Thursday, April 29, 2010

Attacking the Church and Double Standards

Attacking the Church and Double Standards
April 29, 2010 8:11 pm admin2 Selected Artilces, General

In the war against jihad it might seem that President Obama’s plan to remove all discussion of Islam and jihad from our national security document would rank higher as a threat to Western security than recent attempts to link the pope to 40 year-old sex crimes in Milwaukee. But the perfect storm that has hit the Catholic Church may turn out to be of greater consequence for the West’s survival. For that reason it’s important to sort out how much of the current indignation toward Rome represents justified anger, and how much of it represents a larger anti-Christian agenda.

Non-Catholic Christians who think the recent media blitz against the Catholic Church is mainly about sex abuse should think again. Likewise, Christians would be naïve to think that those who would like to discredit the Catholic Church will be content, should they succeed, to leave the rest of Christianity alone. The attack on the Catholic Church should be seen as part of a larger attack against Christianity itself. Of course, there have been attacks on Christianity before, but never before have the stakes been so high. From the standpoint of the West’s survival it would be difficult to imagine a worse time for the pundits to launch a campaign to undermine Christian belief.

There is much to suggest that media criticism of the Church is fueled less by outrage over pedophilia, and more by another agenda. There wasn’t much outrage over Roman Polanski’s rape of a 13 year-old girl a number of years ago. When attempts were made last year to bring Polanski back to the U.S. to serve his sentence, many of the same cultural elites who are now condemning the Church, leapt to his defense. Likewise, there has never been much media outrage over the apparent crimes of celebrated sex researcher Alfred Kinsey. The media continued to lionize Kinsey long after it was revealed that he had collaborated with pedophiles in order to gather data. “What did Kinsey know and when did he know it?” has never been a pressing question for CNN or The New York Times.

In 1996–several years before the priestly sex scandal broke–Mary Eberstadt wrote the first of two in-depth articles on “Pedophilia Chic” for the Weekly Standard. She made a convincing case that liberal elites were moving in the direction of tearing down the taboo against pedophilia. The only thing that stopped them, she suggests in a recent article, was the opportunity to use priestly pedophilia as a weapon to demonize the Church. Of course, there was no pause in the liberal media’s campaign to normalize homosexuality, and this may account for the fact that much of the media coverage conveniently ignored the homosexual nature of the abuse–something that should have been difficult to ignore, given that about 90 % of male abuse victims were teenage boys, not young children. While criticizing the Church for cover-ups, media pundits had no compunctions about their own calculated cover-up of a major aspect of the abuse.

Though sexual abuse remains a problem in the Catholic Church, enormous strides have been made in rooting it out, due in large part to a crackdown that originated with Cardinal Ratzinger in 2001. So, the venomous attacks on him and the church he represents, suggest that something else is afoot. When a major Canadian newspaper features a piece claiming that the pope’s “whole career has the stench of evil,” it’s time to reach for the decoding machine. That particular quote comes from Christopher Hitchens, who has made a career in recent years of questioning the legitimacy, not just of Catholicism, but of Christianity, itself. Hitchens aside, there is plenty of other evidence that Catholics are not the only ones being targeted for de-legitimization. In Canada and in Europe, Christian pastors have been fined or jailed for expressing their beliefs from the pulpit. In Birmingham, England, Christian evangelists were warned by police that distributing gospel leaflets in a Muslim section would be considered a hate crime. A survey of history textbooks for American schoolchildren reveals that they present Christianity as a purveyor of bigotry and violence. On college campuses, Christian clubs are routinely banned. Meanwhile, Christianity is often the butt of vulgar comedy routines, and of crude cartoons that make the infamous Muhammad cartoon look benign by comparison.

Why the outrage? Read between the lines of a typical assault column and you’ll find that what the columnist really hates about Catholicism and about Christianity in general is not the moral failings of Christian leaders, but the fact that Christianity still proposes moral absolutes. It is not sexual misbehavior that galls, but rather that the churches dare to put limits on sexual behavior. Christian churches are the main obstacle to the dominance of secular gods such as moral relativism and absolute sexual liberation. While Christians and non-Christians are rightly disturbed by the sex scandals in the Catholic Church, they also ought to be disturbed at the motives behind some of the criticism.

As Brendan O’Neill, himself an atheist, writes, “Many contemporary opinion-formers are not concerned with getting to the truth [of what happened]…rather they want to milk incidents of abuse and make them into an indictment of religion itself.” What draws militant secularists and atheists toward the Catholic-abuse story? O’Neill says it is “their belief that religion is itself a form of abuse.” As atheist Richard Dawkins writes, “Odious as the physical abuse of children by priests undoubtedly is, I suspect that it may do them less lasting damage than the mental abuse of bringing them up Catholic in the first place.” But, as O’Neill points out, if religious upbringing is a form of abuse, then “authorities must protect children not only from religious institutions but from their own religious parents, too.” The dismantling of Christianity can proceed that much more smoothly if enough people can be convinced that, “It’s for the children’s sake.”

There is, of course, a major exemption from media condemnation of child abuse. It appears that the abuse of children is much more acceptable to the opinion-makers when it is protected by the shield of multiculturalism. The media has been much less willing to criticize the widespread child abuse that occurs in Islamic cultures, or to note that, in the case of Islam, the abuse is religiously sanctioned. For example, although one can find plenty of criticism of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s political views, rarely does one see a condemnation of his views on sex. The one-time spiritual leader of Iran not only endorsed sex with children in his writings, but he also took to himself a 13 year-old bride.

Here we come to the world-historical turning point of which the frenzied assaults on the Catholic Church are only a part. The drive to undermine the Church’s moral authority, and the threat posed by Islam are linked in an ironic way. For many centuries the Catholic faith was the main bulwark against the Islamization of Europe. Now that Christianity is in decline in Europe, Islam is on the move again. And with the growing presence of Islam has come an increase in child abuse–or what the West considers as child abuse. The sexual exploitation of children is considered a far less serious offense in Islamic societies, and is often protected by the force of sharia law. Muhammad, who consummated his marriage with Aisha when she was nine years-old, is considered by all Muslim authorities to have provided a “beautiful pattern of conduct.” That’s why, whenever a Muslim country tries to ban child marriages (as recently happened in Yemen), you can be sure that the imams will rise up to insist on their right to marry minors.

And the exploitation of girls is only half the story. There also appears to be some justification in the Koran for the culture of pederasty, which Phyllis Chesler points out is “epidemic in the Muslim world.” A recent edition of PBS Frontline reported on the phenomenon of the dancing boys of Afghanistan–youngsters who are recruited, usually at age nine or ten, to provide entertainment and sex for men. While Islam frowns on adult homosexuality, pederasty is a different matter. Perhaps this has to do with several passages in the Koran which promise men that in addition to the dark-eyed maidens that await them in paradise, “there shall wait on them young boys of their own as fair as virgin pearls” (52: 22). Since the boys are mentioned in conjunction with the maidens, and since they are described in the same way–”graced with eternal youth,” “fair as virgin pearls”–it seems likely that they are there for the same purpose.

The dancing boys haven’t yet been imported to Europe, but Europe’s waltz with the multicultural devil has already whirled it into unfamiliar territory. A United Nations NGO study estimates that there are now 10,000 cases of female genital mutilation in Switzerland, with hundreds of thousands of cases elsewhere in Europe. According to a National Police Chiefs report an estimated 17,000 girls and women in the UK are victims of honor crimes or forced marriages each year. In the British Midlands girls in their early teens are routinely flown to Pakistan to marry men they have never met.

Europe’s Muslim girls are being mutilated and forced into marriages… therefore, according to the twisted logic of the opinion molders, it must be time to go after the Vatican for possible cover-ups of long ago. It’s a strange juxtaposition. Not that the abuse scandals aren’t newsworthy stories. But there are two ways to frame them. You can angrily focus on what wasn’t done in the past, or you can point out how much the Church has done in recent years to root out the problem. Unlike the public schools (which have a much higher incidence of abuse) the Catholic Church has actually done something about its abuse problem. That’s why almost all the cases highlighted by the media took place decades ago.

Judging by the way the story has been handled, it’s difficult to avoid the impression that the Western elites want to do as much damage as possible to the Church–which, when you think about it, betrays an almost suicidal impulse. It really does seem that the fate of Europe is bound up with the fate of Christianity in Europe. Europe is in trouble in large part because it has rejected its Christian heritage and embraced moral and cultural relativism, instead. In the end, cultural relativism is a suicidal policy which is why Pope Benedict has frequently cautioned the West about the dangers inherent in a “culture of relativism.”

Relativism is the ultimate justification for never having to say you’re sorry. As the climate of opinion changes in a relativist society, so will the consensus about what’s right and wrong. And if Catholic Christianity is swept aside in Europe, the climate of opinion will increasingly be dictated by Islam. Some may think that once Europe is free of its Catholic/Christian influence, children in lederhosen will once again romp freely through the meadows. But don’t count on it. Instead, look for children in hijabs being hurried into the local government approved clitorectomy clinic.

A lot of people find it difficult to fathom the motives of suicide bombers. It may be time to also ponder the motives of the suicide pundits who have declared open season on the religion that built their civilization, while treating as a protected species the religion which aims to dismantle it.

By William Kilpatrick
www.frontpagemag.com

William Kilpatrick’s articles on Islam have appeared in Front Page Magazine, Jihad Watch, Catholic World Report, the National Catholic Register, World, and Investor’s Business Daily.

USCIRF Eleventh Annual Report on Religious Freedom in the World Released




WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today announced its 2010 recommendations to Congress, the White House, and the State Department that 13 nations–Burma, China, North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam–be named “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs.

