Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Andrew McCarthy at NRO: Much of the commentary we’re seeing conflates two importantly different things: opposition to the Brotherhood and opposition to Islamic rule. The prospect of being governed by sharia has always been more attractive to Egyptians than the prospect of a sharia state administered by the Brotherhood, whose well-deserved reputation for dishonesty makes it unpopular with both secularists and the groups referred to as “Salafists” — Islamic supremacist organizations, other than the Brotherhood, that are even more zealous for rapid Islamization than the Brothers.
David French at NRO: Consider the following three events. First, on May 10, 2013, the Obama Administration elected to waive human rights restrictions placed on American military aid to Egypt, freeing up $1.3 billion for the Muslim Brotherhood regime’s military without the required showing that the “Government of Egypt is supporting the transition to civilian government, including holding free and fair elections and implementing policies to protect freedom of expression, association, and religion and due process of law.”
AP: With the clock ticking, Egypt’s besieged president said Tuesday that he will not step down as state media reported that the powerful military plans to overturn his Islamist-dominated government if the elected leader doesn’t meet the demands of the millions of protesters calling for his ouster.
Bloomberg Businessweek: Egypt’s military has drawn up a plan to suspend the Islamist-backed constitution, dissolve the Islamist-dominated legislature and set up an interim administration headed by the country’s chief justice if President Mohammed Morsi fails to reach a solution with his opponents by the end of a Wednesday deadline, the state news agency reported.
Boston Globe: “I, my kids Mariam and Remon and my husband, Nabil, came out because we miss the Egypt we know and we want it back,’’ Assiut resident Mary Demian said. ‘‘These people (militant Muslims) say we are infidels and they terrorize us, but we are not scared. This is our nation and we have always lived with Muslims in peace.’’ The size of Sunday’s rally was nearly five times the demonstration that celebrated the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
CNN: In a statement posted Monday on its official Facebook page, Tamarod (the “rebel” campaign”) demanded that if President Mohamed Morsy doesn’t leave office by Tuesday, the group will begin a civil disobedience movement, call for nationwide protests and march on the presidential palace, where Morsy’s administration is running affairs.
Yahoo News: The outburst during the Friday sermon earlier this month in the Luxor province village of Bouairat hasn’t been the only case of the faithful lashing out at preachers who stray into politics. It was part of growing signs that, after a year of Morsi’s presidency and two years of growing Islamist political power in general, religiosity is not the political selling point it once was among Egyptians.
Catholic Culture: The Coptic Orthodox Church has issued a statement of thanks to the Egyptian military for the “great role carried out by our armed forces” in preserving order in the country.
Reuters: Iran’s foreign ministry condemned the killing of four Shi’ite Egyptians near Cairo, saying such extremism violated the tenets of Islam, state television reported late on Monday.
Alaska Dispatch: As the Egyptian opposition’s demands for the resignation of President Mohamed Morsi and fresh elections gain momentum, the beleaguered president’s supporters are slamming the opposition as secular and hostile to Islam.
France24.com (AFP): Tens of thousands of Egyptian Islamists gathered for a show of strength in Cairo on Friday ahead of planned opposition protests against President Mohamed Morsi, highlighting the tense political divide in the Arab world’s most populous state.
AP: Egyptian anti-government activists have expressed outrage over a statement by the U.S. ambassador in Cairo in which she criticized street protests as opposition gears up for mass rallies to demand the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.
NY Post: An Islamic preacher known for his hate speeches against Coptic Christians was sentenced to 11 years in prison for tearing up and burning a Bible outside the U.S. Embassy during a protest against an anti-Islam film last year.
Religion Clause Blog: Courts in Egypt apparently continue to vigorously enforce Egyptian laws barring contempt of religion, reflecting Article 44 of Egypt’s Constitution which provides: “Insult or abuse of all religious messengers and prophets shall be prohibited.”
AP: Egypt’s largest opposition grouping said Tuesday that calls by the president for national reconciliation talks come “too late,” as activists geared up for a street protest campaign at the end of the month to demand his ouster.
