His Excellence, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Canberra;
Best regards and prayers for your continuous
success in all issues.
We would like to congratulate you on the
occasion of Ramadan fasting, asking the Lord God to accept all our prayers,
grant His grace to the whole world, edified in peace and unity between all His
people, world wide.
Your Excellence; when you hosted me in Canberra on 26th
celebrating the July Revolution, we noticed that you are an understanding,
eloquent, calm, and a beloved person by all. Our relationship became strong,
and on this basis we both are partners in weaving the one nation of Egypt, with its two wings. This nation
which has a special love in our hearts, never waived by time or distance, or
any other obstacle presented by the enemy of good, whether divisions or
persecution, or sorrowful incidents which take place from time to time.
In recognition of this strong relationship, and
on behalf of the Coptic Orthodox congregation in Australia and North East Asia, we would like to mention some
points, which are recently bothering us:
1. The late incidents in Moharram Bek, Alexandria resulted in dangerous issues, the
most important of which is the division between the children of the one nation.
It would have better been dealt with in a modern objective manner. Who is the
beneficiate of this incident? Why would the Egyptian media remember something,
which happened two years ago? Why especially at that time? Why didn’t the
Egyptian media highlight what was hurting to one of the two wings of the nation
(the Coptic Christians), as in the T.V. series of ‘The Time of Flowers’ (which
is against the doctrine of the Holy Bible), the movie ‘I love Cinema’ (belittling the worship and Church), the series ‘A
Girl From Shoubra’ (humiliating the Christian
Religion as a whole)? This is not something new for the Egyptian media, as we
can never forget what was released by ‘Al Nabaa’ (The
News) Newspaper, which led to a calamity.
Would the Alexandria incidents lead some of our brethren
from the other wing of the one nation, to ask H.H. Pope Shenouda
III Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark in Egypt and the whole world, to offer an
apology? The aim of the Church’s play was to enlighten our congregation, and to
confirm their faith. Do we blame the Church for such an action? In addition,
His Holiness and the Melli Council had reviewed this
play, and they issued a report stating that there was nothing wrong with the
play. What is really astonishing is that the Egyptian media totally ignored
that report. Do we have the right to ask an apology from Sheikh Al Azhar, if one of the mosques’ Sheikhs insulted the Coptic
Christian brethren in Egypt (which happens frequently in some
mosques in Egypt during the Friday sermon; I
personally heard them during one of my visits to Egypt, saying that we are infidels)? Is
it believable that the Alexandria incident would lead to the
allowance of shedding H.H. Pope Shenouda’s blood,
which was clearly stated in one of the Egyptian newspapers? Is it one of
Islam’s teachings that one of its groups would destroy the neighbouring areas
in the proximity of the place of the incident? Isn’t this considered unfair for
those people whose possessions were destroyed?
Your Excellence the Ambassador: All these
questions are flowing in the minds of the educated people, and those who have
sincere love for their country. The issue is deeper.
We would honestly like to thank President
Muhammad Hosni Mubarak for
his quick reaction with Alexandria incidents, yet we have to
investigate the matter in depth, objectivity and common sense. The huge amount
of Egyptian media, whether articles, T.V. series, movies and many other media
arms is in real need to an accurate investigation, carried by responsible officials
in the country, reaching the level of modern thinking and caring for others,
carried on an understanding, logic criticism, clearance and wise
We would also add that some of the Egyptian
writers, play a big role in this situation, for example, Dr. Emara mentioned many times in his articles that the Holy
Bible is not authentic, that Christians are infidels, and that there is no
other religion but Islam. This issue also needs an understanding approach from
the responsible officials.
The Alexandrian incidents were not
demonstrations of thousands of Muslims without planning. If anyone is following
these events, he would notice that there people planning a well organized
destructive demonstration, there are people providing financial support, and
there are people carrying these missions. The discovery of these realties is a
real threat to the security of Egypt. The Investigation & Security
Departments in modern countries discover the incidents before they takes place,
then it becomes ‘Proactive’ and not ‘Active’. It also organizes a vision, a
strategy and a plan to face such incidents, which threaten the peace of any
country and destroy its civilization.
We need an investigation in the Alexandrian
incidents, to discover the causes, so that such incidents never happen again.
It is enough what was spent of time, effort and finance to fix such
irresponsible actions. The time, effort and finance would have been rather
spent in the development and upraising of Egypt, our beloved country.
2. Your Excellence, there is another
important issue: What is the status of the Copts on the political and social
map in their country Egypt?
The nominations to the ruling National party, include only 2 Coptic Christians out of 444 Coptic
and Muslim nominations. One of the two Copts Maher Khella, nominated for Ghorbal area in Muharram Bek in Alexandria withdrew because of the late
incidents. If we have a look at the statistics, we find that the percentage of
one Coptic nominee in a total of 444 Coptic and Muslim nominees is a ratio of
0.225%. Our question is: What is the reason? Aren’t we the people about whom
the President said: The Copts are one of the two wings of the one nation?
H.H. Pope Shenouda III also said: Egypt is a nation which lives inside us,
not a nation in which we live.
Your Excellence the Ambassador, the freedom of
doctrine and opinion, the respect of others, living in peace and carrying out
real democracy are basis for modern countries. In Australia, we live in a society consisting of
200 nationalities; they all live in peace, love their country and do their best
for its development. Our beloved country Egypt has only one nationality; which
is the Coptic Nationality, as the word ‘Copt’ comes from the word ‘Egyptous’, which means in old Egyptian history “Egyptian”.
Your Excellence the Ambassador, we thank you
for your love, we ask you to send a copy of this letter to President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian
Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Egyptian Minister of Information, the Egyptian
Minister of Education and Sheikh Al Azhar.
Again, we wish full progress and success in
your great mission, asking Your Excellence whenever you receive a response from
any of the responsible officials in Egypt, if you could kindly send it to us,
just to clarify the issue for the 70,000 (seventy thousand) Coptic Christians
living in Australia, and the Coptic Christian families living in North East
Asia, they are all very upset because of the latest incidents, especially the
declaration of the shedding of His Holiness’ blood.
Your Excellence, we are the children of the
martyrs, we do not fear death. Emperor Diocletian killed one million Coptic
Christians in the third century (particularly in the year 284 AD), yet the
Coptic Christians are still existing in Egypt and the whole world.
What had happened is inappropriate; it presents
an unacceptable image of Egypt our beloved country.
May the Lord preserve Your Excellence for us,
and for Egypt our beloved country.
With the Grace of God
Bishop of Sydney And
Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, China and Malaysia.