Egypt: Bloodshed on Palm Sunday

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts

Tanta Bombing

Egypt’s Coptic Christians suffered another fatal attack on its churches during this morning’s (April 9) Palm Sunday celebrations. Many parishioners were killed and maimed in a dual-church attack during the Palm Sunday services.

North of Cairo, a terrorist bomb struck the Church of Saint George in Tanta claiming the lives of more than 40 worshippers and injuring at least 65 attendees.

Simultaneously, the Morkussia Church of Alexandria was bombed leaving at least 15 persons dead and many more injured. After leading the celebration mass, Coptic Pope Tawadros II left the Morkussia Church minutes before the planted bomb exploded. Aside from the casualties from the Coptic population, four police officers were killed.

Immediately upon the tragic moments of this dual attack, Al Azhar Institute — the center for Sunni Muslim scholarship and the core of Egypt’s deep state — announced that such actions represented strange, abnormal behavior from Islam given its peaceful doctrine. President Al-Sisi followed with his routine phone call to the Coptic Pope to offer solidarity and an investigation.

The Egyptian news reported that during this event the government dismissed the Western Province police director from his duties. It is speculated that the director was known as a terror sympathizer or even complicit in this occurrence. However, no one knows for certain the motivation behind his firing, which followed on the heels of a brutal beating by Coptic youths outside the church when the director appeared after the bombing to investigate.

The Coptic Orthodox Church seems to have joined the rhetoric of the deep state and the Al-Sisi administration using a deception that has facilitated and sustained a long string of terrorist attacks targeting Coptic Christians in recent months and years since A-Sisi came to office.

Reflecting this is a recent statement made by Coptic Bishop Emanuel a few days ago saying, “The Coptic situation improved after the June 30 uprising,” (referring to Morsi’s removal from leadership in 2013). He added, “Copts are getting their full rights and now everyone lives in peace, and such improvement is due to a government and president who care for everyone without distinction.” Even a cursory understanding of Egyptian events reveals the delusional nature of his statements or even worse, his intent to deceive.

Voice of the Copts offers its deepest condolences to the families and sincere hope and prayers for the full and speedy recovery of all injured parties.


Open Letter To President-elect Donald Trump

By: Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts

Dear President-elect Donald Trump

My name is Ashraf Ramelah and I am an Egyptian-born Coptic Christian. I am the founder and president of Voice of the Copts, a non-profit human rights organization. Egyptian Copts, who are the largest Christian minority in the Middle East, are praying for your continued success. So are the Iraqi and Syrian Christians.

I want to congratulate you on your tremendous victory. You gained the hope and faith of the American people and the whole world because of your capacity to express your deep understanding of the current crisis and offer real solutions. We believe as well that your election is the result of our many prayers and the hand of our Lord to bring about His plan.

Your promise to make America great again not only gives hope to Americans, but to all those around the world living in fear of religious supremacy.

Many Egyptian Muslims along with Egypt’s Christians look forward to a time for Egypt when creed will no longer determine inequalities in regard to personal freedom, law and taxation as well as eligibility for elected office and military service.

The modern-day complexities of my ancient country and its geo-political position in the world must no longer force Christians to bear the brunt. This injustice has already been inflamed by America’s foreign policy intervention under the current administration. So much so that Copts had nearly lost faith in the republic that represents liberty and justice for the world from which we have always drawn our strength.

Currently, Egyptian public opinion holds to the notion that America’s administration acted in ways to revive Muslim Brotherhood aggression, raising societal tensions with disastrous results for Coptic Christians. Blood was shed by Egyptian freedom-fighters to oust Mohammed Morsi, the puppet-president of Hillary Clinton’s State Department, during the two years following the Mubarak overthrow.

This month, the Botrossia Church in Cairo was bombed by terrorists during a worship service. The majority killed were women and children. Since the Morsi ousting, 87 Coptic churches were destroyed by arson and bombs, and the majority of them remains in ruins today due to an Islamic decree forbidding the reconstruction of churches.

Egypt is guilty of human rights violations. As Copts are victims of jihad and relegated to second-class citizens in our own country, we are encouraged by your willingness and courage to identify and address radical Islamic terrorism. Your urgent message against terrorism in America and around the world gives Coptic Christians hope in your next steps to reverse the tide of events for all peace-loving communities throughout the world.


