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AP: The only female judge to sit on Egypt’s highest court says she has filed the first legal challenge against the country’s highly contentious constitution, which cost her the seat she held.
Religion Clause Blog: The suit, which has been referred to the chief prosecutor for investigation, revolves around a cartoon (reproduced on Cartoon Movement) depicting an Egyptian man with angel wings and a halo on a cloud with Adam and Eve telling them they would never have been expelled from heaven if they had voted in favor of the referendum.
Middle East Forum: Islamic leaders continue to portray the popular protests against President Morsi and his recently passed Sharia-heavy constitution as products of Egypt’s Christians. Recently, Muslim Brotherhood leader Safwat Hegazy said in an open rally, as captured on video . . .
AP: Egypt’s Foreign Ministry says an explosion at an Egyptian Coptic church in Libya’s third largest city, Misrata, has killed two people and wounded two others.
Reuters: Egyptian Islamists are planning a mass protest in Alexandria on Friday in a move likely to raise tensions on the eve of a divisive referendum that will determine the political future of the Arab world’s biggest nation.
AP: Thousands of Islamists clashed with their opponents on Friday in Egypt’s second largest city, Alexandria, a day before the second leg of voting on a proposed constitution that has deeply polarized the nation.
AP: An Egyptian atheist convicted then released from prison on bail this week told The Associated Press Wednesday that the new Islamist government is no better than the dictatorial regime it replaced.
Christian Post: Christian voters were not permitted to cast ballots in some polling places during the December 15 constitutional referendum, the Associated Press and BBC reported.
Reuters: Opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi staged protests in Cairo on Tuesday against an Islamist-backed draft constitution that has divided Egypt but looks set to be approved in the second half of a referendum this weekend.
Boston Globe: They said that the president’s appointment of Abdullah was improper. They said the Supreme Judicial Council should have been the one to nominate him, in order to ensure a separation of powers
National Review: In Cairo on Wednesday, a Coptic Christian blogger named Alber Saber was convicted of blasphemy and “contempt of religion.” There’s a tragic irony: As any of the country’s Christians can tell you, contempt of religion is not merely permitted but encouraged in the new, post-Mubarak Egypt. What is criminal, what has become increasingly perilous, is any criticism of Islam.
Jihad Watch: There will be another round of voting, and so the story isn’t quite over yet, and “narrowly” doesn’t matter once the dust has settled, but it’s noteworthy that even with all the voter intimidation, guilt manipulation and commands to vote yes from the imams, and threats and violence, the Islamic supremacists could only get 56.5% of the vote. Clearly a huge number of Egyptians, and possibly a majority, don’t want a Sharia state.
Voice of America: As Egyptians prepare to vote in the first round of a constitutional referendum Saturday, both opponents and supporters of the controversial document were out in the streets to protest.
National Review: As Egypt under the heel of Mohamed Morsi unravels, here’s the late-breaking news: The Muslim Brotherhood is the enemy of democracy. This has always been obvious to anyone who took the time to look into it. Nevertheless, it has not been an easy point to make lo these many years.
Voice of America: Opponents and supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi have taken to the streets of Cairo, converging on the presidential palace in another day of demonstrations that have gripped the capital.
Reuters: Egypt’s Republican Guard restored order around the presidential palace on Thursday after fierce overnight clashes killed seven people, but passions ran high in a struggle over the country’s future.
AP: Supporters and opponents of Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi pelted each other with rocks and fought with sticks outside the presidential palace in Cairo on Wednesday, as a new round of protests deepened the country’s political crisis.
Reuters: Egyptian police battled thousands of protesters outside President Mohamed Mursi’s palace in Cairo on Tuesday, prompting the Islamist leader to leave the building, presidency sources said.
CNSNews: Drafted by Islamists over the concerns of many non-Muslims and secularist-minded Egyptians, the draft text will be put to a national referendum on December 15, President Mohammed Morsi announced late last week.
AP on MyWay: Thousands of Egyptians massed in Cairo Tuesday for a march to the presidential palace to protest the assumption by the nation’s Islamist president of nearly unrestricted powers and a draft constitution hurriedly adopted by his allies.
Financial Times: It allowed the Muslim Brotherhood, eager to take advantage of its 80-year-old field organisation, to rush parliamentary elections. The outcome was a landslide victory for the Islamists, far beyond their real power base. The constitutional court, after review, dissolved this non-representative parliament.
AP: Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi faced the prospect of widening civil disobedience on Monday as media and the tourism industry pondered measures to join a protest by judges against the Islamist leader.
NBC: This is where they are shouting on bullhorns again, outraged because they say the Muslim Brotherhood has stolen the revolution and is railroading though a constitution that could lock in Muslim Brotherhood rule for 50 years, bringing more Islamic law.
