answer:)

What's the percentage at which we can gain our basic rights??
You and me and all of us have the right of every thing here in Egypt…we are all the same in Egypt... it is a fact not a words on a web page or a magazine about happiness and justice 

The number of Muslims in Denmark is a few hundred thousands only. Yet when they felt that they were being unfairly treated, the whole Muslim population in the world protested it.

Oh!! Neferteeti…after all the discussions we had with you and others on mikkel's blog …you are saying that all the 1.3 billion got angry because of Muslims got hurts in Denmark. They got angry from making fun from our prophet…again making fun from our prophet…do you want to hear it again and again and again…every Muslim got angry from making fun of his prophet, you can consider it a personal matter for the 1.3 billion.
You and all Copts didn't forget the publishing of the priest sexual photos in a newspaper although all the actions that the government took , although the incident was true and that priest were fired from the Coptic church….
i hate that comparison because there is a great gap when we talk about prophets and when we talk about ordinary people whether priests or imams.... but i'm trying to bring you an example to understand..:((((((

But what shall I expect from you Christians who are talking about persecution because of the religion and making speeches in the American congress because of that priest ….and nothing is said about the church "beshara church" that was attacked by the isreali the other days in Palestine…..

Like I said, the Coptic church is only spiritual leadership and not a political entity. True, some Christians go to their priest or bishop for help finding jobs, but that's because they feel they have nowhere else to go.

The church here in Egypt is not a spiritual leadership only and yes it is a political entity…. The pope is talking about the positions in the universities, parliament and ministries…..that is not spiritual…the pope is your representative here…he is more than spiritual…
Sprits don't give money and jobs….. you know well that the church is supporting the Copts…and you are saying " they feel they have nowhere else to go"… … at least you have a place to go…Muslims have no place to go…they are looking for God help…not a mosque or an imam….

And now let's go to your original new post…I'll put the comment in a separate one..

مارس ١٢, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Egypeter said...

Hey Bent -

I'm having a really hard time with Sara's last post. It's so biased and misinformed that If I tried to dissect it I would probably be up all night. It's upsetting me too much so I'm gonna take a pass. Can you please articulate what I'm feeling and I'll try and catch up later.

In Christ and God bless

مارس ١٢, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Egypeter said...

Quote from Magdi Khalil in Watani's latest edition will help Sara understand how many Copts are in Egypt. I leave the URL below...enjoy.

The Muslim Brotherhood and their allies insist that the Coptic population amounts to only 6% of Egypt’s total population, in spite of a recent official declaration by Osama Al-Baz that the Copts constitute 12.5% of Egypt’s population, and despite the fact that other organizations have estimated the number of Copts to be 15 millions, i.e., 20% of the population. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood claims that the Shi’a amount to 30% of the total population of Iraq, while it is a well-known fact that they constitute 50-60% of the population (Mona Al-Tahawi, Asharq Al-Awsat, 8 Aug 2005). This purposeful twisting of numbers and percentages is a strategy used by the Muslim Brotherhood to deny the rights of their opponents, and on this point, they are worse in deceit compared to the current Egyptian regime."

Oh, and one more thing from the article:

"Finally: Egyptian liberals, advocates of democracy, and the national movement strive towards the achievement of “national integration” for all elements of society, but the Muslim Brotherhood has in mind for the Copts a sort of “religious assimilation,” and there is a large difference between the two. Islamization is the first enemy of national integration, it pushes for the religious assimilation of the Coptic minority through a gradual desertion of their faith, or at the very least through a loss of their cultural and religious identity as it melts into the majority’s Islamic culture.
Evidently, Hassan Al-Banna and his followers have managed to sabotage the good work of the national movement. The Muslim Brotherhood is constantly praising the Copts who have accepted the idea of religious assimilation such as Rafik Habib, who promotes this idea among the Copts; Gamal Asaad, a candidate who adopted the slogan “Islam is the Solution” in his parliamentary campaign; and Hani Labib, who accepted a membership in the labor party under the same slogan, and whose books bear prefaces written by Islamic fundamentalists Tarek el-Beshri and Selim el-Awa. According to the Muslim Brotherhood, those Copts represent a commended Coptic ideal.
Throughout the history of Christianity, many martyrs have paid the price for resisting such religious assimilation, but none as much as the Copts."

