FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
6/28/2013 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) –International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Egypt’s Christian communities are planning to join in Sunday’s (June 30th) street protest against President Mohammed Morsi. The demonstrations are expected to be massive- the largest since the protests which brought down Mubarak’s regime. Protestors cite the trampling of human rights, economic mismanagement, the inability of the Morsi-led government to maintain law and order, and Morsi’s increasingly apparent desire to morph Egypt into an Islamist State.
June 30 marks the one-year anniversary of President Mohammed Morsi. The opposition to Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is coming from all segments of society, including liberal secularists, moderate Muslims, and Christians. “Lots of people from all walks of life are going to protest, demanding the government of Morsi and his brotherhood to step aside,” Hal Meawad, a spokesman for Coptic Solidarity and human rights defender told ICC.
One of the organizers of this protest, the opposition movement “Tamarod” or “Rebel,” claims to have collected more than 15 million signatures calling for Morsi’s resignation and new elections. The amount of signers on the petition are more votes than Morsi received in the 2012 presidential election, Reuters reports. The protests “represent the majority of Egyptians, not just Copts,” Meawad told ICC. “He is not the president of the majority, he was only voted in by 14% of Egyptians.”
Many Egyptians fear Morsi will attempt to crush the protests using MB/Salfist thugs. If that doesn’t work, he has threatened to use the military. “You should be expecting a civil war. They (the MB) are already gathering their people to stop us by force,” an ICC contact in Cairo said on Thursday. The new defense minister and commander of Egypt’s army (appointed by Morsi), Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, pushed for the two sides to reach an agreement but said the armed forces remain ready to act “to prevent Egypt from sliding into a dark tunnel of conflict.”
The economic collapse under the Morsi government, the growing Islamization of the country, and the abuses of human rights are at the center of the protests. “The country is suffering in every area of life, unemployment is sky-rocketing. There is no security. The country is suffering from a total breakdown of law and order,” said Meawad.
Despite pressure from Morsi to keep Christians from joining, many are planning to participate in the protests as they have been especially abused during Morsi’s year in office. “Christians were struggling under Mubarak; but there is a huge difference between Mubarak rule and Brotherhood rule. Morsi and the Brotherhood want to establish an Islamic state in Egypt. Their mission is to totally eliminate Christianity from Egypt. Now we have active persecution. We have the government actively participating in the persecution,” Meawad told ICC.
Aidan Clay, ICC Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “The situation for all Egyptians has worsened in the year since Mohammed Morsi took office. Rather than pursuing a path to bring together all aspects of Egyptian society in the spirit of the 2011 protests, he has chosen to promote an Islamist agenda which has alienated large segments of the population, pushed the country to the brink of economic collapse, and contributed to a culture of violence and abuse. Egypt’s Christian community has become the target of persecution, both through the government itself, as well as increased social hostilities. As Egyptians take to the street to protest the abuse of their rights, ICC hopes the clash will not produce violence and disorder but will return the Egyptian society to a path that promotes the dignity and fundamental rights of all of its citizens.”
For interviews, contact ICC’s president, Jeff King, at 800-422-5441.
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