Egyptian 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.
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.
Once again, tragedy strikes the Coptic community with the brutal murders of twenty-one Christian Copts in Libya. Living under constant threat of a hate-driven and blood-thirsty Islam, Copts of Egypt have learned to expect anything at any time, and mourners go about the streets. A few days ago a young Coptic man was burned alive in the province of Al-Minya. Muslims harassed and targeted this youth in the heart of a peaceful village hoping to spark the retaliation of Copts in order to trigger destabilization of the region. But Copts have not reacted, waiting instead for law enforcement to take its course.
For more than 1,430 years, Copts have suffered the brutality and aggression of Islamic doctrine along with Jews and other non-Muslims. History shows how Islamic doctrine played an important role during WWI and in WWII with the massacre of more than six million Jews in Europe. As well, Muslims become victims of their own system. A video showing a Jordanian pilot hostage set ablaze recently caused Jordan’s leader to respond with military action.
Copts killed in Libya
Egypt leads the world against terror
However, one leader who has truly taken the lead against terrorism in the moment is Egyptian president Al-Sisi as the Egyptian military strikes at ISIS in Libya. Al-Sisi’s war against Islamic terrorism began during his presidential election campaign when he asked for the renewal of Islamic discourse and implied that the status of religious minorities should be one of equality as he declared that “there are no religious minorities in Egypt.”
Egypt strikes Libya jihadists
Voice of the Copts supports Egypt’s President Al-Sisi in his war against Islamic terrorism and hopes that other leaders will follow in his footsteps in order to protect the world from further atrocities. The question that arises now concerns world leaders who listen and take their lead from the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian terror organization banned from Egypt, to actually aid its branches of terror in the Middle East rather than oppose them. Will Egypt’s current strike against Libya be countered by unlikely sources behind ISIS on the ground?
Voice of the Copts offers condolences
We offer our condolences to the grieving families of those who suffered barbaric acts most recently in Libya and Syria. Also, our sympathy goes out to the family and community members of the young Copt burned alive in Egypt’s Al-Minya Province.
We must continue to remember all the lost souls sacrificed to racial and religious genocide and from this gain the strength to fight for freedom and liberty around the world.
Dr. Ashraf Ramelah
Voice of the Copts
* * *
Ashraf Ramelah was interviewed by Al-Arabiya newspaper on March 17, 2015 in response to Egypt’s airstrikes against Libya:
Al-Arabiya: Egypt is bombing ISIS targets in Libya and so far has launched eight strikes immediately following the release of the purported execution video of Egyptian hostages. How far will Egypt go?
AR: Chances are good that Egypt will stop at nothing now. The leaders of ISIS miscalculated Al Sisi. With these killings, ISIS was testing Al Sisi’s sincerity on his commitment to fight Islamic terrorism, which Al Sisi has so far defined as Islamic hate doctrine and its violent perpetrators. ISIS wanted to call Al Sisi’s bluff on this issue demonstrating that Al Sisi would not attack Muslim Islamic fighters on behalf of Egyptian Copts and avenge the killings of Christians. Had ISIS been correct in its calculation, ISIS would have succeeded in achieving an internal problem for Al Sisi. Al Sisi would have lost his support from the Christian population and others inside Egypt to destabilize his position. ISIS has now discovered that Al Sisi is far from its hero Morsi.
Al-Arabiya: Do you think this aerial campaign will last?
AR: Yes. Al Sisi put Islamic terrorists on notice awhile back. I believe Al Sisi’s campaign now will last until Egypt achieves its calculated goals set by the Egyptian military.
Al-Arabiya: Do you see Egypt joining the anti-ISIS coalition officially?
AR: Anti-ISIS coalition? — There is none. Egypt and Jordan stand and act alone. They are the only Islamic countries ready to fight against Islamic terrorism in the Middle East.
Al-Arabiya: Will Egypt now divert focus away from Sinai insurgency and focus more on threats from Libya?
AR: No. I believe that Egypt will remain in Sinai to combat Hamas because this is a priority of Egypt’s new president. Egypt is strong enough militarily to be on both fronts at this time. If the slaughter of 21 Egyptians by ISIS is to instigate a diversion tactic to summon Al Sisi to a second front and ease up on Hamas, ISIS is sorely mistaken. ISIS will now face a fierce enemy and will most likely be completely annihilated in Libya. In doing so, will Egypt do a favor for the American president or create a problem for his administration? It is hard to tell.