Many martyrs indeed. The Church of the Martyrs and God bless.


مارس ١٢, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous Sara said...

My response is inspired from an article and also from a TV show that I watched yesterday on Dream TV called al hakikah which was discussing the acceptance of the UN to investigate your case of persecution…all the program guests were Copts ….who talked to adly abadeer…-the one who funds all the movement of the American Egyptian Copts to UN and American congress-…they with their difference in views were angry from that investigation thing…they refused and were angry"the guests not abadeer offcourse" and they concluded….COPTS ARE THE FIRST LOOSERS IN THAT INVESTAGATION….
I will try to search for next days for a video for that show….it is very important, especially when adly abadeer said when he got nervous from a Coptic writer who was talking in a brilliant way in my view…abadeer said: I told them-the government- that if they didn't answer my demands I'LL SET UP THE FIRE IN WASHINGTON…
So Lets deal with the Copts case as it is in Egypt not in the immigrant's countries…. Believe me it differs a lot…
Here is the question:
How and why a group of Copts immigrants asked USA to protect Copts in Egypt from what they called "the nightmare of the Copts persecution"….is there a real persecution??? And if there is something about Copts, is USA the one that has the right and the ability to heal that nightmare? And if the USA interference will meet the Copts benefits or only the USA own benefits???

The fact that your own Coptic problem is only the churches problem" building or repairing" which still you have some difficulties with it in Egypt , but that is your own problem in my point of view…..and we can discuss it later , because it is not a disaster but it is a problem….because in the last 1400 years in the Muslim history in Egypt…many Muslim leaders gave permissions for building churches ,but it all stopped with Othman…but now our country ya bent al neel has a more dangerous problem that will be abused….
This problem has 2 faces…the first is brother-hood winning in parliament under slogan "Islam is the solution" and the other is Coptic conference in the American congress under " the victory for Egyptian coptics"
The coptics are asking: where are the Copts in a country with slogan "Islam is the solution" , and Muslims are asking: where are Muslims in a country the solution made by Americans?
2 negative points far away from positively, Copts worries and Muslims answers…although each is talking about a fact but not the whole truth…
We will not solve the problem until each will feel the others problem and fears..
If the brother hood guide think as a Coptic and his fears and how he think and how he looks to the other????
And if pope shenoda as your preventative thinks as a Muslim lives in a society with Muslim majority and economically they are the minority.
It is a culture in all the Arab countries, in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Sudan …both Muslims and Christians live together and fight together for their countries freedom..
Since the 19th century and invasions tried to take the Christian minorities or non Arab minorities " e.g.: amazig in morocco and Kurdish in east" as an entry for Arab countries ,but it failed after both Muslims and Christians or Arab and Kurdish fight against invasions for their freedom.
After isreal existence a new strategy appeared as I send you the url before which you clarified the Copts point in Egypt…but that strategy will be applied for all Arab countries…see sodan now…see amazeg now in morocco and what they are doing…
Isreal know that its military and nuclear power not enough for facing the Arab…so the solution is to cut those countries into shreds and also to have problems with non Arab neighbors like turkey an Iran…
It is a strategy. and if you analyzed the article …you'll find it a plan that is implemented. step by step, some steps already completed and others are into an action plan like ours in Egypt.
Here comes the importance of the nationality ….not as a slogan but as a life habit for both Muslims and Copts..
The disappearance of the nationality feelings drove some Copts to house of freedom organization " an organization that is established by Zionists in 1996 for the marketing of the Christian persecution claims in Arab countries"….to take that immigrants Copts" also American citizens" case to the American congress to go on that Zionist project of dividing the Arab world to states…to vanish any power against isreal.
Examples…civil war in Lebanon, now in Sudan, blowing up the fire in Iraq "sunna, shia and akrad"…even the west Arab countries.
But to not solve the problem and be isolated will cause civil war like in Iraq now
Also bring up the American under the UN cover to solve it…that is the worst of all…like in Sudan and Egyptians now is getting to know that solution!!!
Being one country with the feel of nationality and remembering "religion is for God and the country is for all"الدين لله و الوطن للجميع is our only salvation..
Muslim and Christian Arab built the civilization that we had in ourhistory and we are arguing western with it..and also jewish arabs contributes in that civilization.
We have to face that plan together…don't maximize your problems in a time our country is falling apart…you are facing problems with churches…ok…but ADMIT that you are far far far away from economical persecution that Muslims feels
All the prisoners "mo3takleen" in jails are Muslims…no coptics…
We have a list of demands …yours are one in the millions demands that Egyptians are asking for…

مارس ١٢, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous Sara said...