Catholic Culture: The Reunion of the Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches (ROACO) will devote its annual meeting to the situation of Christians in Egypt and Iraq.
Boston Globe (AP): Egyptian security and church officials say hundreds of Coptic Christians visiting a southern monastery have protested after coming under attack by unidentified assailants who stole their money and personal belongings and beat them.
CNSNews: As the State Department prepares to release its annual report on international religious freedom Monday, a key issue for many Americans concerned about religious persecution is whether it will blacklist a handful of particularly egregious violators – or, as in previous years, ignore the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
AP: In the judiciary’s latest face-off with Egypt’s Islamist rulers, the country’s top council of judges decided Wednesday to suspend its participation in a government-backed judicial reform conference following a renewed push by lawmakers on a controversial bill that would force thousands of their colleagues into retirement.
CNSNews: Two months after the Obama administration released $250 million in aid to Egypt in what Secretary of State John Kerry called “a good-faith effort to spur reform,” the country is witnessing a surge of anti-Israel sentiment, much of it stoked by the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.
Washington Post: Egyptian security officials say a Coptic Christian who stabbed his wife for converting to Islam has killed himself by jumping out of a fourth-story courthouse window.
Boston Globe: Amnesty International has called on Egyptian authorities to release a Coptic Christian schoolteacher held for contempt of Islam.
Christian Post: The mass exodus of millions of Christians from one part of the Islamic world to another as the result of persecution by Muslims has reached epidemic proportions, says a Middle East and Islam expert. In fact, Christians may completely disappear from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt, warns the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Washington Times: Gaza “modesty police” are out in full force, and have arrested more than 40 in April alone, driving fears that Hamas-inspired Islamic fundamentalism is taking over the region.
Telegraph: The Islamic Society of North America, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, has published an article that calls Andalusia – the hottest bit of Spain – a “paradise” that will return when “the only victor is Allah.”
AP: The legal adviser of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi resigned Tuesday, alleging that the Muslim Brotherhood has monopolized decision-making and encroached on the governing of the country.
Boston Globe (AP): Egypt’s main opposition group and judges vowed Monday to step up their fight against plans by the Islamist-dominated legislature to debate a bill critics say aims to impose Muslim Brotherhood control over the courts.
Ken Blackwell at Townhall: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood’s governing majority, is not actually crucifying the nation’s Christians. But they are nonetheless actively persecuting Coptic Christians who are said to be one-tenth of the population of the largest Arab country. A photograph of two young men set afire during recent demonstrations is pretty striking.
Christian Post: The Ministry of Awqaf’s decision was signed by Sheikh Mohamed Abdel Razik Abdel Hadi, the undersecretary for mosques, and Dr. Abdu Ali Meklad, senior undersecretary of the ministry. The decision prevents all departments across the country from having dealings with the Evangelical Church of Egypt.
Ryamond Ibrahim at Middle East Forum: While it is easy to confuse the recent jihadi attack on Egypt’s St. Mark Cathedral in Cairo as just more of the usual, this attack has great symbolic significance, and in many ways bodes great evil for Egypt’s millions of Christians.
Christian Post: More than 500 Christian girls have been reported kidnapped in Egypt since the revolution began in January 2011, with the age of the girls kidnapped usually being between 12 and 14.
NY Times: gyptian activists have begun an online campaign against sectarianism in the wake of a deadly attack on mourners at Egypt’s main Coptic Christian cathedral this month.
Christian Today: Ramez Atallah said he had a “heavy heart” following the deaths of four Christians in skirmishes in Khosous and the subsequent deaths of three more people in an attack on crowds gathered for their funerals at St Mark’s Cathedral, Cairo.
Reuters: When Egyptian Christian Kerollos Maher watched on television as petrol bombs and rocks rained on Cairo’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral he had only one thought – emigration. “Egypt is no longer my country,” said the 24-year-old construction worker, standing in the courtyard of the country’s largest cathedral where one Copt and one Muslim died in sectarian clashes this week. “The situation of Christians is worsening from day to day. I’ve given up hope that things will improve,” he said.