It couldn’t be more obvious to me that Obama and his Administration are in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood. This past week, they held a confab at the State Department concerning their ongoing efforts to oppose the current government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, who rose to power following the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, an ally of the Brotherhood, in 2013. And that just pissed Obama off to no end. Not hard to tell where his allegiances lie and they certainly aren’t with Israel.
Waleed Sharaby, who is a secretary-general of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council and a spokesman for Judges for Egypt, a group reported to have close ties to the Brotherhood, posed for a selfie in front of the State Department emblem while showcasing the Muslim Brotherhood Rabia four-finger sign. The caption under the pic says, “Now in the U.S. State Department. Your steadfastness impresses everyone.” The sign is named after Rabia Square in Cairo, where a large anti-coup sit-in was held for about forty days before it was dispersed. The sign is meant to express solidarity with the thousands wounded, killed and burnt by the Egyptian army during the dispersal and persistence of the anti-coup movement, whereas pro-coup activists, figures and media consider the sign to be a terrorist sign. Or should that be called an ‘armed insurgent’ sign since we are not allowed to call the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban or CAIR the scum bag terrorists they are? Confusing, huh? Only certain terrorists are actually terrorists according to Obama. Only the ones he doesn’t snuggle with. Actually, doing away with the word ‘terrorist’ altogether is straight out of CAIR’s playbook. Radical Islamists of a feather and all that.
The delegation not only included Sharaby, it also had on board Gamal Heshmat, a leading member of the Brotherhood and Abdel Mawgoud al-Dardery, a Brotherhood member who served as a parliamentarian from Luxor as part of its makeup. Maha Azzam, who was also part of the delegation, proclaimed that the talks were ‘fruitful.’ Yeah, I bet they were. Azzam was speaking at the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID). This is yet another group accused of having close ties to the Brotherhood. Azzam also declared that the State Department expressed openness to engagement. Quoi? Engage in what precisely? So, does this mean that the Brotherhood is now just another arm of our State Department? It’s sure beginning to look that way.
Any fool can see that Obama is still supporting putting the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt and wants al-Sisi dealt with and gone. State Department officials would not comment on the content of the talks, several of which consisted of public get-togethers (by invitation) in Maryland and Virginia last week. I’m sure they had cocktails, while discussing the ouster of al-Sisi and the destruction of Israel.
Patrick Poole, a terrorism expert and national security reporter, said the powwow at the State Department could be a sign that the Obama administration still considers the Brotherhood politically viable, despite its ouster from power and a subsequent crackdown on its members by Egyptian authorities.
“What this shows is that the widespread rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East, particularly the largest protests in recorded human history in Egypt on June 30, 2013, that led to Morsi’s ouster, is not recognized by the State Department and the Obama administration,” Poole said.
“This is a direct insult to our Egyptian allies, who are in an existential struggle against the Muslim Brotherhood, all in the pursuit of the mythical ‘moderate Islamists’ who the D.C. foreign policy elite still believe will bring democracy to the Middle East,” Poole said.
Two days after the delegation meeting, the Muslim Brotherhood called for “a long, uncompromising Jihad” in Egypt. They released an official statement calling on their supporters to “prepare” for Jihad, according to an independent translation of the statement first posted on Tuesday.
In typical Muslim Brotherhood fashion, the releases in Arabic and English contradicted each other. Look to the Arabic translation for their true intentions. The English release is propagandic taqiyya for the infidels and nothing but lies:
A call for “a long, unrelenting Jihad” appeared on the Brotherhood’s Arabic language website Tuesday. The statement, first reported Friday by the Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo, starts by invoking a passage from the Quran: “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of God and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know but whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of God will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.”
The English posting says Brothers who stray from non-violence “no longer belong in the Brotherhood, and the group no longer accepts them, no matter what they do or say.”
As the IPT has shown, offering mixed messages in Arabic and English is routine for the Brotherhood.
The statement was also released just two days before a major terror attack Thursday in Egypt’s lawless Sinai region, that killed at least 25. On Thursday, a speaker on a Brotherhood-affiliated television station warned foreign tourists and business interests to leave Egypt next month, or risk becoming a “target for the revolutionary punishment movements.” Something very similar was posted on Facebook.
The Brotherhood’s call for Jihad was published to invoke founding ideologue Hasan al-Banna, who “prepared the Jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers…”
“For everyone must be aware that we are in the process of a new phase,” the statement concludes, “in which we summon what of our power is latent within us, and we call to mind the meaning of Jihad, and prepare ourselves and our children, wives and daughters, and whoever marches on our path for a long, unrelenting Jihad. We ask in it the abodes of the martyrs.”