“Over the past few months USCIRF has visited a number of human rights ‘hot spots’ where freedom of religion is obstructed and related human rights are trampled,” said Leonard Leo, USCIRF chair. “This year’s report offers new and important policy solutions to improve conditions where foreign policy, national security, and international standards for the protection of freedom of religion can and should intersect. The report’s conclusion is clear–the Administration must do more!”

USCIRF’s 2010 Annual Report documents serious abuses of freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief around the world. The report provides policy prescriptions for each nation on the CPC list.

The 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) requires that the United States designate as CPCs those countries whose governments have engaged in or tolerated systematic and egregious violations of the universal right to freedom of religion or belief.

Further, USCIRF announced that the following countries are on the 2010 USCIRF Watch List: Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Laos, Russia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Venezuela.

While not rising to the statutory level set forth in IRFA requiring designation as a “country of particular concern,” watch list countries require close monitoring due to the nature and extent of violations of religious freedom engaged in or tolerated by the governments.

USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the leadership of both political parties in the Senate and the House of Representatives. USCIRF’s principal responsibilities are to review the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom internationally and to make policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress.

To interview a USCIRF Commissioner contact Tom Carter, Communications Director at 202-538-2044 or tcarter@uscirf.govThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

US: Egypt 2nd in religious freedom violations

US: Egypt 2nd in religious freedom violations
April 29, 2010 8:19 pm admin2 Egptian News, General

For the eighth consecutive year, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, In its 2010 annual report, ranked Egypt second among countries found to violate religious freedoms.

Commission head Leonard Leo is expected to present the report at a press conference on Thursday.

Accordingly, the US administration has urged the Egyptian government to set a timetable for abolishing the 30-year-old state of emergency and for implementing political reform–otherwise, it warned, the levels of foreign aid currently allocated to Egypt would be reconsidered.

The report also notes that the commission had advised US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton last September to object to the nomination of Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni to the post of UNESCO director-general due to earlier statements by Hosni that he would burn Jewish books in Egypt.

The report goes on to state that the Egyptian government had failed to employ firm measures against religious discrimination and human rights violations against Coptic Christians, Baha’is, Shia Muslims, Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses and members of the Quraniyoon sect.

Egyptian churches and human rights organizations voiced support for the report’s findings, although leaders of Egypt’s Baha’i community conceded that the status of religious freedom in Egypt had recently improved.

For his part, Hossam Nassar, adviser to Hosni, charged that the West “does not want an Arab Muslim to preside over UNESCO.”

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

An Islamist in Professor's Garb Returns to America

By-Brendan Goldman


A capacity crowd of 860 students, professionals, hijab-clad women, and others filled Cooper Union's Great Hall on April 8 to hear Tariq Ramadan deliver his first public address in the U.S. since the Bush administration revoked his visa in 2004. Earlier this year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally intervened to allow Ramadan to enter the country.

Cooper Union President George Campbell's voice swelled with pride when, in introducing Ramadan, he boasted that his college had earned a reputation of hosting countless "radical campaigners of every sort" who were described in their day "as the most dangerous men and women in America." Campbell, the ACLU, the PEN American Center, and the other sponsoring organizations portrayed the event, "Secularism, Islam and Democracy," as a celebration of free speech.
Ramadan has gained a reputation as an exemplar of the art of "double speech": making statements that can be interpreted favorably by both leftist secularists and Islamists. This sleight-of-hand has earned him admirers among the European and American Left, who have called him a leader of "moderate" Islam and even a "Muslim Martin Luther." In a damning 28,000-word article in The New Republic, writer Paul Berman debunked these claims, demonstrating that Ramadan is the intellectual heir of his Egyptian grandfather Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization whose ideology inspired the formation of Hamas, al-Qaeda, Hizb ut Tahrir, and numerous other terrorist organizations.
Ramadan, the first speaker of the four-member panel, opened the evening with a speech that was as vague as it was disorganized. He offered countless platitudes such as, "We may disagree, but our future is common"; "to take [from a culture] means to listen"; and "humility means respect and consistency." Ramadan also provided trite slogans that were warmly received by his liberal audience, including "not to support the rights of the Palestinians is wrong" and "the American invasion [of Iraq] is illegal."
He spent much of his time discussing Western Muslim identity, saying, "We [Muslims] are at home in the West, and Islam is a Western religion." Ramadan demanded that Westerners recognize the "reality of the contributions" of Muslims to Western civilization.
The speaker also made statements that those familiar with the Brotherhood would recognize as Islamist, but that other listeners might dismiss as benign. For instance, Ramadan asserted, "We [Muslims] have to come back to our texts, back to our sources [the Qur'an and the Hadith] ... these are challenges for all the Muslims." In the discourse of the Brotherhood, "come back to our texts" usually loosely translates to "we must recreate the seventh-century society of the Prophet Mohammed."
The next speaker was Gallup pollster Dalia Mogahed, who has been called the "most influential figure guiding the Obama Administration's Middle East outreach." She argued that European Muslims are more estranged from their societies than American Muslims because of their economic status, education levels, and non-indigenous ethnicities (African-American Muslims are 35% of the American Muslim population). According to her findings, Mogahed claimed, "Muslims in general are no more likely to express sympathy for violence targeting civilians than non-Muslims." None of the panelists challenged Mogahed's statement, which seem especially spurious in light of a recently released report showing that anti-Semitic incidents in Europe have more than doubled in the last year and that for the first time in the history of the study, Western Muslims are the primary culprits of these attacks. Nor did Mogahed state that, even according to her own research, the percentage of German and French Muslims who believe that 9/11 was "completely justified" is in "the double-digits."
The most obsequious presentation of the night came from Joan Wallach Scott of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton. Panel moderator Jacob Weisburg, the editor-in-chief of the Slate Group, listed countless violations of women's rights in the Islamic world and asked Scott whether she, as a self-identified feminist, accepted Ramadan's tepid criticism of these acts. Scott claimed that "questions [from Westerners] of gender inequality [in the Islamic world] have been used" to avoid discussing the socioeconomic status of Muslims in the West and the "continuing gender inequalities in Western societies." Apparently, that an American woman makes 78 cents to a man's dollar is as egregious a violation of feminist principles as forced veiling, female genital mutilation, and wife-beating. Scott went on to claim that the imposition of the hijab has "very little to do with feminist issues," and that Ramadan's idea of a Muslim moratorium on stoning -- as opposed to banning the practice -- "is not a bad one." Her presentation illustrated perfectly our era's strangest bedfellows: Islamists and leftist Western academics.
The sole bright spot on the panel was New Yorker journalist George Packer, who used his allotted time to pelt Ramadan with questions about his views of his grandfather Hassan al-Banna's connections to the Nazi ally and Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Hussayni. Citing Paul Berman's research from his soon-to-be-released book, The Flight of the Intellectuals, Packer noted that al-Banna was an admirer of fascist Italy and Germany and quoted al-Banna as saying, "Hitler was sent by Allah [as a punishment for] the corruption of the Jews." Packer then asked Ramadan whether he was willing to condemn al-Banna for his alliance with the Mufti and for his admiration of Hitler and Mussolini.
The normally dispassionate Ramadan was visibly unsettled. Claiming that he had already been asked three times about Berman's book since arriving in the States, he said, "I put this in the context of the [19]30s and '40s." In remarks following these, Ramadan employed the terms "context," "contextual," and "contextualized" at least four times, obfuscating the issue of al-Banna's Nazi sympathies while asserting that the real question at hand was the Arab struggle against Israel. He stated: "[Al-Banna] was against the existence of Israel," but that this was a "very specific position" and "you cannot find support for the Nazis" in al-Banna's writing.
"I don't like to contextualize a long-term alliance with a leading Nazi propagandist and collaborator," Packer responded -- a remark that drew a rare outburst of applause from a sizable portion of the audience. Ramadan dismissed the point, and the panel moderator obliged him by quickly changing the subject. Yet this was not the first time Ramadan justified extremist positions based on "context": He told the Italian magazine Panorama in 2004 that terrorism against civilians is "contextually explicable."
Packer's courage notwithstanding, it was impossible not to leave the auditorium feeling slightly nauseated by the panel's choice to offer apologias for Ramadan's Islamism while celebrating moral relativism. Cooper Union can carve a notch in its stock for hosting another "dangerous man." The rest of us will be left to wonder how a college that hosted one of the great Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1860, in which the future president outlined the evils of slavery, became by 2010 a refuge for those who would justify misogyny, anti-Semitism, and terrorism.
____________________________
American Thinker (abridged)

Radical Islamic Schools Thrive Throughout America


By-Paul Williams,PhD

Turkish Muslims, under the leadership of Fethullah Gulen, have established over 85 madrassahs (Islamic schools) throughout the United States to further the cause of radical Islam. The madrassahs, set up as “charter schools,” receive millions from U.S. taxpayers and serve to promote “education jihad” by radicalizing students to promote a universal caliphate.

How dangerous are the Gulen schools?

Consider Tarek ibn Ziyad (TIZA) Academy in Inner Grove Heights, Minnesota – a charter school with 300 students – almost all Muslims. TIZA was established in 2003, and received $4.7 million from Minnesota taxpayers in 2008 – 2009. It is named after Tarek ibn Ziyas, the Muslim warlord who conquered Spain.

Students at TIZA pray Islamic prayers; the cafeteria serves halal food; and Islamic studies are held within the building every day. The

entranceway is inscribed with passages from the Koran and the Hadith. Recently, a TIZA teacher testified that one of her duties was taking the female students to the restroom in order to supervise their ritual washing before the Friday prayer service.

TIZA is so radically Islamic and subversive in nature that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has initiated a lawsuit to shut it down. In the suit, the ACLU maintains that the school requires female teachers to be covered “from neck to wrist and ankle,” and female students to wear full-length dresses (jihaabs). Yet the Minnesota Department of Education ruled that TIZA is neither an Islamic nor a religious school.