Reuters: An assembly drafting Egypt’s new constitution voted on Thursday to keep the principles of Islamic law as the main source of legislation, unchanged from the previous constitution in force under former President Hosni Mubarak.
AP: An Islamist-dominated panel began a fast-track vote on a final draft of a new Egyptian constitution Thursday, pushing through the document despite liberals’ boycott in a move likely to stoke a deepening political crisis between the Islamist president and the opposition.
The Church Report: An Egyptian court has convicted in absentia seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor and sentenced them to death on charges linked to an anti-Islam film that had sparked riots in parts of the Muslim world.
AP: Egypt’s two highest appeals courts suspended their work Wednesday to protest presidential decrees that gave the country’s Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi nearly absolute powers, state television reported.
CNN: President Mohamed Morsy will meet Monday with members of Egypt’s highest judicial body, which has slammed his recent decree slashing judges’ authority as an “unprecedented attack,” state news reports.
Heritage Foundation: Egypt remains in turmoil after its president decreed last Thursday that he was no longer subject to the laws of his country—giving himself power over the judiciary and other branches of government.
Religion Clause Blog: As previously reported, last Friday Islamists in Egypt held a demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square demanding that the assembly drafting the country’s constitution include language giving more deference to Islamic law.
Washington Post: Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu of Turkey is the first by-vote-elected secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the second largest international body after the United Nations.
AP: Over 10,000 ultraconservative Muslims demonstrated Friday in downtown Cairo to demand that Egypt’s new constitution be based on the rulings of Islamic law, or Shariah, in the latest tussle over the role of religion in the country’s future.
Catholic Culture: With police looking on, a crowd of 100 Muslim extremists occupied land belonging to a Coptic Orthodox diocese after Pope Tawadros II, the church’s new head, announced his opposition to the imposition of Islamic law in Egypt.
MyFoxDC.com: Egypt’s top prosecutor ordered government ministries on Wednesday to enforce a ban on pornographic websites, three years after a court denounced the sites as “venomous and vile.”
Xinhuanet: Hundreds of Egyptians flocked Friday to central Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of last year’s massive demonstrations that toppled the former regime, calling for applying Islamic laws “Sharia”.
AP: Egypt’s new Coptic pope said Monday the constitution now being drafted will not be acceptable if it is overtly religious, a sign he would campaign with his Christian minority and secular groups against increasing Islam’s role in the new charter.
Religion Clause Blog: According to the Wall Street Journal last Friday, in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula Shariah courts are proliferating to fill the void in governmental services. Islamic courts have long operated in the Sinai to adjudicate minor disputes among individuals, but since the revolution they are expanding their role.
Boston Globe: Egypt’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood says Islamic Shariah law must be the basis of Egypt’s new constitution, and legislation must be based on Islamic penal code.
AP: Now that she has finished the hajj and is returning home to Egypt, Magda Bagnied says her family will no doubt try to convince her to put on the headscarf to demonstrate her religiosity after a pilgrimage meant to cleanse her of sin and bring her closer to God.
Christian Post: A massive four-day national prayer event is starting today, Oct. 26, in the desert north of Cairo, and is expected to draw 50,000 people from all over Egypt and reach around 5 to 6 million viewers with television coverage.
AP: An Egyptian court on Tuesday asked the country’s highest tribunal to rule on whether to disband the body tasked with writing a new constitution. That could give Islamists time to finish drafting the document before a legal ruling.
Religion Clause Blog: According to Ahram Online, two separate drafts of a proposed constitution for Egypt have been released during the last week. The drafts, while criticized from various sides, do reflect compromises on some issues worked out between secularists and Salafists.
Boston Globe (AP): Egypt’s highest court lashed out Tuesday at an Islamist-led panel tasked with writing the country’s new constitution, saying that some provisions proposed for the text undercut the court’s mandate and keep it under the president’s power.
CNSNews: A leading Jewish human rights group is urging President Obama to sever ties with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood after its top leader called for “holy war” against Israel.
Reuters: Opponents and supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi clashed in Cairo on Friday in the first street violence between rival factions since the Islamist leader took office.
CBN (includes video): Many Egyptian Christian women fear they’ll be targets for abduction and forced marriage by Muslims. CBN News traveled to Cairo to investigate the trafficking of Coptic women.
AP: Thousands of supporters and opponents of Egypt’s new Islamist president clashed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday, hurling stones and concrete and swinging sticks at each other in the first such violence since Mohammed Morsi took office more than three months ago.
The Christian Exodus From Egypt: For Copts, a persecuting dictator was preferable to the Islamist mob.
Samuel Tadros at the Wall Street Journal: Visit any Coptic church in the United States and you immediately recognize the newcomers. You see it in their eyes, hear it in their broken English, sense it in how they cling to the church in search of the familiar. They have come here escaping a place they used to call home, where their ancestors had lived for centuries.