The Muslim Brotherhood is gearing up for bloody terrorist activities, chief among which will be the attempted assassination of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in all likelihood.
The statement shows an image of two crossing swords and the word “prepare!” between them. Below the swords it reads, “The voice of truth, strength, and freedom.” According to the statement, “that is the motto of the Dawa of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Al-Sisi is the one who once he became President of Egypt, outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood once more for being terrorists. He’s thrown many of them and their supporters in prison and executed a number of them, I believe. He’s also the one who just recently called for the reformation of the Islamic religion.
The Brotherhood considers this unforgivable and now are out to kill al-Sisi even more. While experts claim that the delegation and then the declaration of Jihad are an embarrassment to the State Department, I highly doubt that. They are part and parcel of the declaration of Jihad and they want the removal of al-Sisi as well. Timing is everything.
Once again, I will refer you to the wisdom of terrorism expert Patrick Poole:
“It invokes the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist past, specifically mentioning the ‘special apparatus’ that waged terror in the 1940s and 1950s until the Nasser government cracked down on the group, as well as the troops sent by founder Hassan al-Banna to fight against Israel in 1948,” he said.
“It concludes saying that the Brotherhood has entered a new stage, warns of a long Jihad ahead, and to prepare for martyrdom,” Poole said. “Not sure how much more clear they could be.”
Poole wondered if the call for Jihad would convince Brotherhood apologists that the group still backs violence.
“What remains to be seen is how this announcement will be received inside the Beltway, where the vast majority of the ‘experts’ have repeatedly said that the Brotherhood had abandoned its terrorist past, which it is now clearly reviving, and had renounced violence,” Poole said. “Will this development be met with contrition, or silence? And what says the State Department who met with these guys this week?”
Crickets ensued from the State Department and the Obama Administration. Gee, I’m soooo surprised. Not. The Brotherhood is within our ranks, roaming freely and with great power now. America is now standing against our ally al-Sisi and we want him destroyed. We now are standing against Israel, trying to manipulate her elections and treating Netanyahu abysmally. We actively train and arm the Palestinians to kill Jews. We are aiding Iran in nuking up. We won’t call Islamic terrorists, terrorists. Depending on the day of the week, the mood of the moment and who is watching, we are either conducting faux attacks on radical Islamists or helping them. Watch what your leaders are actively doing – don’t just listen to their spewed lies.
By welcoming the delegation of the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama tacitly gave his approval for terrorism. If al-Sisi is killed, his blood will be on Obama’s already dripping hands.
Here are some clips from Muslim Brotherhood TV channels. Several death threats were made against the Egyptian president and the journalists who support him on these videos.
Cleric Salama Abd Al-Qawi said on Rabea TV that anyone who killed al-Sisi would be doing a good deed. Cleric Wagdi Ghoneim told Misr Alan TV that “whomever can bring us the head of one of these dogs and Hell-dwellers” would be rewarded by Allah and commentator Muhammad Awadh said on Misr Alan TV, that the punishment for the “inciting coup journalists” was death. I wonder what Obama’s reward will be as he bows to Allah and supports global Jihad?
As the Muslim Brotherhood takes pics in front of the US seal at the State Department, one wonders if prayer rugs are now littering those halls and our officials can be found bowing before a different kind of god than was imagined at our Founding. The Muslim Brotherhood calls for “a long, uncompromising Jihad” in Egypt after meeting with the US State Department – Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood together once again, working for the Ummah, not the US.
Just one month before the Paris massacre of Charlie Hebdo and his staff, the prestigious Sunni Muslim Al-Azhar Institute organized and held a conference at its headquarters in Cairo to address worldwide terrorism. It was entitled, “Al-Azhar in the face of extremism and terrorism.” After two full days of discourse focused on the ISIS (Islamic State Iraq Syria) terror group, Al-Azhar concluded with a statement aligned with an earlier one made by President Obama. ISIS is not Islamic. The President saw fit to omit this opinion from his subsequent speech at the UN, but Al-Ahzar is sticking to it.
Al-Azhar religious scholars (an autonomous body separate from the state but financed by taxpayers) form the center for Koranic interpretation and spiritual guidance to the largest Muslim sect in the world, the Sunnis, estimated at one billion believers — eighty percent of the worldwide Muslim community. If the religion of Islam were governed by a hierarchy of leadership, Al-Azhar would surely be its head.
Renowned for its doctrinal instruction to imams and its slightest pronouncement (fatwa) obeyed by Muslim followers, Al-Azhar wields a subtle but powerful authority over Muslim believers. Its influence over the West’s perception of Islam is as great. In this capacity, Al-Ahzar has the power to significantly contribute to the eradication of Muslim violence around the world. But instead, what has its impact been as spiritual head with a state role?