The decision remains quizzical in light of the fact that TIZA is closely linked to the Muslim American Society (MAS) of Minnesota, which occupies space within the school building. MAS has been called “the Muslim equivalent of the Neo-Nazi party.”

"It is the de facto arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S.," said Steven Emerson, director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. "The agenda of the MAS is to ... impose Islamic law in the U.S., to undermine U.S. counterterrorism policy."

MAS was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an international Islamist movement created in Egypt in 1928. Radical members of the Brotherhood founded the terror group Hamas and were among the first members of Al Qaeda. The Muslim American Society's former secretary general has acknowledged that the group was founded by the Brotherhood, and in 2004 he estimated that about half of MAS members were in the Muslim Brotherhood. "Ikhwan [Brotherhood] members founded MAS, but MAS went way beyond that point of conception," Shaker Elsayed told the Chicago Tribune, explaining that the group had expanded to include a wider viewpoint.

The Department of Justice has never taken action against MAS and declined to comment on whether it was investigating the group's ties.

Charles Samuelson, Minnesota’s Executive Director of the ACLU, says that the Gulen charter school funnels money – derived from US taxpayers – to MAS without a word of censure from the Minnesota Department of Education or the Internal Revenue officials who supervise the activities of non-profit schools and organizations. The Minnesota chapter of MAS featured writings on its website from Islamic clerics praising Hamas and urging Muslims to "wage Jihad until death."

Last December, the Minnseota chapter funded Rep. Keith Ellison’s trip to Mecca. Ellison, a Democrat, became the first U.S. congressman to make a hajj.

"Their founding ideologues are all members of the Muslim Brotherhood," Emerson said. "I don't think you can get more radical in the United States without crossing the line to incitement."

TIZA is not unique. Other Gulen schools within the U.S., including the Beehive Academy in Salt Lake City, the Chesapeake Science Point School in Washington D.C., and the Sonoran Academy in Tucson have been charged with indoctrinating students in the tenets of radical Islam so they may be of service in the restoration of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of an Islamic world order.

Most of these schools are staffed by Turkish teachers – primarily male – who reportedly are bound by tuzuk – an obligatory pay back of 40 percent of their wages to the Gulen movement.

Message from coptic

Hello Mr. Sadek,
. I was in a visit to Egypt couple of years ago and I was appalled by the amount of anti-Semitism in the Egyptian media. I believe the Egyptian government is trying to distract the masses and redirecting their anger towards an external enemy despite the peace treaty. Even most comedians give their movies at the end some anti-Semitism flavor. Remember the movie of "Mohammed Henidy", Saeedi in the American University" when he burnt the Israeli flag at the end. Even Adel Imam "Elsefara fe El Omara" meaning the Isreaeli embassy and the amount of hate he displayed in the movie towards Israel. I heard that there is a new movie titled "cousins" (Awlad El Am) with similar content of hate Anyway, I think we as Christians should expose this bigotry and start by correcting the church's position towards Jews and Israel, starting by the head of the church who exhibits unnecessary political hostility towards Israel.
Best regards,
Emad

Monday, April 26, 2010

We Refuse to Be Muslims By Force’ Say Egyptian Christian Twin-Boys After Losing Court Case

AINA) — On March 30 an administrative judicial court in Egypt dismissed a lawsuit filed by Mrs. Camilia Lutfi, mother of the Coptic Christian twins boys Mario and Andrew, against the Interior Minister, and the director of the Civil Status Department for refusing to re-instate the Christian religion on their birth certificates, and invalidate those which were forcefully changed to “Islam” in 2005 by their father Medhat Ramsis Labib, who had converted to Islam.

After his conversion, Andrew and Mario became Muslims in what is called “Islamization by dependence,” by which children follow the religion of a converted parent (to Islam only) until they reach the age of puberty (fifteen), because Islam is “the best among all religions,” according to Egyptian Court rulings.

The purpose of Lutfi’s litigation was to restore back to her twins their identity as Christians, before reaching the age of 16 in June, when they will have their national ID cards issued. Camilia said that because of the developments in their case, her worst nightmares would materialize, in which they would have Islam as religious affiliation on their ID cards. “If they change to Christianity after that, they will be considered apostates,” she told Freecopts advocacy. She expressed her surprise at the intransigence of the judiciary in dealing with the issue of her sons, especially after they have already reached the legal age of 15-years, when they can choose their own religion. “The boys have lived this tragedy for the last ten years, through no fault of their own.”

ElYoum 7 Newspaper reported that 15-years-old Mario and Andrew were extremely disappointed with the court verdict, saying “faith is not by force, we want to remain Christians and we do not wish to become Muslims.” Both boys are practicing Christians and were consecrated last year as deacons in their regular church in Alexandria.

The court explained in its verdict, which was issued on April 14, that Camilia Lutfi has not presented a verdict from a relevant court (it did not say which court) proving the change of her sons’ religion from Islam to Christianity. “How come that when their father changed their religion from Christianity to Islam, he required no court verdict, and now that they want to revert back to Christianity, the court requires a verdict?” she told Freecopts.

Although the mother’s lawyers presented to the court a portfolio containing 15 different certificates proving they are Christians, contradicting what was written on their birth certificates, the court said in its reasoning that it does not recognize the validity of a certificate issued by the Church as a document of change of religion from Islam to Christianity, as “churches by law are not competent to issue such certificates.” The courts only accept certificates of religion change from Al-Azhar (the Muslim theology school in Cairo). Moreover the Court said that there is no law to force the Interior minister and the Civil Status Department chief to change the religion of the boys on their documents without a court ruling to this effect.

Camilia criticized the judiciary in Egypt for being biased, based on her personal experience. “I do not believe the recent verdict has been taken solely by the judges. I feel there is a higher authority which orders the judges to decide in a certain way, even if it goes against the documents in front of them,” she told Freecopts.

Mario and Andrew were born on June 24, 1994 to Christian parents, sea captain Medhat Ramsis and tax inspector Camilia Lutfi, but in February 2000 their father converted to Islam to marry a Muslim woman. In 2005 Medhat changed their twin boys birth certificates to show that they are Muslims, born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother.

The case of Mario and Andrew caught the attention of the media in May 2007, after they challenged the Ministry of Education which forced them to sit in for the Islamic Religion exams at school, where students are obliged to pass in order to be promoted to a higher class. They refused to answer the questions. On his answer sheet Andrew wrote “I am Christian” and Mario wrote “My religion is Christianity.” They failed the exam and had to re-take it, but again insisted on writing these single phrases. Due to public pressure, the Minister of Education exempted them from passing those exams until their case was finalized by the court. On national television they declared: “We do not want to be Muslims. We are born Christians, will remain and die as Christians.”

After a five-year legal battle, Lutfi won a landmark victory in June 2009 when Egypt’s Court of Cassation gave her the right to retain custody of Andrew and Mario. The Court also affirmed, for the first time, the right of a non-Muslim mother to retain custody of her child until the age of fifteen, as stipulated by Egypt’s Personal Status Law, even when the child’s father converts to Islam and the state automatically changes the child’s religion as a result. Previously it was only until the age of seven, which is considered the age of “religious maturity” by the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence (6-20-2009).

At a press conference held on Thursday April 22, Lutfi said that the refusal of the judiciary to establish the religion of her children as Christians is a blow to the principles of citizenship, and a “disregard” for Christianity and Christians. She called on President Mubarak to protect the freedom of religion by issuing laws “to tie down the hands of the judiciary in deciding on these issues without a legal basis.” She also addressed a message to the President of the State Council saying that all judgments regarding conversion to Christianity take as a starting point that Islam is the State religion, and the State guarantees freedom of religion but ends up by “insulting Christianity and those wishing to convert to Christianity.”

During the press conference, Camelia also called on the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar to issue a Fatwa (Islamic religious edict) to remind the authorities of the Quranic verse “Let there be no compulsion in religion.”

Dr. Awad Shafik Awad, international attorney based in Switzerland and President of the Confederation of Coptic Human Rights Organizations in Europe, stated his intention to refer the case of Mario and Andrew to the international courts, after all stages of litigation in Egypt have been exhausted. He said that the recent court’s refusal to prove the Christian faith of the twin boys was “unjust and has nothing to do with the law.”

Coptic attorney Ramsis elNaggar stated that his law firm represents thousands of Christian children who were forced to become Muslims following the conversion to Islam of one of their parents, and tried in vain to revert back to Christianity.

In 2007 the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights issued a joint report with Human Rights Watch entitled ‘Prohibited Identities: State Interference with Religious Freedom’, regarding involuntary “conversions.” It quoted 89 cases of Egyptians whose religious affiliation in official documents was changed by the state to Islam against their will — and in some instances without their knowledge — after their fathers converted to Islam. Moreover, the Interior Ministry has refused to change their religious affiliation to Christianity when they reached the age of fifteen, in violation of the law. The report highlighted the far-reaching consequences for the daily lives of those affected, including choosing a spouse, educating one’s children, or conducting the most basic financial and other transactions (report).

Last month before the court dismissed their case, CBN News carried out an interview with Mario and Andrew, bringing their fight to retain their Christian identity and the fear of being considered as apostates and getting killed to the international public (video).

Renowned Coptic activist and writer Magdi Khalil calls for the non-application of Islamic Sharia law on Christian families in Egypt, saying that the case of Mario and Andrew represents the situation of the Copts under Sharia. The Egyptian Personal Status Law for Muslims and non-Muslims of mixed religions or denominations is based on the Sharia law according to the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence,”which discriminates against fundamental human rights, and against women in general as lawyer Ms Safaa Zaki describes it,” he said. Khalil warns about a wider application of the Second article of the Egyptian Constitution which stipulates that the principles of Islamic Sharia law are the main source of legislation. “If Sharia is applied to all the laws, this would be a real catastrophe to the secular state, for Muslims and Christians alike and a a bomb ready to explode,” he said.