Be positive by showing up the good face of Copts that I used to know since I was a kid…..stop these UN or America…don't make us seconed iraq…
Be as your grands while crusades and british invation….that is the only way..
Be sure nefeertit that you are now and since many years…the happiest minority in the world….it is a fact…come to Egypt…look around you…it is easily discovered…
I'll not take about pope shinoda in saddat time…because it is clear from your post that you want to give him a spiritual role not a politic….but actually things went wrong in saddat time because church was not spiritual..it was political..
Also brother hood wasn't the saddat killer…terrorist was behind that murder..
Terrorist always working under hidden organization..100% non Islamic organization.
One more thing…I don't see that brother hood group is an effective one….they don't have an approach that bring us development. They are a bad representative for Islam approaches "which is the best ever", they talk well but they do nothing…..but they are popular now because they are the only existent body against our government….
I wish to see a real good party, but I'm sure I'll not see it in my real life…
It is our fate hundreds of years….after the collapse of the Muslim civilization with the hand of Othman..
to clarify my point...if egypt was a coptic 70% but arab country with arab feelings...it would also be the same is it now.... it is about arab and isreal......i wish i delivered my point of view

مارس ١٢, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Well guys, it's been a long day and I'm dying to go to bed but I wanted to briefly address your comments seeing as you made the time to post them.

First of all, Sara Thanx again. I'm glad we're having this discussion because it seems we finally agree on something. I suspect we always agreed but we just got off on the wrong foot. I feel you may have prematuarly judged my point of view.

I too am a great fan of putting religion aside and living together as one happy people. I also agree with you on your feelings regarding national unity. And I just have a few comments to make regarding your view point.

Pete: Thank you also on you comments. I understand perfectly how you feel, but please try to see this as an opportunity for all of us to learn each others opinions and reasoning. We'll get through this discussion bit by bit :), but please don't go away...we need to keep the lines open both ways.

مارس ١٣, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

RE: Human rights organisations: Sara I feel that your opinion there may be a bit harsh. After all those organisations do in fact help people and raise legitimate issues. I don't know if they were ever missused but even if that were true, that's not to say we should discount them completely.

RE Gulf countries: I've not been to a gulf country before but it is common knowledge (in government advise to people travelling to Saudi) that in Saudi Arabia for example a non Muslim can't bring in his/her religious books, display religious symbols (eg cross), worship in groups and having a church or temple is completely out of the question. That's a violation of basic freedoms and rights...nobody can deny that! That's of course apart from treatment of women which is percieved by many Arabs even as harsh and restrictive. The religious police confront foriegners as well as Saudis which is intimidating and humiliating. That's why the world sees Gulf countries, but especially Saudi Arabia as a place almost devoid of basic human rights.

RE the Pope: I'm not sure why you mentioned "popes" many times even though we only have one pope. In any case, the pope is indeed only a spiritual leader. In Christianity there is a distinct separation between politics and religion. I think maybe this is a foreign concept to many Muslims as Islam tends to be a religion that addresses both.

I'm a bit confused because you seem to be saying he never said we were persecuted...but then you say that he complained we are.

Sprits don't give money and jobs….. you know well that the church is supporting the Copts

Well of course they help the needy...Muslim or Christian you'll never be turned away from a church if you need help.

مارس ١٣, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Now re: the Church of the Nativity:

I spoke to Amal on Mikkel's blog about this. Who says that all Christians weren't shocked and hurt at that attack? It was simply horrific.