National Review: Yesterday from Egypt, Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II delivered an unprecedented condemnation of the escalating religious attacks there against Coptic Christians: “The church has been a national symbol for 2,000 years,” he told a television interviewer. “It has not been subjected to anything like this even during the darkest ages. . . . There has been no positive and clear action from the state, but there is a God. The church does not ask for anyone’s protection, only from God.”
Gateway Pundit: Shouldn’t we be able to see an audit of every taxpayer dollar spent on the Muslim Brotherhood? Between the F-16′s, US millions of dollars wasted on Afghanistan police cars, direct money aid, and now this.
Christian Post: There are several reports suggesting that Egyptian police were aiding the attackers, who were seen by witnesses throwing stones and discharging live rounds towards Coptic Christians at the cathedral.
AP: The leader of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church on Tuesday blasted the country’s Islamist president over his handling of recent deadly sectarian violence, including an attack on the main cathedral in Cairo.
AP: Another 89 were injured in the clashes outside Cairo’s main Coptic cathedral, which brought Egypt’s growing religious tension to the seat of the church’s pope.
Independent: Alastair Beach sees gunfire exchanged as armed gang descends on funeral of five Christians killed in recent sectarian clashes.
Fox News: Ezzat Kromer’s resistance to his kidnappers did not last long. One of the masked gunmen fired a round between his feet as he sat behind the wheel of his car and said with chilling calm, “The next one will go into your heart.”
en.aswatmasriya.com: Opposition parties’ representatives in Egypt’s Shura Council (upper house of the parliament) threatened to withdraw from the council’s evening session on Tuesday, if parliament members pass a draft bill regulating political rights that allows use of religious slogans in electoral campaigns.
FoxNews: Islamic hard-liners stormed a mosque in suburban Cairo, turning it into torture chamber for Christians who had been demonstrating against the ruling Muslim Brotherhood in the latest case of violent persecution that experts fear will only get worse.
LA Times: The Islamist-led government escalated tensions with opposition parties Monday after Egypt’s prosecutor general ordered the arrest of five activists, including a prominent blogger, for violent protests against the Muslim Brotherhood over the weekend.
ASSIST News Service: According to a story by Mary Abdelmassih of the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), they were protesting the disappearance of a Muslim girl, Rania Shazli, 19. They accused the priest of St. George’s Church in Wasta of using black magic to lure her to Christianity.
AP: Some 3,000 anti-Muslim Brotherhood protesters are rallying outside the Egyptian Islamist group’s Cairo headquarters as riot police separate them from hundreds of Brotherhood supporters.
Boston Globe (AP): Hundreds of Muslim villagers in Egypt’s south have attacked Christian-owned stores in search of a girl whose family claims was abducted.
Anglican Communion: Five different churches in Egypt including the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church, the Evangelical (Presbyterian) Church, the Greek Orthodox Church and the Anglican Church have joined together to form the Egypt Council of Churches after one year of deliberations and meetings between the churches.
Boston Globe: Several Egyptian Christians recently released from detention by Libyan militias say they were tortured while in custody, the latest instance of abuse by the state-financed forces who handle security in many Libyan cities.
Catholic Culture: Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak was enthroned as patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church on March 12 as his predecessor, Cardinal Antonios Naguib, was taking part in the Mass for the election of the Roman Pontiff at St. Peter’s Basilica.
AP: An Egyptian Christian who died in prison in Libya after he was detained on suspicion of having proselytized there has been buried in a subdued ceremony in his hometown in southern Egypt.
Miami Herald: Protesters burned a flag belonging to the Libyan Embassy in Cairo on Monday to protest the death in prison of an Egyptian Christian suspected of proselytizing in Libya.
The Hill: Secretary of State John Kerry had hoped to offer considerably more aid to Egypt than the $250 million he announced during his trip to Cairo but was blocked by Congress, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said.