By Mary Abdelmassih

Martin Luther King Jr. and the oppressed Coptic people


http://bikyamasr.com/?p=12016
Morris Sadek
25 April 2010 in Featured Blogumnist, Morris Sadek
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great man who worked for racial equality and civil rights in the United States of America. He was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. Martin had a brother, Alfred, and a sister, Christine. Both his father and grandfather were ministers. His mother was a schoolteacher who taught him how to read before he went to school.

Young Martin was an excellent student in school; he skipped grades in both elementary school and high school. He enjoyed reading books, singing, riding a bicycle, and playing football and baseball. Martin entered Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, when he was only 15 years old.

Martin experienced racism early in life. He decided to do to something to make the world a better and fairer place.

After graduating from college and getting married, Dr. King became a minister and moved to Alabama.

During the 1950’s, Dr. King became active in the movement for civil rights and racial equality. He participated in the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott and many other peaceful demonstrations that protested the unfair treatment of African-Americans. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.

We want to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by leading a collaborative funding, design, and construction process in the creation of a memorial to honor his national and international contributions to world peace through non-violent social change.

The vision of a memorial in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. is one that captures the essence of his message, a message in which he so eloquently affirms the commanding tenants of the American Dream — Freedom, Democracy and Opportunity for All; a noble quest that gained him the Nobel Peace Prize and one that continues to influence people and societies throughout the world. Upon reflection, we are reminded that Dr. King’s lifelong dedication to the idea of achieving human dignity through global relationships of well being has served to instill a broader and deeper sense of duty within each of us — a duty to be both responsible citizens and conscientious stewards of freedom and democracy.

Dr. King championed a movement that draws fully from the deep well of America’s potential for freedom, opportunity, and justice. His vision of America is captured in his message of hope and possibility for a future anchored in dignity, sensitivity, and mutual respect; a message that challenges each of us to recognize that America’s true strength lies in its diversity of talents. The vision of a memorial in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. is one that captures the essence of his message, a message in which he so eloquently affirms the commanding tenants of the American Dream — Freedom, Democracy and Opportunity for All; a noble quest that gained him the Nobel Peace Prize and one that continues to influence people and societies throughout the world.

Upon reflection, we are reminded that Dr. King’s lifelong dedication to the idea of achieving human dignity through global relationships of well being has served to instill a broader and deeper sense of duty within each of us— a duty to be both responsible citizens and conscientious stewards of freedom and democracy.

The life-long struggle of Dr. King resulted in the historic civil rights laws of 1965. The enforcement of these laws enriched American life for all Americans. Today, in the United States, African Americans play a leading role in government, business, music, sports and the military.

To honor Dr. King, the world must follow the American example of peaceful societal change liberating oppressed minorities from the powerful hand of the oppressors. In Egypt, the Christian Coptic people are an oppressed African minority who are forced to live under Islamic law as second class citizen in their own country. In direct contradiction to Dr. King’s teaching, Islamic laws dictate that no non-Moslem can be appointed or elected in position of authority over a Muslim (Surah El-Maeeda). This intrinsic supremacy of Islam and Muslims over other religions and their followers is against everything taught by Rev. King.

message from Eng nabil Bissads

from Nabil Bissada
tomorrissdk@gmail.com

dateThu, Apr 22, 2010 at 1:23 PM
subjectFw: israel
signed-bysbcglobal.net
Images from this sender are always displayed. Don't display from now on.
Apr 22 (4 days ago)

Thank you Mr Morris...

I cannot forget before I was arrested for my Christian beliefs and had to leave my country Egypt,
I was celebrating the National day of Israel at their own embassy in Egypt with all the staff of the Egyptian government.

Have a nice day
Nabil Bissada

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Message to dr nagla -did you really send that letter to Peraz,

Dear Mr.M. Sadek,

I was so surprised to get this e-mail, did you really send that letter to Peraz, do you really believe what you wrote is anything from reality, I find it very embarrassing coming from a Lawyer and a Copt.

I hope you will try to give some explanation to this strange letter.

MGB
Nagla.
Dear Dr, Nagla
Thank you for your response and interest in my communication to president Preze of Israel.
Plese consider the following:
1. The National American Coptic Assembly is a Coptic organization that is fiercely indendent serving only the best interest of the Christian of Egypt. As a mater of strict policy for our organization we do not accept donation from any country, organization or even the coptic people.
2. Members of our organization are indeed free Copts- That means we are free to think and act based on our morales and our political conviction.
3.Our organization makes decisions based on facts not emotions.
4.Our organization also makes decision based on carefull assessment of history and global
current conflicts and its impact on the Copts.
5. I have been elected president of NACS based on my well-known, well-documented , life-long history of defending the rights of the Coptic people INSIDE Egypt since 1981. Please see http://www.nationalamericancopticassembly.webs.com/
6. Outline of our position regarding the Arab-Israeli conflic is published elsewhere.
this "position paper" were developed by foreign policy research group of coptic political scientists who are members of our organization.
7. we supporte the right of the state of Isael to live in peace in the middle east because it is in the best interest of the Coptic people. At the very least they represent a counter balace to Islam amd Moslems who claim intrinsic supremacy over non-moslem religions and non-moslem people (in Arabic el-Islam yalo wala yalo alee).

Finally, I have some questions for you:
1. How many Coptic girls has been kidnaped by Isael or jews?
2. How many coptic churchs has been burned or destryed by Israsel or Jews?
3. How many Coptic killed by Isael or Jews?
4. Are you aware that 3 coptic churches already built in Israel in Jerusalem and other Israeli cities.

Best regards,
Morris Sadek

Morris Sadek Israel congratulates founding anniversary .. And considers a role model for oppressed peoples .. And calls for re-building of the temple

Morris Sadek Israel congratulates founding anniversary .. And considers a role model for oppressed peoples .. And calls for re-building of the temple
mostafaalnjjar
Issued an international lawyer Maurice Sadek National Assembly President Coptic America, new policy statement congratulating Israel on the occasion of "Eid independence", and declares his wishes to be able to "Israel is the liberation of the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinians and the liberation of Jerusalem from the Arab invaders, to be the united capital of the State of Israel Hebrew!" The statement added, who won the seventh day a copy of it, that "the struggle of Israel is a lesson to the peoples of the oppressed and occupied, so I join the people of Israel the joy and victory, the Arab invaders, and we hope in the continuing struggle in glorious establishment of the State of Israel, and to preserve the existence and continuity, you Jews and the sons of God's chosen people .. you set an example that should be looked at by the people, and your struggle should be a lesson to the oppressed peoples. " The statement condemned the Palestinians, accusing them of killing Christians in Gaza, said: "The Islamists emptied the Arab Christian population in the land of Israel, including, especially after the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas) of killing Christians in Gaza." Also launched a sincere sharp attack on the revolution of July, accusing it of being "was the revolution of the Muslim Brotherhood by the Muslim Brotherhood led by Gamal Abdel Nasser's military coup in 1952, and robbed the wealth of Christians and forcing them to fight the Jews in the years of wars, 48, 56, 67 and 73, which has the Copts of thousands of youth in the wars a failed Islamic have no stake in the most beautiful, and all finished the defeat of Gamal Abdel Nasser and Arab nationalism at the hands of the descendants of Arab invaders. " The statement said that "Copts are looking forward to the day when liberated Egypt from the Arab occupation, as Israel was liberated from Arab occupation," hoping that "Israel can the liberation of Jerusalem to be the united capital of the State of Israel Abbarip" .. He concluded the statement saying: "In the Feast of Israel's independence and the memory of the sixty-second, pray to the Lord to help you in the liberation of the holy Jerusalem, and acknowledge them as the unified capital of the State of Israel, Hebrew, and we invite you to rebuild the Temple and re-Bethlehem of Judea, as I mentioned in the Bible."

The Coptic Position on Israel

http://www.nationalamericancopticassembly.webs.com/

Outlines of Coptic Position

The Arab-Israeli Conflict

Since the dawn of history, the Jewish people have been a powerful force for peace and civility. Their remarkable contributions to civilization are a testimony to their love of the human race. Since Christianity came to Egypt in 57 A.D., we, the Christians of Egypt, have not had conflict with the Jewish people. Copts and Jews share a common history of centuries of persecutions by Moslems and Christians alike. Indeed, we share a deeply rooted appreciation for security, and yearning for peace.

Copts have been a marginal population held in captivity for sixteen centuries. They constitute the largest non-Arab, non-Moslem minority in the Middle East. The Coptic Orthodox Church, The Church of Alexandria, is arguably the oldest organization in the Middle East. It continues to exist and function as has done so uninterrupted since 57 A.D. Despite this distinguished history, it is a church that has been under siege since the Islamic invasion. The Church’s relation with foreign counties is dictated by the Arab government of Egypt.

Since the humiliating 1967 defeat of the Arabs in the Six-Days War, the Christians of Egypt have been allowed to immigrate to the United States, where several human rights organizations have actively worked to expose the heinous crimes committed against the Copts in Egypt. These organizations have generally avoided publically, which addresses the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The National American Coptic Assembly recognizes that it is in the best interest of the Coptic people to develop and declare a position regarding the Middle East Arab- Israeli conflict. Our outline of our position is as follows:

We recognize the sacred right of the state of Israel and the Israeli people to the land of historic Israel .

“The right of Return” of the Jewish people to the land of their foremothers and forefathers is a sacred right. It has no statute of limitation. The return must continue to enrich the Middle East .
We recognize Jerusalem as simply a Jewish city, It must never be divided, She is, and shall always be, the united capital of Israel .

