Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Terheyden

6/22/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Is it really a Spring at all, or a frightening return of an worse Winter?

As the one year anniversary of the election of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi approaches, tensions are high. Tens of thousands of Islamists have begun pouring into Cairo in anticipation of anti-Morsi demonstrations planned for June 30, 2013, by opponents of the new government. 

Highlights

By Michael Terheyden

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/22/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Egypt, Copt, Christian, Islamist, Muslim, President Morsi, Demonstration, Discrimination, Michael Terheyden


KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - As the one year anniversary of the election of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi approaches, tensions are high. Tens of thousands of Islamists have begun pouring into Cairo in anticipation of anti-Morsi demonstrations planned for June 30, 2013, by opponents of the new government.

According to France 24, an international news site, Islamists carrying Egyptian flags and pictures of Morsi held a demonstration on Friday, June 21. It was led by the Muslim Brotherhood, and its aim was to show that Morsi and his government had the support of the Egyptian people. But the Egyptian people are clearly divided.

Morsi was elected one year ago, after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in February of 2011. Morsi promised to be the President of all Egyptians, including the Coptic Christian community. He said the Copts would be given full equal rights. At one point Morsi said,  "I will not be biased against any son of Egypt." But this is not what has happened.

Instead, it appears that Morsi has used every opportunity to turn Egypt into an Islamist state since he became president. This past November, President Morsi issued a declaration giving himself sweeping dictatorial-style power over the drafting of Egypt's new constitution. The President's actions unleashed a firestorm.

A group of judges said, "The state of law is at stake." The Vice-President of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Tahani al-Gebali, said that Morsi was now an "illegitimate president." And Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, said, "Morsi today usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt's new pharaoh."

Protestors marched on the presidential palace in Cairo and clashed with supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. At one point, an estimated 200,000 anti-Morsi protestors flooded into Cairo's famous Tahrir Square.

President Morsi seemingly backed down, but the final Constitution was drafted by a committee dominated by Islamists who used the Constitution to strengthen sharia law. Sharia law highly discriminates against non-Muslims and women.

Since taking office, Morsi has also had run-ins with the national judiciary, the media and the police. More recently, Morsi appointed seven members of the Muslim Brotherhood as provincial governors. He also gave the Luxor governorship to a member of the militant Islamist group responsible for the massacre of 58 foreign tourists in 1997. These appointments led to several clashes between Morsi's supporters and his opponents.

According to his opponents, Morsi is "giving the Islamists a monopoly over public institutions." However, the president's supporters claim he is merely cleaning up corrupt institutions from the days of Mubarak.

Yet, organizers of the June 30 demonstration say they have collected 15 million signatures on a petition which demands the resignation of Morsi. Nevertheless, Ahmed Aqila, a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice Party, does not believe it can happen. He said, "Those who say 'President Morsi will be toppled on June 30' live in an illusion they must give up."

The Coptic Christian community has been concerned that the Morsi government is allowing Islamists to act more aggressively toward non-Muslims. Heba Morayef, a director for Regional Human Rights Watch, says that some Muslims are using more discriminatory language on television. He says, "It's very scary because of the sudden uptick in violence, compounded by the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood has in no way tried to reign it back and has at times participated."

For instance, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Safwat Hegazi, recalling demonstrations last December which turned violent, told the Copts, "You share this country with us, but there are red lines, and one red line is the legitimacy of Dr. Morsi. Whoever splashes water on that, we will spill his blood." Hegazi has since been appointed to the National Council on Human Rights in Egypt.

Consequently, some people are nervous about the upcoming demonstration scheduled at the end of this month and with good reason. There is much at stake. Coptic Christians and women have the most to lose, but so too do all Muslims, especially more moderate and secular Muslims.

While spokesmen from both sides are rightly calling for calm, they also realize that people have a right to address the Morsi government. Although he did not officially endorse the upcoming demonstration, according to one source, Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church said, "Members of Egypt's Christian minority are free to express their opinions on the streets, just as they were to vote for whomever candidate they supported in the past presidential elections."

That is the way it should be in a true democracy, and President Morsi knows it. After one of the demonstrations last year, he said, "I will protect for my brothers in the opposition all their rights so they can exercise their role." Now Morsi needs to prove it. Is Egypt a true democracy or not? Will Egypt's Coptic Christians ever share in the Arab Spring, or was it a lie? We shall find out at the end of the month.

Let us pray for the safety of our brave brethren who will be demonstrating on June 30, and for a free Egypt where all Egyptians can live in peace. They are not alone. They are merely on the front lines of a battle that is threatening to engulf Christians throughout the world.

