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  • » 07/04/2013, 00.00

    EGYPT

    For Catholic Church, "no coup d'état took place in Egypt"



    Fr Rafic Greiche talks to AsiaNews about political changes in Egypt. According to the spokesman of the Egyptian Catholic Church, the army chose to protect a peaceful revolution led by millions of young people. At present, no military took over any political office. The new interim government will take into account all of society's components, including the Muslim Brotherhood. As clashes occur in Giza, a Catholic church is attacked in Upper Egypt.

    Cairo (AsiaNews) - "What is happening in Egypt is not a coup d'état. The Army chose to protect a peaceful revolution led by young Egyptians and followed by millions of people all over the country. In a normal coup, the military would immediately appointed a man as their interim president, would change the government, as it took power, but this is not the case in Egypt," said Fr Rafic Greiche.

    Speaking to AsiaNews, the spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church explained the reasons why the Catholic and Coptic Orthodox Churches backed the change in the country's leadership after three days of mass demonstrations against Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood establishment.

    The clergyman criticised Western newspapers for attributing events to an unspecified "opposition" and for describing as a coup the decision by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) led by General al-Sisi to suspend the Constitution and oust President Morsi.

    For Fr Greiche, "the army is non-political. It is simply managing talks between the parties. The new interim president Adli Mansour, chief justice of Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court, is a technocrat. He promised that his temporary government would be a coalition open to all parties and components of Egyptian society."

    Today, police arrested 300 Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including the group's spiritual leader Mohamed Badie, its treasurer Khairat al-Shater, and five others, for inciting their followers to kill opponents of Mohamed Morsi.

    The call for jihad against anti-Islamist protesters has left several people dead in Giza (Cairo), where unknown gunmen fired on a crowd, seriously injuring a police officer. A Catholic church was also attacked in Minya Governorate (Upper Egypt).

    Fr Greiche said that to avoid a "witch-hunt against the Islamists," the new president, the imam of al-Azhar and the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II "called on the parties to welcome and accept the Muslim Brotherhood, especially young people who in recent years have been subjected to actual brainwashing by their leaders." (S.C.)

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    See also

    01/07/2016 18:20:00 EGYPT
    For Catholic Church spokesman, Christians are seen as "legitimate targets" in Sinai

    Extremist militias view non-Wahhabis as enemies to attack, says Fr Rafic Greiche. The Sinai has a long history of violence, with churches and priests seen as “legitimate targets”. It is “no accident” that a Coptic priest was recently killed on the anniversary of Morsi’s ouster.



    07/11/2012 EGYPT
    Salafists seize Church land in Cairo to hit back at new patriarch
    The symbolic action is a reprisal against a statement by newly elected Patriarch Tawadros II against having the Sharia included in the new constitution. The incident occurred on Monday night in Shubra al-Kheima, southern Cairo. Bishop Antonius Morcos, who is the spokesman for Patriarch Shenouda III's successor, heads the diocese.

    01/12/2011 EGYPT
    Fr Greiche: Too early and misleading to comment election results
    Official results will be available only in January. The spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church warns against giving too much credence to claims by the Muslim Brotherhood that it won between 40 and 60 per cent of the vote. Despite their poor organisation and brief existence (six months), pro-democracy parties are growing in strength.

    23/04/2013 EGYPT
    Egyptian judge suspended for imposing 80 lashes on a drunken man
    Hussein Anan, a judge in Matay, is now under investigation. He justified the decision citing Article 2 of the new constitution, which relies on the Qur'an to administer the law. According to the spokesman of the Catholic Church, more and more positions are being filled with fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law throughout the country. Ordinary Egyptians and the National Association of Judges are fighting the Muslim Brotherhood's power grab.

    05/05/2011 EGYPT
    Muslim Brotherhood, a greater danger than Bin Laden
    The fundamentalist group is gaining ground in the media and is threatening Christians and moderate Muslims, who back a secular state. Fear of an Islamist regime is pushing many Muslims to emigrate to the West.



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