Let's look at this objectively though. Both the Israeli soldiers who fired at the church and the gunmen who fired from inside are wrong. Why did the gunmen choose that particular church to hide anyway? there is noshortage of churches and mosques in Jerusalem. Also, what about the dessecration of that holy place that all Christians hold dear. After the ordeal, there were reports of how the gunmen terrorised the church clergy along with the civilians hiding there...eating up all the supplies and dessecrating holy relics.

I don't think using the Church of the Nativity issue casts either party in a positive light at all.

مارس ١٣, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

OK i'm extremely tired now so i better get some shut eye :), although I'm tempted to keep going.

See u all tomorrow [if Her Royal Highness my precious daughter allows me the time of course :)]

مارس ١٣, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Right, I'm back and refreshed. Where were we?

RE Politics in the Coptic church. Please refer to the comments made by HH pope Shenouda to AlAhram back in 99:
'The Church is not involved in politics. Indeed, it does not have time for politics. It has other responsibilities. But, at the same time, it has a national and civic duty. The Church is bound by loyalty and love to this country'

I don't think I can add to that, it's clear enough.

مارس ١٣, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

RE the percentage of terrorists/fundamentalists in Islam:

Well the number those people represent isn't as much the point as the number of victims they kill/maim/rape etc.

There are fundamentalists in every religion or ideology. But once that fundamentalism is married to violence...it's disastrous!

What baffles me is how moderate Muslims get irate with Copts for saying we need to regain our rights, but don't utter a word when someone like Abu Hamza El Masry says "I wasn't inciting hatred, i was just preaching out of the Quran"!!! The man was video taped saying Muslims should go kill Jews and Christians and he simply defends himslef by saying "hey; i'm reading straight out of the Quran"....and nobody stands up and says no!

This issue is not the crux of the matter at the moment though. I hate to reduce a human rights issue to mere numbers and statistics.

مارس ١٣, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

RE: Denmark issue
I know why Muslims were offended. The point I was making was about the dossier filled with letters saying uslims are being oppressed and persecuted in Denmark.

مارس ١٣, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Now I have a question to you Sara.

Could you please clarify to me this quote:
which was in reference to the UN investigation of the Coptic persecution issue.

I genuinely don't know what they mean by that. You saw the program so please explain what the context was. Thank you.

Actually make that two questions. I'd like you to think about this and tell me what yopu come up with:

Why do you think the Copts living abroad would want to harm Egypt, when almost all of us have families still living in Egypt?

I'd be really grateful if you could give me your insight on those two points.

مارس ١٣, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

The fact that your own Coptic problem is only the churches problem" building or repairing" which still you have some difficulties with it in Egypt

I apreciate that this may be your opinion, but I feel you are disregarding there are so many other problems. It's not only that Sara, if it were, we wouldn't be calling it persecution.

RE: your comments on Islam is the solution Vs Victory fr Copts:
I absolutely agree with you. We need to start to look at each other outside the frame of faith...we're just people after all.

However, I don't recall ever seeing this slogan Victory for Copts anywhere. In fact the second international Coptic conference had alot of items concerning all Egyptian regardless of religion:
II International Coptic Conference on Democracy in Egypt for Muslims and Christians...from http://www.keepmedia.com/pubs/PRNewswire/2005/11/14/1083648

We will not solve the problem until each will feel the others problem and fears..

EXACTLY!!! that's what we want, we want you to understand our fears and our suffering. We know very well how Muslims feel and what they believe. But we have no voice inside of Egypt. That's why we who are fortunate to live in real democracies can speak up for the others.

Sara, you won't even admit that the Copts have a problem. You say:

Be positive by showing up the good face of Copts that I used to know since I was a kid…..stop these UN or America…don't make us seconed iraq…

as if you're a teacher talking a naughty student "Be a good boy and stop whinging". No Sara, that hurts...that's wrong. Nobody dares imply the same here when Australian Muslims complain about persecution because someone looked at them funny or asks them something about their religion (a colleague was reprimanded and accused of being a racist because he asked a Muslim colleague innocently to explain why women wear hijab in Islam)

I have come to Egypt many times over the past decade. Everytime i go i see it's getting worse.
I was there when Sept 11 happened. I heard with my own ears "see what we could do to your big powerful America...imagine what we can do to you". I hear with my own ears a tape in a taxi slandering Christianity and calling my Bible a fake and my people infidels. I was called "safera kafira".

