» 03/01/2013, 00.00
Egypt, two Coptic Orthodox children aged 9 and 10 risk jail on blasphemy charges
A court in Bani Suef (Upper Egypt) rejects family’s appeal for Rzik Nagy, age 10 and Mina Fara, nine. The two charged with desecrating pages of the Koran. Arrested April 2012 they will remain in a juvenile detention center until the final sentence. Fr. Rafic Greiche denounces Muslim Brotherhood attempts to secretly control every sphere of society.
- Yet another case of violence and abuse against Coptic Christians. On
26 February, the Court of Bani Suef (Upper Egypt) dismissed the appeal of the
families of the two children Rzik Nagy, aged 10, and Mina Farag, 9, accused of
desecrating the Koran. They have
been detained in a juvenile prison since April 2012. The case has attracted a
lot of criticism in the country. Many
claim the trial was illegal and devoid of any logic.
Harak, a lawyer and member of the Egyptian Movement Against Religious
Discrimination, points out that "the Bani Suef case is a sad precedent
and in the future there may be others for religious defamation, especially
against children of the Christian faith."
9 April 2012 the two were stopped by a local imam who accused them of
having urinated on the Koran. Before
calling the police, the Muslim cleric led Nabil and Nady to the local church demanding
the priest punish them. At
the priest's refusal the Imam took the two children to the local court with
three other Muslims of the village. Without
a trial, the judge detained the two children in a youth detention center on
charges of religious desecration. Their
parents' appeals and those of the local Christian community to local
authorities have proven fruitless. Nabil
and Nady are both illiterate and according to the parents could not have known
what was written on those pages, found in among rubbish.
If they are convicted,
the case will mark a serious precedent for the country. For
Saaid Abdel Hafez, a Human Rights lawyer, a double mistake has been committed. Given
their age and the fact they are Christians they can not be punished under
Sharia law. Local
Muslims should seek compensation from parents and representatives of the local
Coptic community. The
second and more serious mistake was the trial by a civil court under pressure
from a religious leader.
Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church, launches an alarm ove rthe
growing Islamization of the country. "The
Muslim Brotherhood - he says - are quietly replacing all local officials in governorates
with people loyal to them. Egypt is increasingly becoming an Islamic country,
with serious risks especially for the Christian minority." According
to the priest these changes are occurring silently and far from the eyes of the
are replacing second and third rank officials, which act as
"advisors" to the leaders of the various sectors of the economy and Justice
general population - he says - notice nothing strange. But dozens of people are
being laid off and replaced with others who are openly close to the extremist establishment."
to this "infiltration of the most intransigent wing of the Muslim
Brotherhood and the Salafis act without
the fear of being punished."
24 February, a group of Islamists had surrounded the church of Abu Maqar in
the Shubra al-Kheima district of Cairo, stopping for a second time the
construction of the building. The
extremists raided the site undisturbed,
claiming that there was no necessary permits. Last
July 6, hundreds of Salafists has laid siege to the site for more than 24 hours
and hoisted a banner reading "Mosque Ebad al-Rahman", telling
Christians to leave the place. Many
of them were armed. (S.C.)
Activist: Increased discrimination and persecution of Christian Copts
More than two years after the Maspero massacre, the families of the 27 victims still seeking justice. The courts sentence Copts rather than prosecute military officials. For Mina Magdy, spokesman for the Maspero Youth Union, all Egyptians are victims of the justice system in the hands of the army and Islamist establishment.
Coptic Church attacked in Cairo, 8-year-old girl among the dead
So far, four people are known to have died and 18 wounded when, yesterday afternoon, two men on a motorcycle fired on a crowd in front of the Virgin Mary Coptic Church in Warraq, a Christian neighbourhood in the Egyptian capital. For a spokesman of the Egyptian Catholic Church, "Christians are the main target of religious hatred."
Upper Egypt: two Coptic children arrested for blasphemy
The Imam of Beni Suef (Upper Egypt) accused Rzik Nabil Nagy, age 10 and Mina Farag Nady, of 9, of urinating on the Koran. They are being held in juvenile detention centre in the region. The two children found by man while playing near a dump. Both are illiterate.
Cairo, police fled before the attack on the church of the Virgin Mary
For the Administrative Director of the parish, the security forces fled up a side street instead of defending the faithful . Yesterday the funeral of the four victims of the shooting.
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Ahmed al-Tayeb, grand imam al-Azhar, makes the announcement during a meeting with Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II. Coptic community prepares for Orthodox Christmas on 7 January.
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