The future of the Palestinians lies with the Arab states. A Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria constitute an imminent danger to world peace.

We believe that the Wahabi/Moslem brotherhood religious ideology and its power structures are threats not only to Israel and other non-Arab, non-Moslem peoples in the Middle East, but also to world peace.

It is our opinion that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization should be assigned the historic and critical mission of defeating this Islamic ideology and its power structures.

We believe that the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the achievement of genuine peace in the Middle East can only be visible with the emergence of tolerant Islamic faith. The toxic combination of Islamic supremacy and extremism and Arab racism is the real enemy to peace in the Middle East. It must be defeated.

In any current or future peace treaty among all parties involved in the Middle East conflict, the following must be part of such treaty :

“All parties to this treaty recognize Mecca and Medina to be the holiest cities in Islam, whereas Christian and Jewish parties to this treaty give up and surrender in full any and all legal and historical rights to these cities. All parties to this treaty recognize a united Jerusalem to be the holiest city in Judaism, whereas all Arab and all Moslem parties to this treaty will relinquish and surrender in full any and all legal and historical rights in

Jerusalem and as such accept it as the united capital of the Jewish state.”

National American Coptic Assembly
Office of the President

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Scandal" in Egyptian Court to Acquit Suspects of Christian Murders

Written by International Christian Concern
Third time trial of Naga Hammadi Murderers has been Postponed



Washington, D.C. (April 19, 2010) International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the trial of Mohammed al-Kammuni, the primary suspect charged with killing six Christians in Upper Egypt, has been adjourned for the third consecutive time without any reason being issued. The trial is scheduled to convene on May 16.

Mohammed al-Kammuni is considered the mastermind behind the murder of six Christians and a police officer on January 6, 2010 when Coptic Christians were exiting Christmas Eve mass in Naga Hammadi. He and two other defendants pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and threatening national security.

Although angry over the postponement, the decision comes as no surprise to Christians who have witnessed case after case of Muslim attacks against Christians either declared not guilty or given a light sentence.

Dr. Awad Shafik, an international Coptic lawyer and the President of the European Coptic Organization in Switzerland, was furious. “If we cannot get our rights in the Egyptian courts, there is no other solution than to take it to the international criminal court. What is going on is a scandal. The defense attorney for Mohammed al-Kammuni and the judge are conspiring together. The judge must step down! He is not capable of handling this case.”

Wagih Yacoub, a Coptic human rights activist, told ICC, “After three months, the Egyptian court continues to postpone the trial until the Copts forget about it and the murderers are able to walk out free, or take a light judgment. This is identical to the case of El-Kush ten years ago, when 21 Christians were slaughtered, and all of the killers got out innocent and free. The blood of victims are screaming to get their rights.”

Aidan Clay, ICC Regional Manager of the Middle East, said, “This is a slap in the face to the families of the victims and to all Egyptian Christian. These delaying tactics by the presiding judge are a blatant reminder that the Egyptian government will make every effort possible to cover-up or indirectly defend Muslim attackers of Christians. ICC stands with the Egyptian Coptic community by calling for Mahmoud El Hosseiny, the presiding judge, to step down, and for the court to designate a judge who is impartial and unbiased. We ask that the voice of Christians be heard and considered equally to those of Muslims, and for justice to prevail.”

Lawyers of Christmas Eve Murder Victims Request Change of Judge in Egypt

Written by Mary Abdelmassih
22 April 2010



(AINA) -- Lawyers representing the Christian victims of the Nag Hammadi Christmas Eve massacre announced that they will request a change in the panel of judges at the Supreme State Security Emergency Court in Qena , due to the illegal measures taken by the court and the adjournment without reason of the trial.

The court session at the Qena Court started at midday on April 18, 2010 amid heavy security and was attended by the media. The three defendants, Mohamed el-Kamouny, Qurashy Abu-Haggag and Hendawy Hassan, pleaded not guilty. Qurashy, who had previously testified that he was present with el-Kamouny in the car during the shootings, has retracted his testimony, claiming that it was made under police pressure.
Shortly afterwards, the presiding judge, Mahmoud Al Husseiny, postponed the trial for the third time, until May 16, without any of the parties requesting an adjournment. The court also announced two serious decisions, namely, that lawyers representing the victims would be barred, and only the defendants' defense would be allowed to attend the future court sessions. In addition, relatives of the victims, the media and the NGOs would also be barred from being present at court.

Dr. Awad Shafik Awad, Coptic team member told Katiba Tibia News "I am stating it openly, the presiding judge, Mahmoud Al Husseiny, is not fit at all to rule over this case. If we cannot change him through the courts, we will do it through the media, nationally and internationally."

He said that the case has been dragging on for 4 months, while the death penalty should have been given by the court from the very first session, especially that for the second time forensics examination has confirmed that the bullets retrieved from the bodies of the seven dead victims and the seventeen wounded in the Nag Hammadi Christmas Eve Massacre came from the automatic weapon use by the defendant Mohamed el-Kamouny in the crime. "The judge procrastinates all court measures, meaning that we have come back to square one in the trial," said Dr. Awad. "We cannot accept more postponements. This is not acceptable at all."

Coptic team attorneys are angry because the defense asked the court to bar them and the court accepted. "The judge took this decision of barring us from attending the court sessions in our absence, which is completely illegal," said Coptic attorney Maged Hanna Kirrollos. "We either change the court or we will sue the district chief for issuing this flawed decision."

Commenting on this decision, Awad said "Nabih el Wahsh, the No.1 attorney in defense of el-Kamouny, does not want us to attend, they want to cook the case alone together."

Many observers accuse the presiding judge of conspiring with the defense to delay the case, prompted by some tactics used by the Islamist attorneys of creating havoc in court.

At one time the court erupted into chaos after Nabih el Wahsh, assaulted Coptic lawyer George Sobhy inside the court, by hitting him on the mouth. In another instance, El-Wahsh started what appeared to be a pre-arranged quarrel with one of his colleagues, in order to get a court postponement until after May 4, "because they have a litigation in front of the high administrative court on that day, in which they requested the transfer of the Nag Hammadi case to a normal criminal court and not a State Security one," said activist Janet Abdelallim to Coptic News Bulletin "This way they would have a free hand in the case to turn it into any direction they want."

In an interview with Al Mehwar Egyptian TV, Nabih el Wahsh said frankly that he was please that the "deal was successful," meaning the agreements he reached with the judge (video).

Activist Fathi Farid, who was singled out by the presiding judge to be thrown out of court, criticized the judge for "obviously following instructions from Security. This country is not ruled by law, but by State Security and they can make the trial go on for 10 years and still look like a 'just' trial."

Coptic attorney Dr. Ihab Ramzy told Al Mehwar TV the court's decision to bar the lawyers representing the victims of Nag Hammadi came as a reaction to the request of change of the court panel at Farshout "due to bias," presented the day before by the defense team of Girgis Baroumy, the Copt accused of allegedly having sexually assaulted a Muslim minor girl in Farshout in November 2009. The trial of Baroumi is adjourned until further notice (AINA 4-10-2010).

Those who are well acquainted with the Egyptian justice system are not surprised at the postponement, they believe that the court in Nag Hammadi is awaiting an indictment of Girgis Baroumi, in order to give al-Kamouny a lighter sentence or even an acquittal. Al-Kamouny and the Egyptian authorities claim that the alleged rape in Farshout sparked the massacre of the Christians in Nag Hammadi, as they came out of church after celebrating the Coptic Christmas Eve on January 6, 2010 (AINA 1-7-2010).

"Where is the justice done for the blood of our boys," said Dr. Awad, who is an international attorney based in Switzerland and President of the Confederation of Coptic Human Rights Organizations in Europe. "If the Egyptian courts cannot give justice to our sons, the victims of Nag Hammadi, then we will take the case to the international criminal court. I have declared this openly to all the media and to the State Security."

Outspoken Coptic activist Wagih Yacoub said: "We demand from the Egyptian State with all its organs, including the President, to stop all conspiracies against the Copts and their rights, to put to sleep the Nag Hammadi case and send it to oblivion." He said that the Copts will never forget the blood of the victims and will not accept that the Nag Hammadi massacre would have the same fate as Al-Kosheh Massacre of 2000, when 21 Copts were slaughtered in cold blood and not one Muslim was indicted. "The Copts will not accept less than the death penalty for the murderers," he added.

Ten eight-member U.S. congressional demand to investigate the disappearances and forced conversion of Coptic girls and women



Congressional Members Urge State Department to Address Forced Marriage, Forced Conversion of Coptic Women and Girls in Egypt
WASHINGTON, April 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Eighteen Members of Congress, from both parties, expressed "concern over continuing reports of abductions, forced marriages, and exploitation of Coptic women and girls in Egypt".

Writing on the 16th of April to Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, Director of the State Department's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Office, the Members noted that they had received disturbing reports documenting "a criminal phenomenon that includes fraud, physical and sexual violence, captivity, forced marriage, and exploitation in forced domestic servitude or commercial sexual exploitation, and financial benefit to the individuals who secure the forced conversion of the victim."

The Members concluded by urging the TIP Office to "investigate whether the cases of abduction, forced marriage, exploitation and other financial benefit to individuals who secure a forced conversion should be included in the forthcoming 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report."

The Congressional appeal follows publication of several reports documenting this element of human trafficking in Egypt. Among them is The Disappearance, Forced Conversions, and Forced Marriages of Coptic Christian Women in Egypt by Christian Solidarity International (CSI) and the Coptic Foundation for Human Rights. (csi-int.org/pdfs/coptic_report_master-final_report_pdf.pdf)

The pioneering report documents 25 cases, including that of a 15-year old Christian victim, identified as "M" for security reasons. M was drugged and raped in her hometown of El Menya, after which she gave birth, was forced to marry an older Muslim man, was physically scarred, converted to Islam, and forcibly prostituted.

