Egypt Laws Do Not Protect Christian Copts' Rights, Could Destabilize Country's Future

Dr. Ali el-Samman, President of International Union for Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue and Peace Education (ADIC) in Egypt is warning that Egyptian law does not adequately protect Copts with the future stability of the state hanging in the balance.

Egyptian law does not protect Copts or women and the allocation of a quota system would help Copts and other religious minorities protect their rights, he stated, adding that it is a "shame" to keep the rights of Copts and women a topic of discussion in Egypt so far.

In his interview with Al-Masrya Al-Youm newspaper today, Samman said he was astonished that the 50-member committee drafting Egypt's new constitution did not include highly experienced constitutional personalities, such as Dr. Ibrahim Darwish, the constitutional jurist and other constitutional experts in Egypt.

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He stressed that Egypt needs to restore the security and prestige of the state because it is experiencing an "actual war with terrorism," explaining that the events experienced by Egypt must be "faced by all extraordinary legislative and executive measures ... the law must protect the rights of Copts, or the state will collapse," said El-Samman

Copts have been subjected to fierce attacks by Islamists since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi on July 3 and the breakup of the Muslim Brotherhood's sit-ins in Rabaa el-Adaweya and Nahda squares on August 14.

The attacks resulted in the burning of 82 churches, of which 32 were completely destroyed, in addition to looting and torching a large number of homes and shops owned by Copts in various Egyptian governorates.

Attacks have been renewed against Copts in different parts of the country, especially in Upper Egypt.

The attacks on Copts are usually tackled by the so-called "reconciliation meetings," customary meetings applied on Copts to give up their grievances by the encouragement of the security services. This allows perpetrators to go unpunished and such attacks to recur on Copts' property and churches.

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