Dott. Architetto Ashraf Ramelah
Voice of the Copts
Founder and President


Coptic Pope muzzles US Copts in favor of Al-Sisi

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts

copticEgyptian Copts in the diaspora of New York and New Jersey must decide to obey a call by Orthodox Pope Tawadros II of Egypt for a NYC rally at the UN General Assembly in support of President Al-Sisi’s speech on September 20. An official statement by the Coptic Church indicated that Bishop Beeman of Nakada and Qus and Bishop Yuanis of Assuit were sent to the US to arrange and promote Coptic crowd support prior to the president’s arrival.

The statement said that “We, all Egyptians loyal to our home land, must welcome the president and strengthen him in all the work he does for the good of Egypt.” Because “the Pope has great interest in the success of this visit,” the message urged that Copts do everything possible to ensure the success of this visit, adding, “It is good for Egypt and all Egyptians.” The statement concluded by saying that “Egyptian leaders of evangelical churches in America demand the same support of their followers and should rally for the president.”

The reaction of Copts to this idea is split, and the issue is complex. Statements coming from Bishop Beeman in New Jersey last week accused Copts of causing 60 percent of sectarian violence in Egypt by their insubordination within the church community, offering no explanation or references. Copts are angered and disappointed to receive this criticism and view it as pressure to perform.

Makrius Saweres, priest of the Saint George Church in Jersey City, is demanding that all Copts in the tristate area gather to welcome Al-Sisi on the sidewalks near the UN, warning that, “any wrong doing on the part of the Copts in America [during this event] such as insulting or minimizing the role of the president will reflect on Copts in Egypt.” By this he meant that Copts will pay a dire consequence, as usual, in their Egyptian home towns if they speak their minds.

Many might rather protest against Al-Sisi with this opportunity, but such a timely reminder of violence back home is now an effective muzzle. Furthermore, showing up at all to gather as religious authorities suggest is risky business given the possibility of Muslim Brotherhood gangs doing the same. This could lead to a direct clash between Copts supporting Al-Sisi and Islamists against him. We can’t ignore that Egypt’s Islamists (MB and Salafi) consider Copts behind the fall of Morsi’s regime. Should conflict here take place it could in turn lead to copycat clashes in Egypt. Various potential scenarios in New York could bring sectarian ramifications to Copts in Egypt. Once again, Coptic religious leaders conspiring with the regime in Egypt score political points on the backs of their people.

The Coptic community inside or outside of Egypt never delegated their spiritual leaders as political spokespersons. But this is not new to Copts who were once discouraged by US Coptic Church leaders on orders from Pope Shenuda from protesting against the former Egyptian President Mubarak during his visits to the US. The “alliance” between Shenuda and Mubarak can now be similarly seen here between Tawadros II and Al-Sisi despite Tawadros’ promise upon his installation to be hands-off of political issues, which admittedly are outside of his role.

Even if this plan to support Al-Sisi through an organized rally were appropriate and now needed, it should be initiated and led through the diplomatic channels of the embassies. In which case, both Christian and Muslim supporters of Al Sisi would be included in this call to action. As it stands now, it separates Egyptians by religion even though the Pope’s message declared this to be good for Egypt and “all Egyptians.”

Mobilizing Copts in support of Al-Sisi’s UN General Assembly speech focusing on international issues and not the internal affairs of Egypt has no relevancy. There is absolutely no gain by it except for the power gained by Pope Tawadros II in his political maneuvering, which unfortunately does not calculate for the safety and well-being of his people.


Open letter to the Egyptian president: If you can’t fulfill your promises step down!

By: Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts


Abdel Fattah al-Sisi – Reuters

President Al-Sisi,

For the first time since your installation as president, Copts in the United States protested the persecution of Copts in Egypt. The protest in Washington, DC on August 2 against your regime was symbolic; no one really expects a response from the Obama administration. If the past is an indication, the American president is deaf to the cries of suffering Christians.

After Egypt’s 2013 mass uprising where more than 30 million men and women fighting for freedom stood up against the fascist regime of the Muslim Brotherhood and Mohammad Morsi, you appeared as a “savior” — promising democracy, freedom of religion and law and order.

Egyptians trusted you and your words, not the least so, because of the military uniform you were wearing. In spite of Egypt’s adverse experience with past military rulers, you were seen as a hope not only for Copts but for a new Egypt!

Now, after two years in office, the actions of your government are the same as past regimes; we see rampant attacks on Copts, journalists silenced, “aurora” police visits for speaking out, increased poverty, and the Al-Noor Salafi religious political party intact (operating illegally) influencing policy. Your government abhors law and order; citizens cry out for justice. You have not taken any action to clean either the corrupted courts or the schools.

