Dr. Mohamed Nabil Gamie, an intellectual and professor at Alexandria University, said the recent statements made by the Muslim Brotherhood's Mufti prohibiting the congratulations of Copts during their holiday reflect a lack of religious knowledge.
"As a citizen and a Muslim, I believe that statement has no value, but unfortunately the Brotherhood does not listen to words of science and logic," Gamie told Mideast Christian News.
Gamie stressed the necessity of congratulating Copts on their festivals and stated that no one should ask about the religion of other citizens because there is not in a religious war ongoing and it is not the age of religious conquests. more >>
As Orthodox Christians held Easter masses Saturday in the Middle East, North Africa and around the world, President Obama greeted the faithful saying Jesus' sacrifice "so that we might have eternal life" is an apt reminder this year with the region facing violent persecution.
"For millions of Orthodox Christians, this is a joyful time," Obama said in a statement issued by the White House on Saturday. "But it's also a reminder of the sacrifice Christ made so that we might have eternal life. His decision to choose love in the face of hate; hope in the face of despair is an example we should always strive to follow."
It's especially important to remember this year "as members of the Orthodox community have been confronted with persecution and violence, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa," the president added. "For centuries, the region and the world has been enriched by the contributions of Orthodox communities in countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq." more >>
Mohamed Abu Samra, secretary-general of the Islamic Jihad Party, made the claim that "it is permissible to kill some Christians today," then gave his argument defending such a position.
He justified this announcement by saying: "Those who came out with weapons, their blood is allowed for us [to spill], as a fighter is not considered dhimmi."
Dhimma is the Islamic law that specifies non-Muslims are to be protected residents within the Islamic state in exchange for taxes. more >>
Deputy Chairperson of Egypt's Nour Party Sayed Mustafa stated that Muslims should not congratulate Copts during their holiday since they are of two different faiths.
"We are not forced to congratulate Copts on their religious holidays, because we disagree with their faith and Copts celebrate the Easter according to their beliefs," Mustafa said in a statement.
"Copts are likewise not supposed to congratulate us on our Islamic holidays, as our religion obliges us that there is no compulsion in religion … the Nour Party is a political party with an Islamic reference so we do not, as policy, discuss the prohibition of such congratulations," he said. more >>
Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria called for enforcement of the law upon everyone in society without discrimination.
In an interview published on Thursday in Al-Nasr magazine, Pope Tawadros II expressed his fear of the state being established on a religious basis.
"Egyptian society refuses religious formation of the state," the pope was quoted as saying. "What was established by Muhammad Ali nearly two hundred years ago was a modern civil state that respected pluralism." more >>
Following the fatwa issued by a Muslim Brotherhood mufti, congratulating Copts on the Easter holiday was prohibited.
There have also been a number of recent calls made to prevent the celebration of Sham al-Nessim, an Egyptian national holiday marking the beginning of spring, which is celebrated the day after Eastern Christians Easter, which is also recognized as an official state holiday.
Fliers were distributed in the governorate of Beni Suef, outside of Cairo, which read "Sham el-Nessim is Not Our Holiday," and included a fatwa prohibiting citizens from celebrating the holiday. more >>