These aren't members in Bin Laden's terrorist org saying this...these are your average Muslims walking around Cairo streets.

There IS a problem Sara...why would we make it up my dear friend? What about El Kosheh, Udayssat, Ezbet Yousif? What about Zawia hamra and el khanka? what about Thereza Ghattas, and the many others that you will no doubt refuse to believe were coerced?

مارس ١٣, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Finally this Israel thing:
I'm sorry Sara but it all seems like a conspiracy theory to me. WHy would they bother? It's not like the Arab world poses a threat to them. Oil rich countries don't care and they're too far into US pockets to even object anymore. Poorer Arab countries are dependant on foreign aid and they know ther limits.

I see this as a convenient cozy little theory that exempts Arab governments from any blame for the shambles they got their countries into, and also for terrorists who see this as a legitimate cause for their violence.

It sounds too much like "He made me do it" that kids use in school yards.

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Blogger Bent El Neel said...

To conclude, I apreciate your views and opinions. I am not here to try to convince you of anything, just to present the truth as I and many other Copts see it and live it every day.

I said this in a previous post to another Muslim guest from Egypt: I understand it is normal to believe your opinions, values and views are correct...otherwise why would you hold them? But it is essential to examine those values every now and then. Essential not to disregard other values and views just because they don't match yours. The very least we can do is to listen to each other and appreciate where the other is coming from, and what they have experienced. That's why I never tired of listening to you and anyone who disagrees. I see it as a learning experience and I'm grateful for it.

At the end of the day this issue is bigger than just a debate between two people. It ultimately involves the future of a whole nation...Egypt.

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Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Last but not least, my dear brother Pete:
Thanx for the comment with th elink to Watany, and indeed all your comments and your support and kind words.

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Blogger Egypeter said...

Thanks Neferteeti! You basically hit the nail on the head and you did it with intelligence and kindness.

I just want to add to your point for sara.

However, I don't recall ever seeing this slogan Victory for Copts anywhere. In fact the second international Coptic conference had alot of items concerning all Egyptian regardless of religion:
II International Coptic Conference on Democracy in Egypt for Muslims and Christians

I followed this conference when it was going on here in DC. I actually watched most of it live online through a streaming broadcast.

Sara - do you have any idea who attended and what was discussed at this conference? I know you don't. I think you are simply a victim of misinformation that comes from Al-Ahram and other media outlets in Egypt. I read the follow up on Al-Ahram and they tore into the conference saying some of the same absurd things that you are saying. Well, dear sara, I'm telling you the conference was attended by some of the best and intelligent minds in Egypt like Magdi Khalil, Mona El-Tahwawy (who I personally correspond with), Dr. Saad Eidin Ibrahim, Adly Abadeer, Michael Meunier and many other liberal reformist EGYPTIANS who are deeply concerned about the well-being of our Egypt. Human Rights was a big topic. Not just Human Rights for Copts, who did get their share of candid speaking time, but Human Rights and ways to encourage democracy was also discussed. I'm telling you there were some great ideas on ways to move forward.

SO - it really frustrates me when you arbiterarly insult a conference without having any idea what happened there. One needs to dig a little further when trying to analyze what they hear or read, especially when it's coming from state-run newspapers or unreliable sources.

There IS a problem Sara...why would we make it up my dear friend? What about El Kosheh, Udayssat, Ezbet Yousif? What about Zawia hamra and el khanka?

All are very grim reminders. I pray for the repose of all of their souls and the comfort of the Holy Spirit with their families during the time of Lent.

Thanks Neferteeti and I look forward to sara's response, if their is one.

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Anonymous Sara said...

