Wednesday, February 01, 2006

An article I found and a question

I just found an article online called Egyptian Copts are Oppressed (Link).

There is a line in the article that has a history I do not understand:

Among the Copts who are concerned with the general Coptic issue, none fail to realize the extent of the disagreement between myself and the engineer 'Adli Abadir, who sponsored the Zurich conference and the upcoming conference in Washington.

I was wondering if people more active with these issues can explain to me what the difference is here. I have seen some articles that question if these conferences are a good thing. I don't know much about them, but is it simply a difference in the way one person is going about it as opposed to another.

1 comment:

Egypeter said...

Hey David - I'll try and shed a little light on this issue.

Regarding your question about the comment in the article:

Among the Copts who are concerned with the general Coptic issue, none fail to realize the extent of the disagreement between myself and the engineer 'Adli Abadir, who sponsored the Zurich conference and the upcoming conference in Washington.

In the US, Canada and Australia there are pretty large Coptic diasporas who started popping up in the 60's and 70's. Within those imigrant Coptic communities who, basically started fleeing Egypt, there are Coptic organizations/activists who are lobbying their respective governments to intervene or at least positively influence the Copt's situation in Egypt which is deteiorating.

As far as Adli Abadir; I'm not sure who he is and why this author has problems with him. I think this guy Adli is from Canada and is the head of a Coptic organization up there. Now you have to realize that we're not terribly organized. Most immigrant Copts have been in their respective countries for only a relatively short time and are still organizing themselves politically.

He also mentioned Michael Meunir and didn't seem to fond of him either. But I've met Mr. Meunir and I actually support him and his efforts. Last November he unsuccessfully ran for the House in Virginia but he's a solid lobbyinst with a lot of political connections. The U.S. Copts Association is his organization and the U.S. Copts website is part of it. I think he's a good guy who helps spread the word on all of the persecution the Copts are suffering in Egypt. As far as why this writer doesn't like him; I don't know, it might be a personal thing.

Michael Meunir has helped organize two international conferences regarding the Copt's problems that has garnered some important people. In 2004 he held a conference in Zurich and some positive things came out of it. I think they called it the Zurich Resolutions. And then last year they held it in Washington where there were quite a few American politicians. A couple of senators attended the conference (Wolf and Brownback). Fred Barnes from FNC was also there. Several prominent middle east journalists, Muslim and Christian, and prominent Coptic activists from all around the world attended. So it was a pretty big deal. There was a significant improvement on the attention that the second one gained.

Well, needless to say, it bothered the Egyptian government and Mubarak enough that state-owned media (like Al-Ahram Newspaper) wrote editorials decrying the conference with the usually b.s. about how there are no problems between Copts and Muslims. But the US is starting to get fed up with Muburak and his lack of political reform and are now actually thinking about cutting US aid to Egypt. Egypt receives 2 billion dollars from the US annualy, second behind Israel. So Muburak wants to keep the Copts quiet. But the Copts are starting to get real concerned becuase there has been an Islamic wave sweeping the country over the last three decades. It's gotten to the point now where, after the recent elections, the Muslim Brotherhood holds the largest opposition bloc to Mubarak's NDP in parliament. Not good.

Anyway, so to answer your question, I don't know exactly what the conflict is b/w the two but they are working towards the same thing: Equality for Christians and women - I think a pretty noble thing. This writer is a good man (actually, I think a Muslim) who wants to see ALL Egyptians work together for a better Egypt.

I really like this point he made:

"Egypt Will Never Get On the Road to Recovery so Long as Copts and Women Do Not Enjoy Full and Unimpaired Citizenship"

And this is truly why Muburak and his National Democratic Party is afraid of:

"At the time, I also told him: 'If the Coptic issue is not discussed here, in Egypt, it will eventually be discussed abroad, and if we don't recognize all the aspects of the problem, then the Copts abroad will take [their cause] from the stage of merely crying out that they are being oppressed to the stage of [calling it] a human rights issue, and then many will pay attention to them on an international level, including important decision-makers"

Anyway, I know I've rambled on but hope that helps buddy. Take care.

In Christ,
Egypeter