Mr. President,

The homeless victims speaking to you from the video linked here never received a response from authorities, “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4joe-SQdyE”, and going to the gates of your palace seeking justice has brought them no satisfaction. Promises made to them by your office have not been fulfilled, and this Christian family continues to live in fear. Jihadists firebombed their home and 25 family members were displaced, forced to find shelter in a barn stall. They escaped without belongings or food.

One year ago you stood inside Al Azhar Institute facing its leaders; with courage you asked for a renewal of Islamic discourse. However, we only see evidence of the opposite as scholars are arrested for adhering to the precepts of your lofty speech. In fact, we see change for the worse.

What follows is a list of violent crimes against Coptic Christians – a few chosen from a much longer list of occurrences – which were reported for last month alone in just three regions. Print media, blogs, word-of-mouth and YouTube videos are their sources which also blame mosque-instigated hate circulating throughout the country.

– July 17, 2016: Islamic attack against two Coptic priests in Al Minya County resulted in the murder of a priest’s brother and serious injury to three others.

– July 14, 2016: A gang of three hundred men attacked Copts’ homes in the town of Abu Yacub (Al Minya) due to false rumors of converting home to a church resulting in the destruction of five houses leaving five families homeless.

– July 11, 2016: Egyptian police arbitrarily closed down the building of the “Andalus Center for Religious Tolerance” alleged to have published false information concerning discrimination against Copts in Egypt.

– July 9, 2016: A man stabbed two Coptic women leaving a church in Zakazeek while shouting Allahu Akber.

– July 7, 2016: A Kindergarten building in Samalut was set on fire due to false rumors that Copts are planning to convert it into a church.

– July 5, 2016: The murder of a nun and injury of two others when open gunfire targeted their car in Cairo.

– July 4, 2016: Coptic pharmacist in Tanta murdered by throat slitting.

– July 2, 2016: A 15 year old daughter of a Coptic priest in Suhag was assaulted by a knife attacker who was scared off by witnesses.

– July 2, 2016: A 16 year old girl was kidnapped by Muslim men (incident reported to local police 2553/2016)

There remains a sense now that you are not in control of the country, and many are disillusioned enough to believe you never were. Whichever is true, the same dismal conditions remain for the country. Service to the deep state due to your ineptitude or worse yet, your intentions, denounces the people’s call to freedom on which you rose to power.

If you can’t fulfil your promises to the people please step down. 


Dr. Ashraf Ramelah
Founder and President
Voice of the Copts


Bedouin law bows to Coptic courage

By: Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts

Suaad ThabetSuaad ThabetIn the ongoing jihad against Egypt’s Coptic Christians one Bedouin tradition adopted by Islam keeps jihad in business. After every terrorist act, the victim is bullied into an “arbitration” hearing and the criminal courts are circumvented. No serious investigation is ever made nor any evidence gathered because the local government conducts the meeting of “reconciliation” without any need of the facts. Here’s how it works: A regional government official from the office of the governor (currently an Al-Sisi appointee) “offers” the victim a chance to apologize to the perpetrators of the crime. A Muslim official and the Muslim mayor enforce “peace” between the non-Muslim victim and the Muslim attacker.

In the aftermath of bloodshed, the victim apologizes to the perpetrator(s) and drops all rights to press charges of assault, rape, arson, or murder. In many cases, the victim and family are forced to leave town permanently, abandoning property and home. The victim turns over all possessions to the jihadists who divide the spoils among them. With almost no exception an intricate narrative is scripted to reach the news agencies. It characterizes the victim as guilty — deserving of the assault under the code of Sharia divine law. Since every Christian belongs to a parish, a Muslim official coerces the church into the process so that the priest or bishop is forced to submit to the authority of Sharia law along with the victim. This surrender of conscience is the final humiliation.

Cairo’s Al-Ahzar Sunni-Muslim Institute typically steps into the process to control reaction to jihad episodes by sending a handler into local areas to assist in the “reconciliation” meeting. In the high profile case of 70-year old Mrs. Suaad Thabet, who was stripped naked, beaten, and paraded in the street to the screams of Alahu Akbar, Al-Ahzar issued a press release (as always in the aftermath of jihad) stating the immediate need of “reconciliation” to avoid “escalation.” The word “escalation” is intended to imply that two adversaries were fighting each other—an assertion meant to distort the true unilateralism of sectarian violence in Egypt.

