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  • » 05/29/2014, 00.00

    EGYPT

    For Catholic Church spokesman, "al-Sisi's victory is a civil uprising against Islamic extremism"



    Fr Rafic Greiche speaks to AsiaNews about Egypt's election results. "There has been so much misinformation in recent days, even about the turnout, which was high instead. The new president so far has kept his word. We hope he continues like this. Economic recovery and stability are our shared goals. The Muslim Brotherhood can learn from what happened, and repudiate violence."

    Cairo (AsiaNews) - Former General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's victory in the country's presidential election "makes us happy because so far he has kept his word," said Fr Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church, who spoke to AsiaNews on the day Egypt's new president was elected in what was akin to a referendum.

    "He knows that Christians are an important part of Egypt and he wants to defend religious coexistence. If he can provide security and economic recovery, it will be a huge result. We hope this will happen as soon as possible," Fr Greiche added.

    Speaking on the vote itself, the Church spokesman first noted that "the recent reports on a very low turnout election are incorrect. On the second day of the vote (Tuesday), 23 million people had voted."

    "I think that the extension of the voting process was decided to give as many people as possible a chance to cast their ballot. However, reports that some polling stations were empty was not true. The fact is that the election Commission set up a large number of polling stations so as not to take any chances. This inevitably led to some empty stations."

    From this point of view, it is important to note the attitudes of Egypt's various groups. "Salafis, for example, said they were going to vote, and that they were going to support al-Sisi. But looking at the data, it appears that in Salafi strongholds no one voted. Certainly, leaders posed for pictures at polling stations, but their people did not do their duty."

    Christians, Catholics and Copts, voted instead. "I told my parishioners that I wanted to see them with your finger stained (from ink - to avoid multiple voting), because it is always important to make one's voice heard."

    According to Fr Greiche, this election also had another, very important aspect. "The votes for al-Sisi are a clear call by Egypt's political and civil society against Islamic fundamentalism, which has tainted the Muslim Brotherhood. The latter chose to boycott the vote, but they cannot ignore the fact that the entire country is sickened by the recent violence. Hopefully, they will soon get the message."

    Egypt can now hope for a future after so many years of political turmoil. The goal is "stability and security for every community, and economic recovery. These are the fundamental objectives; this work must unite us all. Only this way can we move out of our current mire and return to the glories of the past, which must be our hope for the future."

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    See also

    09/06/2014 EGYPT
    Tough line against poverty and islamists: challenges ahead of new Egyptian President al-Sisi
    Abdul Fattah al-Sisi sworn in as a new President in a ceremony attended by the highest authorities of the Arab world. In contrast, Western countries sent only ambassador or representative but no head of State or Government. He has vowed to to tackle "terrorism", bring security and to promote a policy of “reconciliation.”


    05/01/2017 15:43:00 EGYPT
    Cairo’s new media crackdown cancels Ibrahim Eissa’s popular TV show

    The journalist explains on Facebook that whilst his “burdens and responsibilities" have “opened many minds", they have also led to "a lot of pressure." The speaker of parliament had accused him of "criminal disinformation." A long-time critic of the establishment, he has received awards and honours for his fight for freedom of information.



    26/07/2013 EGYPT
    In Egypt, millions of Christians and Muslims to protest against terrorism
    Fr Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church, told AsiaNews that "up to 20 million Egyptians could take to the streets" in late afternoon. Large rallies against recent episodes of violence are expected in Cairo and Egypt's main cities. Tonight, after dusk, Catholic and Coptic Churches will ring their bells as a sign of friendship to Muslims who are fasting for Ramadan.

    26/04/2016 18:15:00 EGYPT
    For Egyptian activist, protesters want jobs and rights, not the Muslim Brotherhood

    For Mina Magdy, a spokesman for the Maspero Youth Union, people want "stability, growth and jobs". There is resentment over the cession of islands to Saudi Arabia, and concern over close links with Riyadh. Most are against Islamic extremists, who led yesterday’s protest. The Giulio Regeni affair is being used against country.



    06/05/2014 EGYPT - ISLAM
    General al-Sisi promises to "finish" Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood
    In his first television interview as a presidential candidate, the former army chief said he was not running for the military, pledges stability and security, as well as tolerance for the opposition. However, pro-democracy democratic groups criticise his policy of suppressing the dissent.



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