In his Preface to this report, Dr. John Eibner, CEO of CSI-USA, called on human rights institutions, especially those whose mandate includes women's rights and trafficking in persons, to undertake further research into gender and religious-based violence against Coptic women and girls in Egypt.

Addressing reports of the disappearance, forced conversions and forced marriages of Coptic women, the late Grand Shiekh Sayyed Al-Tantawi of Cairo's prestigious Al-Azhar University, Egypt's highest Islamic authority, stated that "these actions are contrary to Islam and we hope to receive more information concerning alleged kidnappings and would like to have an open dialogue with our Christian brothers and sisters in this country." (http://bikyamasr.com/?p=5694).

Emanating from the office of Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Va), the Congressional letter to Ambassador CdeBaca was additionally signed by the following Members of the House of Representatives: Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Ileana Ros-Leathin (R-FL), Donald Paine (D-NJ), Dan Burton (R-IN), Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Joseph Cao (R-LA), Aaron Schock (R-IL), Bob Inglis (R-SC), Michele Bachman (R-MN), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), and Ted Poe (R-TX).

Media contact: Elliott Daniels 919-440-9729 elliott.daniels@csi-usa.org

SOURCE Christian Solidarity International

©2010 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: Information contained on this page is provided by companies featured through PR Newswire. PR Newswire, WorldNow and this Station cannot confirm the accuracy of this information and make no warranties or representations in connection therewith.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Free National Webcast Conference This Saturday!


Reminder:

Free National Webcast Conference This Saturday!

Dear Morris,

Tell your friends, tell other ACT members, and by all means PLEASE remind any elected officials and staff you know!

“Radical Islam: A Threat America Must Take Seriously” will take place THIS SATURDAY, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time.

To log on use this link:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/radical-islam-how-and-why-it-threatens-america
If you can watch a YouTube video, you can watch this webcast.

Speakers include Brigitte Gabriel, Walid Phares, Robert Spencer, John Guandolo, and Guy Rodgers.

We look forward to you joining us this Saturday, April 24th!



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


American Congress for Truth

P.O. Box 12765
Pensacola, FL 32591
member@americancongressfortruth.org
http://www.americancongressfortruth.org


Every day, American Congress for Truth (ACT) a 501c3 non-profit organization is on the front lines fighting for you in meeting with politicians, decision makers, speaking on college campuses and planning events to educate and inform the public about the threat of Islamofascism. To maintain and bolster our efforts, we need your continued solidarity, activism and financial support. We are only as strong as our supporters. We thank you for helping us carry on this important work.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Islam - Spread By The Sword (exspansion of islam)

CAIR’s Smear Job Against Brigitte Gabriel


BY
Jamie Glazov - Frontpage Magazine's editor
jamieglazov11@gmail.com.
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Brigitte Gabriel, founder of the nonprofit organization ACT! for America, and one of the leading terrorism experts in the world. Her expertise is sought after by world and business leaders. She has addressed the Australian Prime Minister, members of The British Parliament/House of Commons, members of the United States Congress, The Pentagon, The Joint Forces Staff College, The US Special Operations Command, The US Asymmetric Warfare group, the FBI, and many others. She is the New York Times best selling author of Because They Hate and They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It.
FP: Brigitte Gabriel, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
I would like to talk to you today about CAIR’s personal attack on you. Tell us about it.
Gabriel: CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, sent out a press release on March 17th, using its standard propaganda techniques such as name calling, which I won’t dignify by repeating here. This is not the first time that CAIR has attacked me. But in this case, CAIR’s attack could best be described as “throwing the kitchen sink” at me. It was a litany of accusations and references to statements I have allegedly made, or statements that were taken out of context, pieced together to create a distorted caricature of what I believe and how I define the threat of radical Islam.
FP: Why do you think CAIR did this?
Gabriel: It seems clear to me that CAIR is becoming increasingly desperate in its efforts to try to stop the truth about radical Islam from reaching the American people. It’s almost like they’re flailing, like a drowning man desperately trying to stay afloat. They have lost every court battle thus far in their fight against the authors of the blockbuster exposé Muslim Mafia. The Department of Justice has reaffirmed its finding that CAIR is tied to the terrorist organization Hamas, and a grand jury subpoena for CAIR records issued last November indicates a new government investigation of CAIR is ongoing.
Desperate organizations, like desperate people, are prone to do desperate things. CAIR is desperately trying to divert attention from its own problems, and they are many, by slinging mud at others – and not just me.
FP: I noticed that one of the sources CAIR quotes is the Australian Jewish News. Could you tell us about that particular interview?
Gabriel: This is one of the areas CAIR honed in on. Back in 2007 I was in Australia to speak at a major event honoring Prime Minister John Howard. While there I met with a Jewish journalist who brought along a friend, and we had coffee. The “friend” turned out to be an apologist for anything Islamic, including the Palestinians against Israel. He was so ignorant of the issues of terrorism that he didn’t even know what Hamas was. He was so uninformed that the journalist sitting next to me told him, “You are an embarrassment to journalism.” The man who invited him apologized to me in the car for his friend’s behavior and told me that he will never invite him again to a press conference. This person was a regular at the Islamic Mosque and was very close friends with the Imam and members of the mosque. He ended up writing a blog that badly distorted things I said in the conversation.
CAIR has since been quoting this blog to falsely allege things that I don’t believe. For instance, I don’t believe that there are no moderate Muslims. Of course there are.
FP: You have made statements about “practicing Muslims.” Tell us precisely what you mean in these statements.
Gabriel: When I have made statements about “practicing Muslims,” here is what I’m saying:
In any religious faith, and that includes Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, there are people who are very orthodox and very devout, and then there are others who are less so. There are Christians who read their Bibles, attend church regularly and pray every day, and there are those who don’t. The same dynamic is true in Judaism.
And the same is true in Islam. There are many, many Muslims who have never read the Koran in their own language, who don’t even know many of its teachings or closely adhere to its teachings and those of the Hadith, and who don’t pray five times a day. These are the Muslims who are often described as “moderate,” or less devout, or even “secular.”
Then there are those Muslims who take the Koran and Hadith very seriously. They follow the Islamic shariah law and they subscribe to the supremacist political ideology embedded within the Islamic holy books. They aspire to emulate Mohammed, who any honest historian will tell you spread Islam by terror and the sword. They agree with the doctrine of jihad. They believe that Islamic shariah law should reign supreme over all and that man-made laws are invalid. They agree with the Islamic command that their allegiance is to the “ummah”, the Islamic nation, rather than to any country.
It is these Muslims, who are typically referred to as practicing “radical Islam,” that I refer to when I say such Muslims cannot be trusted to be a loyal citizen to our country – or any country for that matter – and who do not acknowledge that here in America we recognize the Constitution as the “supreme law of the land.” It is these Muslims I have referred to as “practicing.”
Just look at what Imam Al-Awlaki, the American Al-Qaida leader in the Arabian Peninsula, said just last week: ”I eventually came to the conclusion that jihad against America is binding upon myself just as it is binding on every other Muslim.”
As you can see, this explanation does not lend itself well to a 20 second sound bite. So it’s easy for Islamists and their apologists to lift one sentence out of context to lead people to conclude something that I’m not saying. And they don’t do it just to me – they do it to anyone who they perceive as a threat to their ideological agenda.
FP: For real.
Even more interesting: isn’t it true that CAIR leaders have made public statements that actually confirm what it is you’re saying?
Gabriel: That’s the delicious irony of all of this. CAIR’s press release criticized me for my statements about how radical Muslims cannot be trusted to be loyal citizens. Yet public statements by some of their own leaders confirm what I’m saying.
For instance, Omar Ahmad, the founder of CAIR, made this statement in 1998: “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Qur’an should be the highest authority in America.” This was reported in the San Ramon Valley Herald on July 4, 1998. Look what Ahmad is saying – he wants an Islamic theocracy in America. How is this any different from my position that says there are those Muslims who believe that Islamic shariah law should reign supreme and that man-made laws are invalid?
Then there’s Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s Communications Director, who said in a 1993 Minneapolis Star Tribune interview, “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future…”
If that sounds to you like he wants an Islamic theocracy in America where Islamic shariah law reigns supreme, you’re right.
Which begs this question: Can Omar Ahmad and Ibrahim Hooper be counted on to be loyal citizens of the United States and to the Constitution, our law of the land?
FP: This is the question that many people are afraid to answer.
So what do we conclude from all of this?
Gabriel: Everywhere I go I make the point of saying just what I said earlier, that there are many, many Muslims worldwide who either don’t know, don’t understand, or don’t subscribe to the ideology of political Islam, the doctrine of jihad, and the supremacy of Islamic shariah law. Of course, we have no idea how many people make up this group.
But ultimately, that’s not the issue. The issue is the radical, passionate Islamists worldwide who are driving the militant Islamic agenda in the world. Read the words of the revered and respected Muslim clerics worldwide. They are committed to supremacy, jihad, and Islamic shariah law. This is what drives the terrorists and those devoted to “stealth jihad.” It doesn’t matter if even most Muslims don’t think this way, because as history teaches us, the “moderate” element within a movement don’t drive the agenda. Most Germans during World War II weren’t committed Nazis, but that didn’t prevent Nazism from leading to the deaths of 60 million people. The same can be said for the Communists in the Soviet Union and the followers of Mao in China.
FP: Words of wisdom.
So before we go, a final thought?
Gabriel: Thanks Jamie.
A final thought?
Well, let’s face the truth of the dire situation we are facing: Islamists are intent on doing us harm, either through violent jihad or stealth and cultural jihad. They are driven by their commitment to the ideology of political Islam, the doctrine of jihad, the supremacy of Islamic shariah law over all other law, and their allegiance to the ummah rather than any one country. They see this as a state of war between Islam and the “infidel” world, and the practice of everything from deception (taqiyya) to violence is acceptable for their use in fighting this war. That includes the propaganda techniques employed by organizations like CAIR. Understanding all of this is essential to understanding how our enemies think and why they do what they do – and what we must do to defeat them.
FP: Brigitte Gabriel, as always it was an honor and privilege to speak to you. Thank you for your courage and nobility. Thank you for your fearless fight for liberty and the truth. The world doesn’t make many people like you.
Why is CAIR Smearing ACT! for America?
And is CAIR breaking the law?