After Mrs. Suaad Thabet had been dragged into the street by a mob of three hundred men, she was allowed to return to her house where she harbored her shame. She prayed and reflected for two days. She knew that what happens in the town stays in the town and that the wider public might never have a stake in the horrible truth of that day in the village of Karm.

No one could have anticipated the strength of her will to reach the media and bypass the authorities who had ignored her earlier warnings that something horrible was brewing. This act of courage further inspired the bishop who then took a very brave step.

Bishop MakariousBishop MakariousBishop Makarious of Al Mynea shocked Egyptian authorities when he refused the “invitation” for Mrs. Thabet’s arbitration meeting saying, “No. This case must be taken to the courts.” The local mayor and police department of Karm village were attempting to settle the Thabet case in the usual manner. Mrs. Thabet would have to surrender to a false version of truth and pay an additional price for her victimization.

When authorities did not act upon Mrs. Thabet’s early report — when her son and family fled the village for safety, in effect, making her a scapegoat — the violence about to erupt fell on her and her Christian neighbors (with seven homes destroyed). The entire ordeal was based upon claims (true or false) made against her son.

Later, in a TV interview, the ringleader’s wife revealed her husband’s secret plot to use a false story to divorce her without alimony and break up a business partnership without financial obligation – consequences perfectly feasible under Sharia law and accomplished easily with the incident contained locally. Interestingly, if the wife were guilty of adultery as claimed, the Sharia requires her stoning or beheading. But instead, Mrs. Thabet, the Christian, was targeted and violated.

The Egyptian media went wild.  A national TV talk show host, Rasha Nabeil, aired a live phone call interview with Mrs. Thabet for the audience to hear her story firsthand. Mrs. Thabet said, “I would rather be buried in the ground than have what happened to me,” embarrassing and angering Egyptian authorities who earlier whitewashed the incident as “a normal family dispute.”

Meanwhile, Bishop Makarious accepted an invitation as guest on a panel talk show with the Karm mayor. When asked about the Karm incident the bishop said, “There will be no reconciliation meeting this time” – a bold declaration never before spoken. The mayor responded to the bishop’s decision by stating that the bishop “would be responsible for anything else that happens” – meant as a threat for more violence against Copts if no “reconciliation” took place.

Copts are holding their ground in this confrontation with Egyptian authorities, insisting that the case goes to the courts and not to “reconciliation.” This could be a real opportunity for the state courts to expose and break the ideological ties that bind law enforcement, government officials, and Al-Ahzar to the perpetrators in successful conspiracies against Copts. Most Egyptians desire fairness from the courts. A Pew Research Center Report on Egypt dated May 22, 2014 states that, “nearly eight-in-ten (79%) say that a judicial system that treats everyone in the same way is very important. Similarly, 63% of Egyptians say law and order is critically important to their country’s future.”

So far Coptic resistance has forced officials to admit they should have heeded Mrs. Thabet’s warnings of a pending tragedy. It forced Al-Sisi’s office to apologize to her — an elder, a grandmother and a trustworthy source – as well as journalists expressing sympathy on behalf of the public. However, if religious authorities continue to exercise power over the state courts, justice will not be served.

Where now is the man with heart and sensitivity toward women and Copts? The man who brought a rose to the hospital bedside of a rape victim and made a surprise visit to a church for Christmas Eve service is silent today. This is the man who sought the support of ordinary Egyptians — the ones who endure these types of crimes every day — in his run for president. He received their support.

Where is Al-Sisi today when the people need him to give substance to his gestures and use his power to rid the country of lawlessness based upon the deep prejudices of Islamic law? Al-Sisi appealed to everyone in his early moments as president, and there was great hope that he might be a champion of individual liberty and usher Egypt into the modern world. Instead, the Sharia takes its course in Egypt under Al-Sisi just like the good-old-days of Hosni Mubarak.


Truth for Giulio Regeni

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts

Giulio RegeniGiulio RegeniFor over four months, the Egyptian government has refused to submit the documents requested by the Italian judicial authorities concerning the assassination of Giulio Regeni, an Italian citizen.

Reaction to Regeni’s death was reflected in the Italian Parliament with the approval in the Senate on June 28 of an amendment that blocks the sale of spare parts to Egypt for the F16 fighter jets.

Such a decision may have further negative impact in the cooperation between the two countries in bilateral and international relationships.

The Egyptian authorities conducted an investigation of the mysterious death of the young Italian researcher in the dismissive way that aggression against Coptic Christians is handled with little fact gathering, arrests or convictions.

