Religious Tolerance in Egypt part.2
Okay, As i promised you in the previous post, here are some of the facts regarding coptic christians and religious tolerenace in Egypt. I always thought things were bad that they warranted stuff like that, but i seem to not have known many things about my own country. There will be no snarkiness, cause it's just too depressing. Read at your own risk: The Coptic Orthodox church is the largest in Egypt and the entire Middle East. It is approximately 7-10 million strong (10-14 % of the population), but since the church in Egypt is not allowed to carry out an official census, accurate figures are difficult to ascertain. Ninety-two percent of the Christian population are members of the Coptic Church, which existed before the arrival of Islam. Cairo is currently considered to be the hub of Sunni Islamic publications and scholarship. Altough the constitution provides for the freedom of belief and the practice of religious rites, the distinction between civil law and Shar'ia (Islamic Law) in Egypt has been deliberately eroded over the years. Significantly, in 1980, the National Assembly accepted an amendment to the Constitution, designating Shar'ia as “the…principal source of legislation” instead of “a…principle source of legislation”. Despite making up 6-14% of the total population, Copts hold only 5 out of 440 seats (1.13%) in the People's Assembly (Maglis El Sha'b). These representatives were appointed by the President. There is currently 1 coptic Minister among the 34 ministers of the current government. An official decree of the Ottoman Empire still in force is a 1856 law requiring non-Muslims to obtain a presidential decree to repair, remodel, or build a place of worship. A 1934 Minister of Interior Decree added ten conditions to the issuing of this decree. They include not allowing a church to be built within 100 meters of a mosque, requiring the permission of any utility official when the construction is near that utility, and requiring that none of the Muslim neighbors object to the buildings construction. It is reported that obtaining permission often takes years. During this delay, it is not uncommon for a mosque to be built near the site, causing the requested construction to be in violation of the above listed condition. This law was recently changed so those governors could issue a decree for repairs. Many see this as a further hindrance as lower officials are more easily influenced by extremist elements. All Egyptian citizens are required to have listed on their identity card whether they are Christian or Muslim. This card must be presented whenever a person applies for employment. There are cases of people who are trying to change their listed religion from Muslim to Christian being arrested for falsifying documents. Persons arrested on these charges have been interrogated and physically abused in an attempt to obtain information on other converts and their activities. The government-owned television stations broadcast only 2 hours of Christian programming a year on Easter. Most of the tax-supported programming is pro-Islamic, if not anti-Christian. Individuals who convert from Islam to Christianity face discrimination and violence from their family, Muslim neighbors, or the state police. Furthermore, a Muslim wife is required to divorce an apostate husband; converts from Islam lose all inheritance rights; they also lose custody of their children and they are unable to change their religious affiliation on state identity cards. No similar legal consequences befall converts from Christianity to Islam. While proselytizing is not illegal, some Muslim converts to Christianity have been charged with a provision of the Penal code that prohibits the use of religion to "ignite heavenly strife, degrade any of the heavenly religions or harm national unity or social peace." Children with Muslim names are enrolled in Islamic classes regardless of their parent's wishes. This presents a problem because parents are hesitant to give their children traditionally Coptic names as it increases the risk they will be discriminated against. As a result, Coptic parents try to give their children a name that is used by both religious communities. The Coptic language is not taught at Universities and the Coptic era in Egyptian history has been omitted in school history lessons. The Koran is often used to teach the Arabic language to students, including Christians, and Arabic language teachers are Muslim. Every school has a mosque, but no similar places of prayer exist for Christians. Ohh, and don't forget, if the Muslim Brotherhood takes over, they will be treated according to Shhariah and will have to pay a Gizyaah for "their protection". Man, this is just messed up! I am just glad i got my 5 year Visa to the States, cause if the MB ever takes over, i will be on the first plane out of here. And you want to know what's even worse? I am doomed to get like a hundred e-mails asking me why i hate my country so much and try to defame it whenever i get the chance. They will of course ignore that everything i mentioned here is true and will instead get mad at me for putting it out there for everyone to see. Imagine how much of a waste of time reading those e-mails will be. I can't wait!