Hi all
I can't reply to you in quotes for what you wrote to me neferteeti and egypter, because it will need a new blog detected only for replying for each point:)))
But I'll try to cover all your points:


"Osama Al-Baz that the Copts constitute 12.5% of Egypt’s population, and despite the fact that other organizations have estimated the number of Copts to be 15 millions, i.e., 20% of the population"

refer to CIA fact book to know the real percentage....7%
CIA fact book is the reference standard nowadays in the world...sorry to disappoint you...

about the question:
:Could you please clarify to me this quote:

that was the say of the Coptic writer in the TV program that I watched...why?
because simply as if any one who can watch a TV or read a newspaper ...can find easily what the UN or America's style in the interference...America interfered to free Iraq from saddam the same as to free Coptic from persecution - if happened ..
Uk and America in Sudan for the libretti of Darfour and Sudan is living in a hell more than it is already live in...
Investigation about Rafeek Al Harery's death led Lebanon to live insecure again

Till me now ?... where is the safe and secure model that you are looking at and wish to be implemented in Egypt with that investigations.?? I need an answer inside the middle east firstly and whatever you mention outside ME

also bring me events from the history in our lands that the foreign interference improve and save the local life of the Egyptians or whatever nation...
about Coptic American immigrant's action organization:
you both are trying to define them as real Egyptian heroes by discussing all elements of life in Egypt like education and democracy ...you mention it before in many posts and also when I told you about their demand for American protection...I got nothing from you to explain that protection!!!

To not get diverted from the original question…
Why are you losers…some you mentioned in your original post about Coptic are spreading every where in Egypt, business ….all that will be affected because simply …in our Muslims eyes ..you will be the one who brought them to Egypt… these organization are putting Egyptian Copts who lives in Egypt in the place of the enemy…

You may not know that those terrorist groups like ben ladn's one raised because of the American military in KSA , they saw it as invasion ….. I saw them invasion too but defeat them personally in their positions in KSA not to hit them in USA or UK and kill civilians

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Anonymous Sara said...

and as I see from those events that you refer for your persecution like kosheh ...it is done by the people , it is started with a fight between Coptic man and Muslim woman....it is individual actions from people...and all the rest started with the same ... so you have to ask protection from the Egyptian Muslims not the government..
also about the missing Coptic girls...they are not kidnapped because we didn't listen about ransoms as an example, or found murdered bodies
but you know that those girls turned to Islam not kidnapped, they disappeared because they are afraid from you the Coptic..
want a prove. watch that video from the missing girls....

Video of the 2 coptis girls from Dream Tv

it is their family problems who failed to raise their girls on our real traditions and how to be polite and there are many limits in talking with boys....
also wafaa kostantine who no one knows what happened to her after el dair took her.... she was knowing a Muslim friend in her work....how could a married woman do such thing...
go and fix those women and ladies ethics and don't make us -Muslims- the reason for every bad thing happen to you according to your bad raising for those families..

about he churches building….I saw a debate between adel hamouda "Chief Editor" and Mounir fakhry abd al nour " the Coptic business man in al wafd party" talking about a village that Copts have to walk 3km to the nearest church to "ta3meed" their new babies …the surprise that came that in the same village..all the children have to walk 10km to go to the nearest school!!!
So I can see that children persecution is much more important to protest about!!

What do you want me to feel towards my Coptic neighbors who live in my building in the second and fourth floor if those American or UN soldiers came to Egypt??
Or at least if they gave us some nice threads as they doing now with Syria ???

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Anonymous Sara said...

You should be grateful to god that you are Egyptian , because
* Muslim countries give the other religions their freedom to practice their religion freely with no obligation
* To not get offended and shocked like what happened to us with those cartoons
We never make fun of Jesus. but in western countries they make fun of Jesus…they hurt you deeply and you don't open your mouth to protest!!!
* You are living with all the forbidden in Christianity that is practiced in those western countries officially!! and you don't open your mouth to protest!!!
You practice Christianity here in Egypt not out there in those countries..

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Blogger Egypeter said...


Where is this imaginary Egypt that you live in and speak of Sara? That's not REALITY.

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Blogger Egypeter said...

I just have to repeat your bullet points once again:

* Muslim countries give the other religions their freedom to practice their religion freely with no obligation
* To not get offended and shocked like what happened to us with those cartoons
We never make fun of Jesus. but in western countries they make fun of Jesus…they hurt you deeply and you don't open your mouth to protest!!!
* You are living with all the forbidden in Christianity that is practiced in those western countries officially!! and you don't open your mouth to protest!!!
You practice Christianity here in Egypt not out there in those countries..