In the following cases of the last two months alone, few suspects were identified, few arrests were made, and it’s likely that no one will ever face a judge and jury:

      – A Coptic priest was assassinated
      – A Christian nun was murdered with an RPG – a military-grade weapon
      – A home under construction by a Christian owner found his structure demolished on the false pretense that he was converting it to a church
      – A 70 year-old woman was attacked in her home by a mob of three hundred Muslim men, dragged to the             street nude and beaten.
     – Seven Coptic-owned residences were burned and destroyed.

This is in serious contradiction to the words of the Egyptian government claiming to be in favor of democracy and human rights.

The decision taken by the It alian government to block the supply of spare parts for the F16 is legitimate in this case regardless of some opposing voices who consider that such a measure may obstruct Egypt’s fight against terrorism.

Those voices, however, are disregarding the fact that the murder of Regeni is in itself a terrorist act when on Egyptian soil a foreign national student disappears until his body is discovered near a dumpster some distance away, and the state is suppressing evidence (photos, video cameras and phone records).

Voices arise from the Egyptian Parliament in arrogance against the will of the Italians to search for the truth in the case of a murdered son and threaten retaliation against Italy regarding its decisive Parliamentary amendment against Egypt in this matter.

Our organization received information indicating that an Egyptian delegation of Egyptian Parliamentarians seeking to overturn Italy’s decision has arrived in Italy.

They intend to meet with members of the Italian Parliament to persuade them to nullify their recent vote and reverse Italy’s decision to withhold spare F16 parts from Egypt.

This interference in the sovereignty of a democratic country should not be tolerated.

The mystery of the Regeni case in Egypt can only be solved when the truth being obscured by the Egyptian state is revealed. As President Al-Sisi came to power on the concepts of government transparency and respect for law and order, he now needs to step in and demand the release of withheld evidence.

In turn, this will show Egypt and the world who he really is.

Finally, we trust in our MP’s to refrain from any compromise of their resolve and to disregard Egypt’s threats because considerations for the truth in the bloodshed of an Italian citizen are of the highest priority.


Vatican ecumenism forsakes Egypt’s Christian minorities

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts


Pope Francis, who is “building bridges to build peace” around the world, has naturally reached out to embrace Sunni Muslims. Last month, for the first time after years of Vatican silence, Pope Francis summoned to his private library in Rome grand imam Ahmed El-Tayeb of Cairo’s Al-Ahzar Mosque Institute. Absent a press release before this event, the Pope was quoted as saying, “this meeting is the message” – leading all to dwell on the meaning and purpose of their 25 minutes together. Christians, especially Egyptian Coptic Christians, have observed the Catholic pope give the “sign of peace” to the grand imam who has yet been unwilling to denounce ISIS. Unity existed between the two religious branches previous to former Pope Benedict XVI condemning Islam’s inclination to violence. This message of reconciliation comes during the Al-Sisi government which has stood opposed to the favored and protected status of an organization entwined with Al-Ahzar — the Muslim Brotherhood – and against the ascendency of this terror network and others beginning before his presidential campaign.

Two days before their historic meeting, headlines around the world reported the violent and humiliating act committed by a Muslim mob in Upper Egypt against a Christian woman in a Christian-majority village. Homes where razed and a grandmother was stripped naked, dragged from her house and beaten in the street. Egypt’s courts are not officially Sharia but street justice involving private matters is strictly Islamic doctrine (coercion of non-Muslims), and violence has no real consequences in the courts. No words came from either of the leaders in the “Jubilee of Mercy” meeting (its official title) to address this incident, which by the nature of this attack holds deeper, more serious implications in Egyptian culture. An elderly woman in Egypt is considered sacrosanct, and practically speaking, this means across sectarian lines she is universally respected for her tenderness and kindheartedness toward others. Even codified barbarity had had this limit before now.

Evidence of Al-Sisi’s attempt at reform of Islamic doctrine met by Al-Ahzar reluctance is seen recently in the Institute’s insignificant changes to public school textbooks and mosque preaching. Presently, President Al-Sisi is stifled in his efforts to expunge religious supremacy from Egypt without cooperation from Al-Ahzar and apparently even with its assistance. As these particulars are the cultural foundation used for oppressing Christians, it is now hopeful that Francis will focus on such issues. Although Francis has not been terribly outspoken on Coptic Church destruction, he has grieved with the Orthodox of Egypt and offered his prayers over the spilled blood of Christians in Libya recognizing the Coptic Christian martyrs.

