Egypt: Church: no coup d’état. Fresh election.

July 6, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

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.

Army to protectEgypt, July 04, 2013: “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.)

Backed by al-Azhar and Coptic Church, Armed Forces chief announces new presidential election

After suspending the constitution imposed by the Muslim Brotherhood, General Al-Sisi sets Egypt on a course for new elections. When the announcement is made, celebrations break out in Tahrir Square. The grand sheikh of Al Azhar, Coptic Patriarch Tawadros and opposition leader Mohamed El Baradei endorse the move. Meanwhile, Mohamed Morsi’s fate is unknown.

Egypt, July 04, 2013: In a televised address, the Commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi suspended the Egyptian constitution and laid out plans for fresh presidential and parliamentary elections. In making his statement, General al-Sisi was flanked by the top chiefs of the Armed Forces and the main Muslim and Coptic Christian religious leaders.

Al-Sisi, who had met representatives of the country’s main religions as well as top opposition leaders earlier in the afternoon, said that until the new elections were held, the head of the Constitutional Court would act as interim president.

This effectively signals the ouster of Mohamed Morsi as president of Egypt. He had been elected under the banner of the Muslim Brotherhood-backed party last year. It is still unclear though where he is at present. Some unconfirmed reports say that he is under house arrest, banned from leaving the country.

In his announcement, General Al-Sisi criticised Morsi’s statements. Despite the pressure of millions of protesters who have occupied Egypt’s streets for four days, the ousted president refused to resign yesterday.

One of the accusations levelled at him was that of favouring the Muslim Brotherhood and an Islamist reorientation of Egyptian society, marginalising the opposition and other religious and social groups.

The commander of the Armed Forces stressed that it was time for Egypt to build a nation in which everyone can contribute irrespective of their religion or group belongs.

Al-Sisi called for a government of technocrats and experts from various social, cultural and religious groups to rewrite the constitution so that it would better reflect Egypt’s pluralism.

At the end of his speech, jubilation broke out in an overflowing Tahrir Square, as people shouted their joy, applauded, set off fireworks, and turned on laser beams.

Immediately after the General al-Sisi’s televised speed, Al Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb spoke, followed by Coptic Patriarch Tawadros and Mohamed El Baradei, the latter representing the anti-Morsi opposition (National Salvation Front). All three stressed the need for national unity and reconciliation.

Shortly after al-Sisi’s address, Morsi issued a statement accusing the army of carrying out a coup d’état.

– asianews

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Comments are closed.