- (Photo: Reuters)
The founder of an international group of advocates for the equality and rights of Coptic Christians is appealing to the leaders of democratic nations to cut any ties with Egypt. The Voice of the Copts is attempting to thwart President Mohamed Morsi's regime from implementing a primarily Islamic-based constitution.
"We demand that world leaders withdraw their recognition of Egypt's phony 'pro-democracy' leader, Mr. Morsi, who is backed by the illegal Muslim Brotherhood party," states Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, president of Voice of the Copts, in an open letter sent Monday. "Freeze your political relationships with Egypt, halt all investments and aid to Egypt and force Mr. Morsi's regime to step down. This will facilitate legitimate democratic goals yet to be achieved by Egypt's freedom fighters."
Coptic organizations around the world, including the U.S.-based Egyptian Front for National Salvation and Coptic Solidarity have been issuing similar demands since Morsi issued a new constitutional declaration in which he arrogated to himself sweeping powers, and enabled himself to be shielded from legal challenge through the courts.
Thousands of Egyptians within the country have been demonstrating against Morsi's regime as well for the last several weeks.
Voice of the Copts is also appealing to "all Egyptian freedom fighters fearlessly and heroically standing up against the Morsi regime."
"We support you as you continue to stand up and exercise enormous courage once again as when recently you opposed the dictatorial constitutional amendment of November 22 made by Mr. Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party," stated Ramelah. "Your bold action obligated Mr. Morsi to withdraw the power grab he executed in defiance of democratic principles. Now he has backed down and responded to your demands thanks to your brave persistence."
He is asking all Egyptians to oppose Morsi's new constitution draft by boycotting the Dec. 15 referendum.
"The new draft promotes anti-democratic Islamic principles of intolerance. With a boycott, Egyptians can avoid another corrupt election and reject the avenue paved by Mr. Morsi toward Islamic Shariah law," Ramelah said. "A select group chosen from the Muslim Brotherhood membership seeking Islamic supremacy has written Egypt's new draft constitution with the future goal of creating an Islamic Umma. Expunge this draft now!"
Voice of the Copts would like to see free world and human rights activists stand with Egyptian freedom fighters and "against any attempt by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood to build a center of Islamic power and jihadist terrorism."
On Monday, Egypt's military was given responsibility for protecting state institutions and maintaining security as the government braces for likely mass demonstrations of both opponents and supporters of Morsi ahead of a Dec. 15 constitutional referendum.
International rights groups have voiced concern over the military's role as a security force for Egypt. The military ran the government for 16 months after President Mubarak's fall.
''Considering the track record of the army while they were in charge, with more than 120 protesters killed and in excess of 12,000 civilians unfairly tried before military courts, this sets a dangerous precedent,'' said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui of Amnesty International, as reported by AP.