Solidarity (a hug and kisses) shown in this re-connection of Cairo’s Sunni grand imam with the Catholic Pope followed by silence (no official statements) helps to bolster and propel the position of the Institute’s goals for Egypt, which are far from optimal in the cause for freedom of religion and speech and the subject of human rights. It is not likely that Francis will meet with President Al-Sisi, if he hasn’t first already done so, even though by contrast Al-Sisi projects real hope for Egypt’s future in his committed struggle for freedom and equality. This we see in regard to Egypt’s deep state (the tentacles of Al-Ahzar religious brainwashing), from which Al-Sisi seeks to disentangle and de-program out of the administrations of the state. He rose to office on that claim and until now has produced evidence of genuineness along with impossible odds. It is logical to assume by Francis’ exclusion of Al-Sisi and, for that matter, Coptic Pope Tawadros II, who represents 20 million Christians, that building bridges was not foremost on the mind of Pope Francis. The absence of these key figures in the room does in itself shed light onto the meaning of the meeting; in effect, by this oversight, Francis acknowledges only the deep state.

For Pope Francis, ecumenical zeal is more his quest than a real concern for solutions to the rise of jihad. However, the Vatican’s ecumenism comes at the expense of Egypt’s human rights. This encounter may symbolize for many an affirmation of peace attained through submission. After all, Francis now reached out to El-Tayeb in an apologetic mode for the public “insult” in denouncing Islam’s violence some years back. But Francis intends his appeasement to speak for the entire Christian world.

Last year, remarking upon the slaughter of 21 Coptic Christians by Sunni Muslim jihadists in Libya, Francis told leaders of the Church of Scotland that, “I ask that we encourage each other to go forward with this ecumenism which is giving us strength, the ecumenism of blood.” In that emotional moment Francis capitalized on martyrdom to bind together Christian protestant denominations under the Roman Catholic umbrella which in turn extends a hand to Islam. The pope’s ecumenical fanaticism is blurring the lines of theological differences for the sake of one spiritual conglomerate without much thought to religious minorities preferring to remain divided from certain doctrine and the indoctrinators linked to the throat-slashers of Libya.

In the end, we are left with questions and speculation of what to expect in the aftermath of this meeting. Will the world see less vengeful opposition to the Roman pope’s 12th century crusade? Will we see a new edict declaring that jihad is inappropriate for today’s civilized world or Al-Ahzar denounce ISIS? Will we see a public statement by the two heads condemning the use of religion to commit violence? And finally, might all this potential good we await be based on a designation called “heavenly,” which the pope may have bestowed upon the Sunni sect during this meeting? For many decades, Cairo’s Muslim authorities have sought this label to prove religious equality with the faiths of Christianity and Judaism and have looked to the Roman Catholic pope for this ultimate seal of approval.


Resisting blasphemy laws in Egypt: Islam against Islam

By: Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts

Islam Buhiery

Islam Buhiery

Egypt’s deep state is a bureaucratic theocracy. This network forms the infrastructure of the official government. It is accountable to the doctrines put forth by the powerful Islamic clerics of Al-Ahzar Institute. The religion of Islam, when merged with the state, can better exert Allah’s powerful hold over the individual. Only then can it fulfill its destiny. While controlling Egypt, Islam’s elite, in turn, have control over its whole world of believers. Their race for world domination begins in Egypt.

Brave Egyptians resisting the system and exposing ideological underpinnings will eventually erode Islam’s backward concepts and entwinement with the state. It can rob power from religionists and lead to the release of followers around the world. Believers can then be inspired to replace blind obedience and fear with individual thinking, free will and assimilation into Western societies – a hopeful scenario.

Dr. Islam Buheiry is one example of only a handful like him around the world. An iconoclast, Dr. Islam Buheiry, evolved out of the climate of dissent that delivered Al-Sisi, the military general, to lead Egyptians out of the Arab Spring. He is an Egyptian intellectual living in Cairo specializing in the study and renewal of Islam for modern times. He spoke out against the religious establishment’s exploitation of ancient texts. He analyzed interpretations by Islam’s top historians and teachers past and present. For this he risked his life. Last month he began a one year prison sentence (often a penalty worse than death) for his offensive opinions. Dr. Islam Buheiry – speaking about Islam in the Egyptian state-sponsored media – is a hero at a time when the West is afraid to even name or discuss Islamic terrorism.