Unlike the American president, Al-Azhar would not condemn ISIS when put to the test. Surely, if Al-Ahzar posited that ISIS terror is Islamic then a denunciation of ISIS’ actions would be a condemnation of its own doctrine. But, if ISIS terror is not Islam as Al-Ahzar proclaims what is the harm done with condemning it? This contradiction alone clues us in on a leadership that is allowing if not fostering crimes against humanity.
This ambiguity coming from the reverential summit of Islamic scholarship transmits confusion and inauthenticity to the West which seeks to find a benign Islam to tolerate. Al-Ahzar’s unwillingness to clarify Islam in relation to current realities and the relative terms sought to define them – Islam, Islamist, Islamic terror, terror, Islamic extremism, extremism, etc. – is suspicious at best. Anselm Choudary, an outlier, does a better job at being concise and consistent on the Hannity show.
No matter how many millions march for “freedom and tolerance” in Paris and the anti-terror cause in the days following the Hebdo attacks little will change without Al-Azhar Institute — the preeminent Islamic authority — making clear, concise statements to properly identify and condemn violence by Muslims. It could begin by reversing a silence dating back to its 880 AD origins regarding Muslim attacks on the Coptic Christians. This Cairo institute has never condemned the violence or the propaganda of Muslims against Christians within its own state. Tragically, this lack of responsibility has advanced jihad throughout the state and the world.
Al-Ahar excluded Jews from this worldwide summit on terrorism. Its failure to invite synagogues and Jewish leaders was not disguised by its otherwise inclusiveness. Joining the Egyptian Mufti, Dr. Shawki Allam, Al-Azhar University chairman and deputy, and six hundred Muslim scholars (including those of minor sects) from 120 countries were heads of the Eastern Orthodox churches, including Egyptian Copts, and Vatican representatives. Protestant denominations from the West were present, and speakers from communities persecuted by terror groups (Pakistan, Syria, and others) attended.
Did this important conference at the heart of Sunni-Muslim religious learning hold the least promise for genuine examination of worldwide terror? Not really. We’ve seen Al-Ahzar fail to denounce Muslim Brotherhood members as terrorists when the pro-democracy presidency of Al Sisi banned the organization from Egypt last year. Also, the Grand Mufti of Al-Ahzar, who is required by law to confirm or deny death sentences issued by the Egyptian courts, reversed the death penalty of Badeh and others — all convicted murderers from the Muslim Brotherhood. So far, the Sunni authority of Al-Ahzar has placed itself at odds with Muslims in the Egyptian streets and the rest of the modern world presumably in order to remain true to Islamic doctrine.
At the conference, a Mufti from Nigeria gave a speech in which he recognized ISIS as a terror organization. Generally, any recognition or instruction stated by a Muslim cleric anywhere is considered a fatwa duly acknowledged and followed by all Muslims around the world. In a panic, Al-Ahzar countered the Mufti by issuing a statement negating the Mufti’s point — overriding it and declaring that ISIS is not a terror organization. The Al-Ahzar statement went on to say that members of ISIS are not Muslim and their actions are not that of Muslims. Then, for good measure, Al-Ahzar emphasized another Koranic verse in order to warn the Nigerian Mufti that it is not his place to condemn ISIS. In short, the reminder stated that any action taken by one Muslim (ISIS members) cannot be judged by another Muslim (Nigerian Mufti). It didn’t matter that Al-Ahzar just declared ISIS a non-Muslim group.
In reaction to Al-Azhar statement, the Egyptian media, attempting to protect the image of Islam, demanded that Al-Azhar label, identify and condemn ISIS as explicitly “Kafir” (non-Muslim) in order to further the deception that terror groups in operation could readily be regarded as being from non-Muslim sources. In response, Dr. Abbas Shoman of Al-Ahzar claimed that the institute had never condemned any believer by disavowing his Muslim identity (assigning him “Kafir”) – a flat out lie. The well-known Egyptian, Farag Fuda, a secular Muslim scholar and human rights advocate critical of Islam and Al-Ahzar, was accused of blasphemy by Al-Ahzar clerics and condemned. The “fatwa” dutifully led to Fuda’s murder, the intended consequence.
Traced to lies and murder, Al-Ahzar Institute is solely responsible in its actions and teachings for setting the common ethical underpinning of Islamic society. The world would be mistaken to rely upon the leadership of this esteemed Islamic institution for a solution to the world’s crisis.
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