You surely can't be serious? Are you telling me that Neferteeti in Australia and myself in America are less free than Copts in Egypt to practice their faith??!?! Get a clue girl. How old are you? Have you ever stepped foot in either one of our countries?? I doubt it, because if you had you wouldn't be as clueless as your are.
Well, good luck. I may be preaching on deaf ears.


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Anonymous Sara said...

i didn't say that you don't practise freely in those countries...
the core of the coptic is in egypt which as i read is the source of that type of christinity....being in egypt between muslims for 1400 years and keeping your relegion or type as it is...that gave muslim the privilage for saving other relegions....but in those countries...they left the chiristinity aside and most of these countries became with no relegion....

it is well know that egyptian coptics are one of the minorities that still keep faith in christinity...not as the western countries who forgot it...that's not because you are a great ppl...not that the main reason...but also you livied in a society that full of faith that helped you in that and didn't stop you.....

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Anonymous Sara said...

one more thing ....i'm old enough to know what i talk about...and i'm the one who live day by day in egypt...in alexandria which you know what its churchs means to coptic
you are in america, read news...hear huromers...visit at min annualy...not a day by day living
i have many copts friends, from college, work,school...
my mother's best friend is copt, even my siter's name is amira...who named because of my mother's best friend tant treza who has a boy named amir...who was my best friend .....so i know what i talk about
it seems that you are the one who needs to know and stop dreaming about that blabla that you are claiming for the world organization while you are away

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Blogger Bent El Neel said...

hanx all. Please see my reply titled:
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back .

By the way Sara, if we don't address "every word" you write, it's not because we're avoiding anything...you yourslef said so.

So i'm saying it here again: NO MILITARY INTERFERENCE. what was requested is monitoring of the funds recieved by the UN to ensure they are well distributed where needed. And I did in fact answer that in Mikkel's blog before.

Anyway, see my reply One Step Forward, Two Steps Back if you like.

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Anonymous Muslim said...

Allow me a comment here too :

1. Neferteeti, hanks for your crystal clear statement of not accusing the 1.5 billion (not 1.3 to my knowledge) Muslim around the world for what the Muslim Copts “might” be doing to the Christian Copts in Egypt. Worth to mention that Islam is the fastest spreading religion around the world. By the end of the year, we might be correcting the number to 2 billion, who knows!
2. Correction is due here! Muslims all around the world did not stand for the 200,000 Muslims living in Denmark. They stood all together offended and rejecting taking their Prophet PBUH in vain, making fun of him and Islam and picturing him in an absolutely non-descent manner under the name of Freedom of Speech!! I can’t insult anyone under this false name of freedom of speech, least of all, the best human ever born; Mohammad PBUH.
3. The problems of the Christian Copts in Egypt – considering there is a problem – is not a religious one, it is a “minority” among a majority with the ratio of a maximum of 1:10. It has nothing to do with Islam or Christianity, it is just that every group of people have their own visions and missions and I am sure that the rest of the 90% of Egyptians have their own groups with differences despite being all in common in concern with religion just like in any other country. (correct me if I am wrong)
4. What you are discussing is an internal political problem in concern with trust in government and unemployment despite faith or religion!!! Why this mix up between both. It is normally in any country if unemployment is a problem, that it goes for the 10% as for the 90%. The Christian Copts as I see try to over come this problem by being backed up by their church, which is good. But from this perspective, I see the Christian Copts as privileged in Egypt not abused as a minority. Do the Muslim Copts in Egypt enjoy the same privilege with their mosques?
5. Sara still lives in Egypt and she is more into the community than you are Neferteeti. Why don’t you listen to a Copt still living in Egypt as you are a Copt who left to Australia few years ago. She might manage to make you feel better about the safety of your relatives and friends living there.

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Anonymous Muslim said...

Please see my comments on
RE: Muslim's comment on "Coptic Flag"...The Holy Trinity

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Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Hi Muslim
Good to have you back mate. Your comments are welcomed and I will be responding to the points you raised in due time. In the meantime, please keep commenting if you feel you have something to say.


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