 
-----

Michael Terheyden was born into a Catholic family, but that is not why he is a Catholic. He is a Catholic because he believes that truth is real, that it is beautiful and good, and that the fullness of truth is in the Catholic Church. However, he knows that God's grace operating throughout his life is the main reason he is a Catholic. He is greatly blessed to share his faith and his life with his beautiful wife, Dorothy. They have four grown children and three grandchildren.

-----

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Middle East

HILARIOUS PHOTOS! 'Fearless' Islamic State fighters caught deserting - dressed AS WOMEN! Watch

Image of Another man, wishing he was somewhere, anywhere else is also seen wear a multicolored tunic. It appears as if the two men were trying - quite unsuccessfully, to blend into the local civilian population.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It is a grimly hilarious comment on the "fearless" forces fighting on behalf of the Islamic State. MailOnline says it can't independently verify the photos - but it appears that two ISIS fighters, when seeing advancing Iraqi troops, shaved off their beards, ... continue reading


Latest ISIS video features Jihadi Junior KILLING three ISIS prisoners Watch

Image of Isa Dare, nicknamed Jihadi Junior, denotated the bombs that kiled three ISIS prisoners (Heavy).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Four-year-old Isa Dare, who has been dubbed "Jihadi Junior," appeared in the latest ISIS propaganda video - and was filmed detonating a car bomb, killing three men. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The seven-minute video features three "coalition spies" admit they ... continue reading


Justice for Kayla Mueller?: Umm Sayyaf tried in U.S. Watch

Image of Kayla Mueller was repeatedly raped and tortured during her time as an ISIS captive (Kayla Jean Mueller/Google+).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Nisreen Assad Ibrahim Bahar, also known as Umm Sayyaf, teamed up with her husband, Abu Sayyaf, to hold several women captive for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the man guilty of repeatedly raping and torturing U.S. relief worker Kayla Mueller. Since al-Baghdadi's death, Bahar ... continue reading


ISIS sex slaves fight back: Female troupe set to attack terrorist organization Watch

Image of Xate Shingali [not pictured] leads the group despite being a famous Iraqi singer.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It is no secret that ISIS has a habit of raping and murdering their way across the Middle East in their twisted pursuit of eradicating all non-Muslims, but what happens to the sex slaves who escape? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Apparently, escaped Yazidi sex ... continue reading


Iran raises eyebrows with mystery construction Watch

Image of Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, has remained silent about the military site construction (Wikipedia).

By Thomas Heed (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Satellite images reveal Iran's top-secret Parchin military complex has undergone quite the makeover between 2010 and 2016. The construction raises concerns about the nuclear deal and whether Iran has decided to cheat - or not. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - New ... continue reading


Two members of Jihadi John's 'ISIS Beatles' finally identified Watch

Image of Thirty-two-year-old Alexanda Kotey, along with Aine Davis, both attended the same mosque as Mohammed Emwazi, aka

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Two members of Jihadi John's infamous "ISIS Beatles," have been identified. Alexanda Kotey and Aine Davis, both from the United Kingdom have been named in connection with the believed deceased Jihadi John's special terror group. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


'Dam will burst' if West does not come to aid of Syrian refugees, King of Jordan warns Watch

Image of At least 80,000 Syrian refugees are now stationed at the Al Zaatari refugee camp. The camp only has the capacity for 60,000 people (Reuters).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

King Abdullah of Jordan says waves of Syrian refugees into his nation have placed an overwhelming strain on his country's health care and education systems. The king says that his country is at a breaking point and that help must arrive before the "dam bursts." ... continue reading


ISIS COWARD! Suicide belt bomb maker confesses he would NEVER wear one Watch

Image of Twenty-two-year-old Jasim Mohammed Atti'ya is under arrest for his role in the attack on a government building in Kirkuk, in northern Iraq in November of last year (Fox News).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

While he makes them - he freely confesses he would never use one - to forfeit his life for the "cause" of the Islamic State. That is the confession of an incarcerated suspect believed involved in a terrorist attack. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


ENGLISH-speaking young boy featured in ISIS' latest horror beheading video Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

ISIS has released another gruesome beheading video, but this time the executioner is an English-speaking young boy. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The young boy, who's identity and ethnicity has not been determined, is featured directly threating the United ... continue reading


Disabled jihadi executes 'spy' in new horrific ISIS images Watch

Image of ISIS releases images of three more murders (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

ISIS has released several images depicting the crucifixion of one of three accused spies in Libya. Despite the obvious gore and lack of humanity, one executioner is shown in a wheelchair. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The images were released by propaganda group ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Deuteronomy 26:4-10
4 'The priest will then take the basket from your hand and lay it before ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend your nights in the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:1-13
1 Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 10:8-13
8 What does it say, then? The word is very near to you; it is in your ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 14th, 2016 Image

St. Valentine
February 14: Click Here for St. Valentine Prayer's Saint ... Read More