Dear Morris,
CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is revving up its propaganda machine against ACT! for America. Clearly, CAIR has decided we’ve become too effective in getting the word out about the threat of radical Islam.
CAIR, the U.S. propaganda front group for the terrorist organization Hamas, is notorious for aiming its invective at anyone or any group that dares to expose the threat of radical Islam or expose who CAIR really is.
The reason is simple. Unable to debate the substance of the information published by organizations like ours, CAIR attempts the age-old ploy of smearing the messenger in hopes of diverting attention from the information that is so damning.
As Brigitte Gabriel noted in a recent interview with FrontPage Magazine, CAIR is getting more desperate with every passing month. Desperate organizations—like desperate people—do desperate things.
The blog below (highlights added) is well worth reading.

The Pastor, the Pedophile and CAIR
by Adam Savit
On April 5 the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a press release urging GOP leaders to “insist” that Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R-NC) withdraw support from the non-profit grassroots advocacy organization ACT! for America. CAIR referred to ACT! for America, one of the largest national security (and pro-American and pro-Israel) citizens organizations in the United States, as an “anti-Islam hate group.”
As we at the Center for Security Policy have reported previously at Big Government, we believe – with the backup evidence to prove it at CAIRObservatory.org – that CAIR has been operating as an unregistered foreign agent, as defined by the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). FARA § 611 (o) states that foreign agents who engage in any activity to “influence any agency or official of the Government of the United States or any section of the public within the United States” must register as a foreign agent and report such activity to the Department of Justice. Therefore as Rep. Myrick and GOP leaders are “officials of the government of the United States,” CAIR’s attempt to influence their conduct and associations in this way is a clear violation of the FARA statute.


On April 13 CAIR-Tampa echoed the CAIR national office message with this action alert and directed readers to a petition calling for 5,000 signatures condemning the GOP and Myrick for associating with ACT! for America. CAIR could only find a single spokesperson to prop up their attack on ACT! For America, a certain Reverend Wilifred Allen-Faiella of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Coconut Grove, FL. The CAIR action alert quotes from her letter which echoes, word for word, CAIR’s talking points from their smear campaign:
“As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ who preached love for all I am appalled that a Congresswoman can support a hate-filled group such as “Act for America”. Their statements about Muslims constitute hate speech and no responsible leader of this country founded on the principles that all are created equal should associate herself with such an anti-American group.”
Big mistake in spokepersons, CAIR.
The question is open as to whether CAIR bothered to investigate Allen-Faiella’s questionable background before they chose her to be their sole spokeperson, since she is best known for her starring role in a well-publicized 2004 Miami scandal when she allowed a convicted pedophile to volunteer at the thrift shop next to her church’s K-6 elementary school. On November 4, 2004 the Miami New Times reported that the volunteer, church member Steven Sypnieski, told the pastor in a “confidential pastoral setting” that he “had some problems in his past.” Apparently Allen-Faiella didn’t bother to check Sypnieski’s criminal record, easily accessible online. In 1992 Sypnieski was arrested by police for sexual battery on an 8-year-old boy he was babysitting, according to the arrest affidavit. He gave a confession and pleaded guilty to ‘custodial sexual battery.’ Astoundingly, he was sentenced only to ten years probation.
In October, 2003 – 11 years after the confession, just after his probation sentence ended – Sypnieski was brought into the Church School’s thrift shop as a volunteer by Allen-Faiella. Allen-Faiella admitted “I was made aware of his record on the sixteenth of December [a Tuesday in 2003],” but because the Christmas break was to begin Friday, she stated that “I intended to take care of the situation as soon as we got back. In fact I put it on the calendar for January 7 to talk with my priest assistant how we were going to handle the matter.” According to the Miami New Times, “When parents discovered the man’s criminal record, Allen-Faiella failed to take immediate action, so the school’s principal, Carol Shabe, forcefully confronted the pastor, demanding that the man’s school access be revoked at once….” According to the report, the school principal had to ask Allen-Faiella two more times to take Sypnieski’s keys away from him before Allen-Faiella would take action. Parents and donors withdrew support for the school in reaction to the pastor’s behavior; and Pastor Allen-Faiella fired the school principal Carol Shabe later that year for “divisiveness.”
Angry parents described Allen-Faiella as “intransigent and unresponsive.” Indeed, the pastor told the Miami newspaper “I think it’s being blown totally out of proportion… The appropriate people knew about it. No big deal was made about it. And suddenly it became a big issue.” According to the Miami New Times:
“Allen-Faiella also says that following Sypnieski’s dismissal, she’s learned his probation had ended prior to him volunteering, and that she’d read something indicating ‘he was not considered a criminal threat to the community.’ (She can’t recall where she saw the information.) Had she known these things earlier, would she have allowed Sypnieski to work at the parish? ‘That’s a moot point now,’ she responds.”
So let’s sum up. We assert that CAIR is an unregistered foreign agent under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (see our report here at CAIRObservatory.org). This particular influence operation by CAIR targeted Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R-NC), using a related influence operation to smear a national grassroots organization – ACT! For America, with nearly 80,000 members and 380 chapters – as “hate-filled…anti-American.” And the sole spokesperson that CAIR-Tampa could find to support their smear campaign is best known for her earlier tolerance for a convicted pedophile, for whom she permitted potential access to children in her care, according to news reports in the mainstream newspaper Miami New Times. We’ve sent the Reverend Wilifred Allen-Faiella a letter, posted below, to alert her that when CAIR chose her as a spokesperson, she was being targeted in a possible unreported political influence operation. We urge her in the letter to report the details to FARA.
And who are the foreign principals – individuals, companies, organizations, government offices – bankrolling CAIR’s smear campaign using that most tolerant (of pedophiles at least) Reverend Allen-Faiella? A major one is the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), who gave CAIR $325,000 in 2007 – just part of the $6.6 million in cash and loans given to CAIR by foreign principals based in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Iran. The OIC’s Ten Year Plan demands “deterrent punishments” for any alleged acts of so-called “Islamophobia” in non-Muslim countries.
These CAIR smear campaigns – against Congresswoman Myrick, and against ACT! For America – are only two of CAIR’s many political influence operations, targeting critics of CAIR’s Muslim Brotherhood links and critics of CAIR’s attempted enforcement of Shariah Law to silence free speech. Neither of these influence operations has been reported to the FARA office by CAIR as required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
And we think that’s against the law.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Naga Hammadi trial postponed; Copts ‘disappointed’

Pakinam Amer

Lawyers, human rights groups and relatives of the six victims of sectarian violence awaited a verdict on Sunday in the trial of the alleged culprits of the shootings that took place in early January–on the eve of Coptic Christmas–in the Upper Egyptian village of Naga Hammadi.

The verdict, however, never came. Instead, the trial was postponed to 16 May.

It has already been postponed twice, and the judge of Qena’s emergency criminal court announced that two members of the court panel were to be replaced, announcing the news names without notifying any of the lawyers. “This was unexpected. Usually such replacements occur during the break period and not while the case is still pending,” said Ishaq Ibrahim of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), who was present at Sunday’s proceedings.

According to Ibrahim, the three defendants–Mohamed el-Kamouny, Qurashy Abul-Haggag and Hendawy Sayyid Hassan–all pleaded not guilty. In addition, one of the witnesses–who had previously confessed that he was with el-Kamouny in the car when the shooting happened–has withdrawn his statement. Considered the mastermind behind the incident, el-Kamouny had already served time for stabbing two people to death two years earlier.

The shooting, which happened behind a Naga Hammadi church following Christmas mass, was perpetrated by several men driving two cars, according to eyewitnesses. They fired their weapons from the car without stopping, killing six Christian deacons and a Muslim church guard and wounding several others. The incident was the bloodiest in the history of the small Upper Egyptian town and sparked riots that later led to sweeping arrest campaigns and curfews.

It also prompted President Hosni Mubarak, who attributed the affair to the rise of fundamentalism and intolerance, to mention the incident on air and urge Egyptians to stand united.

On Sunday, however, the witness changed his statement, claiming they had been made “under pressure and as a result of police torture,” said Ibrahim. According to the EIPR monitor, the witness also accused police officer Ahmed Hegazy of violently extracting the confessions. The judge has summoned Hegazy “for discussions,” said Ibrahim.

“It seems we have reached point zero all over again,” Ibrahim noted. “The families have spoken to me and they’re furious and disappointed. And they fear that postponing the trial means that justice will be forgotten and that the culprits will not pay heavily as they should for their crimes.”

The official story of the arrests, according to state-run newspapers, was that the three men, all residents of Naga Hammadi, had turned themselves in, emerging from their hideout in a field after being surrounded by police forces. The alleged murderers were reportedly frustrated with local villagers’ unwillingness to assist them in their escape.

Following the trial, an argument erupted between Nabil el-Wahsh, el-Kamouny’s defense lawyer, and George Fahmy, who represents the six Coptic Christian victims. El-Wahsh reportedly shouted at Fahmy that “el-Kamouny is innocent. It’s the governor (of Qena) who should stand trial.” Neither lawyers could be reached for comment.

