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A history of religious discrimination

Youseef Sidhom | 21 June 2010
The year 2006 saw the launching of the website of Assiut University. It was a welcome addition to the cyberworld by one of Egypt’s top tier universities, especially since the site provided considerable information. Included were statistics about the number of students enrolled but—amazingly—they were .. More

Critical Questions Remain for ElBaradei

Others | 21 June 2010
Since his return to Egypt and dramatic entry into the Egyptian political spotlight, Mohamed ElBaradei has attracted support from various political blocs, as well as from the Egyptian people, who tout the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency as a hero. However, the enthusiasm with which many Egyptians, especially the young and marginalized, have joined his campaign is based largely on frustration and a desire for social and political change, rather than actual support for ElBaradei himself... More

Open season on the Church

Youseef Sidhom | 13 June 2010
In the wake of the recent court ruling obliging the Coptic Church to issue remarriage permits for divorced couples—the Church currently issues such permits to the wronged party alone; the other party is given a permit only conditionally—and the church’s refusal to abide by the ruling, it was open season on the .. More

A Mosque at Ground Zero?

Others | 13 June 2010
Is S Ground Zero the right place for a major new mosque and Islamic cultural center? Cordoba House is a 15-story, $100 million development to be built just 600 feet from where the World Trade Center stood; the plans include the mosque, a 500-seat auditorium, swimming pool, restaurant, and bookstore. .. More

Petition to the education minister

Youseef Sidhom | 6 June 2010
We are approaching the Thanawiya Amma examinations, the final examinations for the secondary school stage, which qualify students for enrolment in universities. The event calls for huge administrative preparations nationwide. Adequate staff must be found to invigilate and supervise the exams, and to mark .. More

Egypt’s Brain Drain and Persecution of the Christians of Egypt

Others | 6 June 2010
Over the past half century or so, the Christians of Egypt, the Copts, have suffered from systematic efforts including both overt and covert policies, measures, and actions to oppress, persecute, marginalize, and discriminate against them in their own land, Egypt. The Copts trace their lineage to the ancient Egyptians who embraced the Christian faith in the first few centuries AD, and who remained faithful to the true faith in Jesus Christ the Lord after the Arabs conquest in the 7th century AD... More

Not to be missed

Youseef Sidhom | 30 May 2010
Whenever an opportunity comes up to shed light on a positive incident, I hasten to seize it to inform the reader. Since our daily lives are more often than not dominated by negative incidents, I fear that I often end up conveying a bleak, despairing picture of matters on the ground. This, I fear, might dissuade us from working to find solutions to our problems, a stance which goes absolutely against my belief of the essentiality of striving to understand and overcome the difficulties and injustices we encounter. .. More

Why Sanction Iran, You Ask?

Others | 30 May 2010
What is the use, at least potentially, of sanctions on Iran? We all know that any sanctions the US government, or even the world, is likely to apply won’t stop Iran’s nuclear program. But there are many other potential goals for imposing sanctions. These include: making it harder for Iran to build these weapons and the missiles to carry them, slowing down the program, reducing Iran’s economic assets .. More

U.S.-Born al Qaeda Cleric Says Kill Americans

Others | 30 May 2010
(CBS) The radical Muslim preacher chose not use english, his native tongue, for his propaganda message. Instead the American-born cleric dressed in Yemeni tribal gear and spoke in Arabic to call for the killing of American civilians and soldiers. .. More

Not open to Copts

Youseef Sidhom | 23 May 2010
Some two months ago, MP Mustafa al-Fiqi made a declaration to the effect that the era of President Mubarak had seen no discrimination against Copts, with many of them reaching senior positions in various fields. Dr Fiqi categorically denied that Copts were deprived of holding specific positions. I .. More

"The US has two strategic threats, al Qaeda and Iran"

Others | 23 May 2010
Professor Walid Phares published an article in the weekly review al Watan al al Arabi in which he outlined his view of America’s permanent strategic positions in the Middle East related to US national Security. Phares, the Director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and advisor to members of Congress argued that US Administrations may develop various and different .. More

Better late than never

Youseef Sidhom | 16 May 2010
Talks about the upcoming elections dominate the major part of local news. As in sports, a ‘warming up’ process is in session, in anticipation of the real game. Next month should see the mid-term elections of the Shura (Consultative) Council, the upper house of Egypt’s Parliament; next October the elections for .. More

Two more years of emergency

Others | 16 May 2010
CAIRO: Blatant discrepancies between appearance and reality are the stuff of tragedy. And what happened at the Egyptian People’s Assembly last week is nothing short of tragic... More

Father Zakaria Botros: Threatened into Silence

Coptsunited | 12 May 2010
The renowned Coptic Christian priest Father Zakaria Botros was scheduled to speak in Vienna tonight, but the atmosphere created by Muslim threats was such the event had to cancelled... More

The law in the hands of the judges

Youseef Sidhom | 9 May 2010
I am not about to tackle court rulings or to criticise them. The judicial authority warrants all due respect and reverence; and there are legal, well established routes to follow if one is to question or contest a ruling. I am just about to comment on a few rulings which appear revolutionary in concept but, even .. More

Who Can Mock This Church?

Others | 9 May 2010
Maybe the Catholic Church should be turned upside down. Jesus wasn’t known for pontificating from palaces, covering up scandals, or issuing Paleolithic edicts on social issues. Does anyone think he would have protected clergymen who raped children?.. More

To eradicate sectarian violence

Youseef Sidhom | 2 May 2010
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights’ recently-issued study on “Sectarian violence throughout two years” has been the subject of a thorough review which I presented to Watani readers in the last two editorials. I reviewed the various patterns of sectarian violence cited in the study, as well as the typical .. More

Obama Backs Down on Sudan

Others | 2 May 2010
Until he reached the White House, Barack Obama repeatedly insisted that the United States apply more pressure on Sudan so as to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur and elsewhere.
Yet, as president, Mr. Obama and his aides have caved, leaving Sudan gloating at American weakness. .. More

An Islamist in Professor's Garb Returns to America

Others | 25 April 2010
A capacity crowd of 860 students, professionals, hijab-clad women, and others filled Cooper Union's Great Hall on April 8 to hear Tariq Ramadan deliver his first public address in the U.S. since the Bush administration revoked his visa in 2004. Earlier this year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally intervened to allow Ramadan to enter the country... More

Why Iceland’s Minor Volcano Is Causing Major Disruptions

Others | 25 April 2010
As volcanoes go, the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull on April 13, won't make the science books. Though scientists haven't yet been able to gather enough information on the eruption to give it a score on the Volcanic Explosivity Index — which ranks volcanic events on a 1-to-8 scale — it's unlikely to score .. More

Freedom of religion in the prison of discipline

Dr. Naguib Gibraeel | 22 April 2010
Article 18 of the international Declaration of Human Rights states that "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom to express his belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance, whether in secret or with the Community" .. More