• 08:49
  • Wednesday ,05 December 2012

The Challenge of Political Representation of the Christians citizens of Egypt

By-Dr.Catherine Marks

Article Of The Day


Wednesday ,05 December 2012

The Challenge of Political Representation of the Christians citizens of Egypt

 Coptic Christians living in Egypt face the challenge of the complete absence of any political representation in any effective and meaningful way at every level in the Egyptian Political System.  This lack of adequate representation ranges from the local level and City Councils, all the way up to and including the Parliament in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and of course the Ministerial Seats.

In fact, during Mubarak Era, there were 24 active political parties. All of them with the exception of the National Party seemed to be inactive.  They seemed to be there as little more than decorations, rather than as an actual political force.  The majority of these so-called “parties” were Islamic parties.
Post revolution, there are now a whopping 140 parties or more, but the political landscape remains pretty much the same, except of course, for the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Salafi parties.
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi parties seemingly have only one objective in mind. That objective is to impose Sharia law and to thereby impose laws that would severely restrict religious freedom. They seem to be ignoring the central role and political responsibility of the governing party to provide suitable living circumstances for its citizens. 
During the Mubarak era, he would appoint 10 Christian members in the Parliament to represent the Christians. These people were not elected and never really properly represented the Coptic people; however some of them did stand up for the Coptic cause like Mrs. Georgette Kaleeny.
That allowed the Egyptian regime to politically manipulate the Copts and persecute them without any resistance. 
The only real voice of opposition to the persecution of the Copts or to the regime of Mubarak as a whole, were the immigrant Copts who left Egypt due to persecution and the lack of safety.  They were motivated by their concern for family members still living in Egypt and worked as activists criticizing the regime.
The Mubarak regime did not take that lightly and felt obliged to deal with them as "enemies" and used the government controlled media among other methods in an effort to try and silence them.
Some were actually threatened directly by different Islamic groups with links to the Government. The latest of which occurred in late 2010 when “Al Qaeeda” threatened about 200 Coptic activists around the world. 
A recent outrageous case of manipulation to silence the voices of Coptic activists outside Egypt, the Egyptian judiciary system issued a death sentence “in absentia” against 7 Coptic Christians including a priest living outside Egypt- linking them to a circulating YouTube trailer to insult Islam- obviously without investigations and not the least proof that some of these people were linked in any shape or form to this You Tube. One of the sentenced is the known Coptic Christian activist Mr. Nader Fawzy. He is one of the first who raised his voice about the abuses of human rights, human dignity, right to live and exist and religious freedom of the Christians in Egypt. This courageous man raised his voice at a time when others were silent, afraid or ignorant. He filed a law suit against the Mubarak regime in the well known Massacre in 1999 in Al Kosheh village. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosheh_Massacres. It seems that his name was intentionally added in the lawsuit for his role in defending the Kosheh victims. 
Recently, with the lack of any Coptic Political Party, the Copts are completely without political representation, exposing them to further manipulation.This raises the extreme and urgent need for a Coptic Political Party to be formed immediately which would promote and represent the Copts and their legitimate claim to human rights, political rights, financial rights, cultural rights, and religious freedom.
It must also represent their interests in calling for liberty, and basic human dignity for ALL Egyptians.