(Photo: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
Said Abdel Hafez, head of the Dialogue Forum for Development and Human Rights, recently stated that comments made by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi indicating there are no sectarian incidents in Egypt is a "lie" because he knows the essence of civil and political rights is the right to freedom of belief and worship.
Abdel Hafez told Mideast Christian News that President Morsi definitely knows the incidents committed against Egyptian Copts- their right to freedom of faith and worship was violated and their churches and houses were demolished and burned- were sectarian in nature.
Hafez noted that other Copts were killed because of their religious identity and some were forcibly displaced from their villages and homes because of the ongoing clashes between Copts and Muslims.
"I think there is no reason which would make the president lie in the media and allege that there are no sectarian incidents, and that he sees what is happening as simple skirmishes and believes they do not constitute a phenomenon," Hafez told MCN.
"I would like to remind him of Coptic citizen Hilal Saber, who was asked just one question, 'Are you a Christian?' and was burned alive because his answer was 'yes,'" Hafez explained.
Abdel Hafez went on to say that if President Morsi does not believe that there is a sectarian crisis in Egypt that is his own choice. However, Egypt is witnessing sectarian incidents carried out by militant groups that find political cover in such statements released by the President of the republic, he said.