Educated in Britian, Buheiry headed the Islamic Studies Center Foundation at Cairo’s Al Youm Al Sabeh newspaper, a position created just for him, but he went far beyond his role. His research led the way for Islam’s religious enlightenment, which entailed new explanations and revision of sanctified Islamic texts. He was careful to focus on sacred writings (Seerah and Hadethes) outside the Koran or Koranic verses believed to be sealed in heaven. Despite his politically correct approach, he dared to contradict Al-Ahzar Sunni doctrine – interpreted Islamic texts used to manage Muslim followers around the world.

It all started a few years back when Buheiry began a national television program called “With Islam” to examine Muslim Brotherhood (MB) ideology, the strictest version of Islamic Sunni theology. As the Arab Spring Egyptians fought against tyranny, Buheiry questioned bizarre and dangerous “fatwas” — edicts issued by imams justifying MB takeover and Sharia law. None of Buheiry’s religious opponents could find arguments to silence him. In general, religious legalists refuse to engage in open and honest debate where violence has been the acceptable answer. Buheiry rose up in the face of what he knew about the fate of Dr. Faraj Fuda before him, a freethinker who spoke publicly about Islam and was assassinated through edict during the Mubarak regime. In fact, Dr. Islam Buheiry considered Dr. Fuda his teacher.

When Buheiry exposed the religion for its inherent radicalism, he entered into a collision course with the deep state — a stronghold of backward, intolerant state officials, prosecutors and judiciary allying with Al-Azhar religious dictates. Egypt’s legal system dating from the 19th century French occupation has been under siege by Islamic clerics since 1971. The Second Amendment of Egypt’s constitution subjugates all matters to a final ruling by religious scholars and contradicts the remainder of the constitution’s text, which is steeped in the language of freedom and human rights.

The crime of blasphemy, now gaining influence in the West (U.S. H. Res. 569,https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-resolution/569/text), pertains broadly to mentioning, questioning, analyzing, or criticizing the religion of Islam. Egyptians now have a leader and an advocate for the cause to rid Egypt and the world of archaic, draconian laws and severe, inhumane punishments. In only two years’ time, Egypt’s “reformist” president has not only accomplished much to end terrorism but has begun to chip away at the foundations and the system that produces it worldwide.

He did the obvious first. He banned the Muslim Brotherhood organization, removed its members from key government positions, and sent the military to the Gaza border as well as Libya to fight terror. Meanwhile, he addressed the deeper layer; the machine that continues to generate the ideological basis for terror. Like fellow dissidents, Buheiry and Fuda before him, the President puts his life in jeopardy.

When Al-Sisi requested a referendum back in 2013 from the people to fight terrorism, more than 10 million citizens gathered in Tahrir Square to answer yes. Today with this mandate, Al-Sisi has approached Islam’s “doctrinal command center” (Al-Ahzar Institute) to encourage an enlightened transformation of the Islamic message. He has given speeches to Al-Ahzar scholars for the explicit purpose of inviting peace and equality with other faiths in the country. His reasoning has extended to the immense Islamic propaganda network within Egypt spreading through early education textbooks, and he set out to rewrite and eradicate religious brainwashing.

During his tenure, Al-Sisi has made two unprecedented visits to the Orthodox Church during the holiest of times, which Coptic Christians take as genuine outreaches for the promise of equality and religious freedom. With this, he committed the state to rebuild 87 destroyed churches resulting from the most recent Islamic attacks. Importantly, he opened up parliamentary elections to Christian candidates for the first time ever in Egypt, which have only ever been token appointments in the past selected from this minority. All of this makes him dangerous to the establishment.
Al-Sisi’s industriousness is historic. This is anti-Islamic and, in itself, represents a culture clash. It took his government just six months to complete a Suez Canal expansion project, which has proven to Egyptians he means to do what he promises. Like Dr. Buheiry and Dr. Fuda, Al-Sisi, the president, is a true hero and role model. If he were to publicly pardon Dr. Buheiry and memorialize Dr. Fuda for their brave work in this common cause, it would strengthen and build momentum for the progress forged so far in Egypt.


Will the Sharia save Morsi?

By: Ashraf Ramelah
Voice of the Copts



Just three weeks ago the Egyptian court sentenced Egypt’s former Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohammed Morsi, to the death penalty after evidence presented from Egyptian intelligence documents proved him guilty of spying for Qatar, Iran and Turkey.