Coptic Solidarity: Secretary Kerry met with Egyptian President Morsi last week, announcing that the US will give Egypt $250 million in aid. While applauding continuing economic support to the suffering people of Egypt, Coptic Solidarity expressed deep concern that US foreign assistance be used to bolster a Muslim Brotherhood-led government, which has actively undermined the civil rights of millions of its citizens.
AP: The court says in its Wednesday ruling that the law organizing the elections must be reviewed by the Supreme Constitutional Court to determine its conformity to the constitution.
Egypt Independent: Salafi Preacher Safwat Hegazy said on Monday that Shia Islam “will never exist in Egypt,” reacting to the recent visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
AP: Dozens of Muslim residents threw firebombs and rocks at police on Friday as they tried to storm a church in southern Egypt in search of a woman suspected of converting to Christianity, security officials said.
Lela Gilbert at Patheos: A few days ago a chilling video appeared on BBC’s website, relating the story of a Coptic Christian man, Victor Schata-Michael, who had fled Egypt with his wife and children because of religious persecution. Schata-Michael was desperate to save his family from dangers that increasingly threaten Egypt’s Coptic community, comprised of 8-10 million Christians.
Vatican Today: More than one year after the Arab Spring, Christians in Egypt continue to suffer persecution. The latest attack happened Friday, when a mob of a few hundred people threw stones and set fire to St. Georgas Coptic Church in Sarsena. The village is located about 100 km southwest of Cairo.
Religion Clause Blog: Christian Churches Together, an organization of over 40 Christian church groups (Catholic, Orthodox, evangelical and main-line Protestant) last week issued a press release and Statement (full text) calling for comprehensive immigration law reform.
CNSNews: The U.S. Senate Thursday defeated an amendment that aimed to prevent the Obama administration from transferring F-16 fighter aircraft and Abrams tanks to an Egypt in disarray.
AP: Thousands of Egyptians marched across the country, chanting against the rule of the Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, in a fresh wave of protests Friday, even as cracks appeared in the ranks of the opposition after its political leaders met for the first time with the rival Muslim Brotherhood.
Telegraph: Egypt is nearing “state collapse”, its defence minister and army chief warned in comments widely seen as a threat to re-impose military rule.
ABC: An unpredictable new element has entered Egypt’s wave of political unrest: a mysterious group of masked young men called the Black Bloc who present themselves as the defenders of protesters opposed to the Islamist president’s rule.
AP: Egypt’s main opposition coalition on Monday rejected the Islamist president’s call for dialogue unless their conditions are met, a move that is likely to prolong the country’s latest political crisis as violence that has left more than 50 people dead continued for a fifth day.
AP: Two years after Egypt’s revolution began, the country’s schism was on display Friday as the mainly liberal and secular opposition held rallies saying the goals of the pro-democracy uprising have not been met and denouncing Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
Nina Shea at National Review: The State Department’s very quiet, if not silent, response to the imprisonment and abuse of an American citizen now on trial for his Christian faith in Iran, described by David French on the Corner, is consistent with its sphinx-like reaction to the new Egyptian constitution, which virtually enshrines repression of basic individual freedoms.
Free Beacon: The State Department has refused to cancel or delay the delivery of several American-made F-16 fighter jets to Egypt, claiming that the arms deal serves America’s “regional security interests,” according to an official State Department document obtained by the Free
Christian Persecution: Thousands of Egyptian Muslims shouting “Allahu Akbar” left their mosques Wednesday to destroy a social services building owned by the Coptic Church.
Fox News: The 15-year prison sentence given to a woman and her seven children by an Egyptian court for converting to Christianity is a sign of things to come, according to alarmed human rights advocates who say the nation’s Islamist government is bad news for Christians in the North African country.
Investors.com: The radical Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t just threaten Israel and Mideast peace. According to the Egyptian press, several of its operatives have infiltrated the U.S. government and are influencing policy here.
Houston Chronicle: U.S. Sen. John McCain said Wednesday he has expressed strong disapproval to Egypt’s Islamist president about his past comments about Jews. Despite an uproar in Washington over the remarks, he said he and other congressmen will press for more aid to Egypt’s ailing economy.