constitutional referendum, Copts, Egypt, Egyptian Christians, Faith J. H. McDonnell, Institute on Religion and Democracy, International Religious Freedom Caucus, IRD Blog, Islamism, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, U.S. Rep. Trent Franks
An op-ed by U.S. Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) on the precarious situtation of Egypt’s Copts and others who oppose the coming full-blown Islamist government of Mohamed Morsi appeared in today’s Washington Times. Franks, the co-chair of the International Religious Freedom Caucus in Congress, says:
The new government led by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mr. Morsi now openly seeks to permanently enshrine dictatorial arrogance and blatant disregard for religious freedom in the Egyptian constitution. Mr. Morsi pushed for a speedy vote Saturday to adopt a new constitution profoundly dangerous for Egypt’s Coptic community. Groups opposed to the constitutional draft argued that the drafting Constitutional Assembly had been dominated by Mr. Morsi’s extremist allies, and the drafting process lacked transparency.
Islamist movements in Egypt certainly have dominated Egypt’s political process, and the Copts are among the main casualties. When the Islamist-dominated Constitutional Assembly drafted the constitution, they insisted on the supremacy of Egypt’s religious identity, not the nation’s joint civil identity. The new constitution can now legitimately sanction religious discrimination.
In addition, Christians and others who oppose an Islamist constitution have been intimidated during the constitutional referendum process.
Mr. Franks, a great defender of global religious liberty, recounts some of the horrific attacks on the Copts that have taken place in the past two years and the impunity with which they have been carried out.
Read the rest here.