Raymond Ibrahim at the Middle East Forum: ast week Reuters reported that “Most Christians living near Egypt’s border with Israel [in the town of Rafah in Sinai] are fleeing their homes after Islamist militants made death threats and gunmen attacked a Coptic-owned shop.” Photos of desecrated churches and Christian property show Arabic graffiti saying things like “don’t come back” and “Islam is the truth.”
Reuters: When Islamic scholar Zaghloul el-Naggar recommended the consumption of camel urine, describing it as an Islamic remedy for incurable diseases on a television show last month, the channel’s switchboard was bombarded with angry phone calls within minutes.
Catholic Culture: Accompanied by his sons and others, a prosecutor of the criminal court in Alexandria entered a Coptic Orthodox church, demolishing most of its altar.
AP: An Egyptian rights group on Tuesday accused the country’s authorities of failing to bring to account those it says are responsible for the deaths of 26 Coptic Christians who were killed during an anti-government demonstration last year.
CNSNews: Hours after Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi assured the Christians in the North Sinai city of Rafah that attacks on them “will not happen again,” gunmen opened fire on a Christian’s home.
Yahoo News (Reuters): U.S.-based Human Rights Watch on Monday urged Egyptians drawing up a new constitution to amend the current draft which it said did not adequately protect women and children’s rights, ensure freedom of religion or speak out clearly against torture.
AP: Egyptian authorities on Thursday released two Coptic Christian boys taken into in juvenile detention for allegedly urinating on the Quran, but they will remain under investigation . . .
NY Times: Two Coptic Christian boys have been detained by the authorities on charges that they defiled the pages of a Koran, the latest in a spate of recent cases involving accusations that people have insulted Islam.
Business Week: Two Coptic Christian boys were arrested and detained by Egyptian authorities for insulting Islam after accusations they had torn up pages of the Koran.
Religion Clause Blog: Egypt’s Constitution Party which was formed last August to provide a liberal alternative to Islamist parties last week filed a complaint with prosecutors over a religious fatwa issued against it
Washington Post: A Coptic Christian priest in Egypt says Christians have fled their homes in a northern Sinai town after receiving threats from suspected Islamic militants. Father Youssef Sobhi says Islamic militants have verbally threatened seven Christian families in the town of Rafah on the Egypt-Gaza-Israel border.
AP: Egyptian court has upheld a six-year jail sentence for a Coptic Christian school teacher convicted of insulting Islam and the country’s new Islamist president in postings on Facebook.
The Church Report: Egyptian prosecutors referred to trial Tuesday a well-known radical Islamist who tore up an English copy of the Bible during a protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo against an anti-Islam film produced in the United States.
AP: Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said freedom of expression must be used responsibly in a speech Tuesday to the Clinton Global Initiative in New York that hinted at looming tensions in the newly-democratic nation.
NY Times: The interview with President Mohamed Morsi published this weekend prompted more than 1,200 questions and comments on our Web site and a surge of interest on Twitter. Thank you to everyone who participated, and the authors — David D. Kirkpatrick and I — are taking the opportunity to answer some of the most central and thought-provoking questions here.
UPI: His supporters told BikyaMasr.com that while Saber was jailed for posting an anti-Islam video online, a Salafist television presenter who showed 15-minutes of the insulting video hasn’t been charged.
Al-Monitor: Christian residents of Egyptian border towns Rafah and Al-Arish have so far refused to leave the city, as a local church had advised, after they received leaflets containing messages threatening to blow up their property if they do not leave within 48 hours.
Ahram: Coptic Christian schoolteacher sentenced to six years in jail for posting cartoons on Facebook deemed insulting to Islam, Prophet Mohamed and President Morsi.
World Net Daily: The prosecutor general requested that the eight defendants be arrested by Interpol and handed over to Egyptian authorities. The news agency said prosecutors decided to charge the defendants after reviewing accusations that the defendants helped in the production and online promotion of movies defaming Islam and Muhammad.
Washington Post: A court in southern Egypt has sentenced a Coptic Christian teacher to six years in prison for posting on his Facebook page drawings that it ruled insulted Islam’s Prophet Muhammad and comments deemed an affront to the country’s president.
Catholic Culture: Ahmed Abdullah, a Muslim cleric also known as Abu Islam, desecrated a Bible during a 9/11 protest outside the United States embassy in Cairo, according to a report from the Assyrian International News Agency.
CNSNews: Separate statements made Thursday by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed the nub of the issue that has sparked anti-U.S. protests in many Muslim countries – the incompatibility between shari’a and the First Amendment.
Forbes: After a protest at the American embassy in Egypt and the killing of four Americans, including ambassador Christopher Stevens, at the embassy in Libya, fingers were pointed at a bizarre YouTube trailer for a film called “The Innocence of Muslims.”