There are more than one hundred names on the list with him who are all convicted of the same crimes: murdering protesters, transferring top secret military documents to foreign countries, and burning the museum library which destroyed rare manuscripts and ancient artifacts.

Included on the death-penalty list is Mohamed Badie, the former Muslim Brotherhood spiritual head and his two deputies, Khairat El-Shater and Mahmud Ezzat, as well as Yousef Al Qaradawy, Hamas’ spiritual leader now living in Qatar.

As required by Egyptian law, the Egyptian court directly transmitted the list of the sentenced to the Grand Mufti of Cairo for his pronouncement of the Sharia opinion (approval) on the court’s verdict and sentencing. This past week, a few hours before the court resumed on June 2, a sealed envelope was passed to the court containing the Grand Mufti’s decision.

The court postponed the June 2 proceedings until June 16, and the envelope remains sealed at this moment.  Some say the court did so to protect the country and President Al-Sisi who was in Germany on June 2 — waiting for his return in case violence erupts as a result of the announcement.

What are the chances that the Mufti has approved the death penalty? After all, the hundred or so Morsi aides and accomplices condemned to death along with the former president are guilty of nothing more than consistency with the cleric’s ideological and religious views.

If the death penalty is not approved and the civil court ignores the disapproval and goes forward to implement the death penalty, this could mean that the court is secured by the backing and protection of the President in order to serve justice. This in turn reveals that Al-Sisi is truly willing and able to go forward with cleaning corruption and rolling back religious extremism in an effort to reform the country.

But Al-Sisi is a mystery. He recently gave a statement to the German press indicating his agreement with the official story of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood wherein Morsi was elected fairly and democratically and won with 55 percent of the vote. This is very odd since Al-Sisi’s own legitimacy as the people’s president rests on the opposite view — the well-known truth that Morsi became president through corrupt elections, violence, fraud, and outside interference.

The second alternative would be for the civil court to comply with the Grand Mufti’s disapproval of the death sentences, subjecting itself to the authority of the religious clerics which is current practice. In an unreformed Egypt this can be expected from the court.

If we find that the Mufti has approved the death sentences, we are experiencing Al-Sisi’s power for the first time within his term of office and know as well that he is genuine.  If so, the promise of modern reform has real potential, and Al-Sisi will have succeeded in spite of outside pressures (Merkel, Obama, and the CIA), Egypt’s political legacy (Mubarak, Sadat, and Nasser) and religious ultra-conservatives threatening secular initiatives (Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Ahzar Institute).

The Coptic minority remains under the same pressures today as during previous administrations ruling Egypt. Muslim supremacies prevail, often with violence, against the sub-class within Egypt’s population. Al-Sisi, the man and the president, is yet a sign of hope for the country – Muslim and Christian watch Al-Sisi teetering between positions usually by omissions but not defaulting to the comfortable pattern of his predecessors.


An Open Letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner

By: Ashraf Ramelah
Voice of the Copts

Al Sisi for president

Al Sisi for President

john boehner

John Boehner

Please allow me to congratulate you on your tremendous success in having Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu address Congress. The world needs to hear the truth from our friend, Israel. For decades Israel has suffered terrorist aggression from neighboring states.

Allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons would not only be a danger to the State of Israel but a threat to the entire world. At your invitation, Americans heard the Israeli Prime Minister unfold the truth to the American Congress.

The positive and urgent message of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech will resonate for some time to come and hopefully lead to the desired goal.

Likewise, another important leader in the Middle East may prove to be enlightening on the issue of fighting Islamic terrorism. I refer to the president of Egypt, Abd El Fatah El Sisi. If Egypt’s current president were invited to address Congress, America could know firsthand the works of Al Sisi’s government in eradicating terrorism.

Your invitation to the Israeli leader has shown America’s support of Israel in light of much opposition. Having President El Sisi address the Congress would offer Americans the same opportunity to show support for Egypt’s initiatives — tempering Islamic clerics, approaching Coptic Christians, and fighting extremist organizations linked to terror.

Mr. Speaker, you have already been instrumental in illustrating America’s support of real leadership against terrorism in the Middle East. Extending a hand now to President El Sisi would only emphasize America’s resolve to stand with rational and courageous leaders and support the outcomes of reduced terrorism in the Middle East and around the world.

For this reason, I kindly request, on behalf of my organization, Voice of the Copts, that you extend an invitation to President El Sisi of Egypt to address a joint session of the American Congress in the very near future.

Thank you.


Ashraf Ramelah
Founder and president
Voice of the Copts