A day earlier, also in Qena, the trial of a Christian man charged with raping a 14-year-old Muslim girl in the town of Farshout was also in session. The alleged incident happened in November 2009 and has led to considerable unrest in the small town, located not far from Naga Hammadi. Christian shops were burned and houses looted and attacked.

According to the Interior Ministry, it was this incident that led to the Naga Hammadi shootings–although many Christians reject this explanation.

This trial, too, was postponed and the panel of judges may also be changed based on a request by defense lawyers who believe the current panel is biased against the defendant, according to Ishaq, who attended this trial as well.

Conversion sparks Coptic unrest in Beni Suef

By Pakinam Amer
Reports of a 17-year-old Christian boy converting to Islam sparked protests in the province of Beni Suef, 155 km south of Cairo, on Sunday night, a local priest told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Father George Wadie said that no less than a thousand Coptic Christians were demonstrating in front of the Somosta police station in a village in Beni Suef, wanting to know where the young man had been taken. Speaking from his cell phone at the site of the protest, Wadie said that people in nearby buildings were pelting Christian protesters with stones while police officers denied knowledge of the boy’s whereabouts. Voices and noise from the gathering could be clearly heard on the other end of the line.

Sami Aziz Fahmy, the young man at the center of the storm, is employed by a Muslim family in the same village. A day earlier, the family had taken him “on a work trip to Cairo,” according to the priest, after which his family was told by police that their son had converted to Islam and been removed from the village for protection.

The story has spread like wildfire among the Christian community in the village, prompting protests. As they stood around the police station, Christians could be heard chanting “We want Sami back!”

“The police are not responding to us. They have encouraged people in nearby buildings to try and drive us away by throwing stones at us, but we won’t leave,” said Father Wadie. “The boy is under-age. We just want to know where he is and be given the chance to talk to him. Security officials know where is, they know everything. But they’re being uncooperative.”

The incident recalls the case of Wafaa Constantine, the wife of a Coptic priest who had expressed a desire to convert to Islam in 2004.

Rumors abounded that she had been kidnapped and forced to convert as protests ensued and clashes with Muslims and the police spiralled out of control, leading to injuries and arrests. At the time, many Copts had gone on hunger strikes while others staged sit-ins for weeks near cathedrals and major churches.

Following that incident, in a form of silent protest against the subsequent arrest of Christians and against how the case was being dealt with by authorities, Coptic Pope Shenouda III went into seclusion in the Wadi el-Natroun monastery.

Coptic Christians, who constitute roughly 10 percent of the population, often complain that they are subject to discrimination, and even persecution, at the hands of the Muslim majority. Conversion from Christianity to Islam–and vise versa–is often a sensitive issue, especially since it is more acceptable for Christians to convert to Islam than it is for Muslims to convert to Christianity.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Muslim Egyptian Girl Who Converted to Christianity Subjected to Acid Attack

AINA) — Dina el-Gowhary, the 15-year-old Egyptian Muslim-born girl who converted to Christianity, was subjected to an acid attack, the latest in a string of failed attempts by Muslim fanatics against her and her father, 57-year-old Peter Athanasius (Maher el-Gowhary), who converted to Christianity 35 years ago. Several Fatwa’s were issued calling for the “spilling of his blood,” which makes their lives in constant danger in the face of the reactionaries and advocates for the enforcement of Islamic apostasy laws, which call for the death of a convert.

Dina said that three weeks ago as she ventured out from their hiding place in Alexandria with her father to get some bottled water, her jacket was set on fire due to acid being thrown at her. “My father quickly took my jacket off before the fire reached my arms. Ever since then I am terrorized to go out in the street, with or without my father.”

Through an aired interview with Freecopts advocacy Dina addressed an open letter to President Mubarak of Egypt begging him to save her and her father and allow them to leave Egypt.
She said that she had written previously to President Obama, who got her message and responded to it (AINA 11-17-2009). It was reported that the el-Gowharys met with the US Committee on International Religious Freedom on their last visit to Egypt in January 2010, and that they have asked for asylum in the United States (Fox News video).

Dina wonders whether she will get the same attention from President Mubarak as she did from President Obama. “Will he listen and lend us a helping hand, if, as they claim, he truly does not differentiate between Muslim and Christian citizens?” She asked the Egyptian President, who newly became grandfather to a baby girl “Do you accept that your granddaughter would live under the same conditions like mine? I have no home, I am always afraid when I go to church or even go out in the street, I have no friends and no education.”

In her letter to President Mubarak, Dina expressed her deep distress at the mistreatment and continuous troubles she finds everywhere she goes, including being beaten and humiliated. She tells of how “because of her love for Jesus” she left her Muslim mother and went to live with her Christian father, abandoning school where she was persecuted by teachers and students. “I was threatened many times before. Once coming back from school, a bearded young man stepped out of a car, lifted me through my clothes from the ground and warned me that if my father and myself do not go back to Islam, both of us will be killed.”

Dina, now living with her father for the last two years, has to move with him from one place to another in search of personal safety for both, in the face of the many threats that they experienced since her father declared his conversion to Christianity and his desire to his change religious designation in official documents.

In June 2009 a Court refused his request to order the Civil Registry to alter his religious designation on his ID to reflect his Christian religion and his Christian name, Peter Athanasius. The Court ruling said that the religious conversion of a Muslim is against Islamic Sharia law and poses a threat to the “Public Order” in Egypt. He appealed the Court ruling (AINA 6-16-2009).

In the Freecopts interview, Dina says that she hopes that President Mubarak will help them to leave Egypt in order for them to live normally and for her to continue her education.

The el-Gowhary family was barred from leaving Egypt on September 17, 2009 without any legal reason. They were told, however, that the order came from a higher authority. To this today, says Maher, he does not know why he is barred from travel and which authority exactly is barring him (AINA 9-26-2009).

He explained, in a interview with Freecopts this week, the extremely difficult circumstances they are living under, being hunted the whole time and with many attempts on their lives. “It is only due to the Grace and Protection of God, that we are still alive until today,” he adds.

“Why did they confiscate our passports? What have we done wrong?” said Dina. “The only thing we did is that we loved Jesus with all their hearts and converted to Christianity.” The teenage girl stressed that whatever the government does or will to them to force them to abandon Christianity is in vain. “We will never leave Christianity and we will never ever revert back to Islam. Jesus is simply etched in our hearts,” she said.

By Mary Abdelmassih

New York Imam Who Lied to Feds Ordered to Leave U.S.

New York (CNN) — A New York imam who pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents as they investigated an alleged terror plot was sentenced Thursday to time served and ordered to leave the United States within 90 days.

A plea agreement had recommended a sentence of up to six months in prison for Ahmad Wais Afzali.

“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Afzali told a federal judge during the sentencing hearing. “Honest to God, it was never my intention to help those idiots for what they do in the name of Islam” he added, an apparent reference to a phone call to Najibullah Zazi that federal authorities said blew the cover on their investigation of the terror plot.

Afzali elaborated on that comment after his sentencing in front of gathered press. Afzali said of Zazi, “Not only does he give himself a hardship and his family; also in a certain degree he’s making it hard for every other Muslim that lives in America.”

This week, new details emerged indicating that Zazi and two suspects planned to attack trains at New York City’s Times Square and Grand Central stations, according to a law enforcement source.

Afzali was originally charged in a four-count indictment but pleaded guilty to the one charge. He was accused of lying about whether he tipped off suspect Zazi that the FBI had been asking questions about his activities. Zazi subsequently pleaded guilty to conspiring to detonate explosives in the United States.

Afzali, a Muslim cleric and funeral director from the New York borough of Queens, was one of the first people charged in the investigation.

During a plea hearing in March, Afzali told the court that police had asked him to help provide information about Zazi and two other suspects, Adis Medujanian and Zarein Ahmedzay. He said he knew Zazi and Medujanian fairly well from when the men were teenagers and would attend his mosque for prayers and to play volleyball.

“The police interest in these men led me to believe that they were involved in some criminal activity, but I had no idea of its seriousness,” Afzali said after his March plea hearing, at times choking up during his statement.

He said he called Zazi on September 11, 2009, a day after he was contacted by authorities. “I told him that our phone call was being monitored. I told Zazi, ‘Don’t get involved in Afghanistan garbage and Iraq garbage, that’s my advice to you.’ ”

“On September 13 … I was interrogated by FBI agents for the first time. I believed that the FBI was angry at me for calling Zazi,” he added. “When I was asked whether I had told Zazi about law enforcement being interested in him, I lied and said I did not. My intention was not to protect Zazi, but to protect myself.”

He admitted to repeating the lie during another interview with prosecutors a few days later, saying, “In doing so, I failed to live up to my obligation to this country, my community, my family and my religion. I am truly sorry.”

The Afghanistan-born Afzali walked out of the courthouse Thursday wearing an electronic monitor, a stipulation of the plea deal.

“The sad part is that I have to say goodbye to the only country that I know. My kids are born here and my family lives here, it’s going to be a tough transition,” he said.

Asked where he was planning to go, Afzali said, “I would love to go to Canada, the closest country to America … but it all depends on the country and its regulations.”

Before entering his plea, the 38-year-old imam placed a scarf on the floor outside the courtroom and prayed. He later told reporters that he “just signed his death sentence” by accepting the plea deal, saying he didn’t want to leave the United States.

The two other suspects in the case, Ahmedzay and Medunjanin, pleaded not guilty in February to new charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property in the United States, as well as several other counts. The two had previously faced lesser charges.

Prosecutors say the men — 25-year-old U.S. citizens and residents of Queens — conspired with Zazi “to attack the New York subway system in mid-September 2009.”

A fourth suspect in the case is in custody in Pakistan, according to a law enforcement source.