Egypt’s President Mohamad Morsi has issued a decree overnight virtually giving himself absolute power in post revolutionary Egypt.
Whilst claiming to be a ‘protector’ of the revolution, his new broad ranging powers mean that he cannot be challenged on any decision he makes. The declaration denies even the judicial oversight powers against the President; in a nutshell President Morsi has basically declared himself as a dictator, religious dictator.
The Australian Coptic Movement Association (ACM) rejects such moves and sees them as an opportunistic move to capitalise on western praise following the Egyptian brokered cease fire between Hamas and Israel.
The hundreds who gave up their lives on the 25th January 2011 both Muslim and Copt did not do so to install a fundamentalist Islamic nation. This is exactly what President Morsi is achieving right this moment. Furthermore, President Morsi promised to be a president for all Egyptians, however it is clear that he only represents the whims of the Muslims Brotherhood and ignores the rest of the Egyptian population who do not adhere to their political-religious ideology.
Since the Egyptian Revolution of the 25th January 2012 The Egyptian transitional government led by the military and subsequently under President Morsi continue to engage in and tolerate systematic and ongoing violations of freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Serious problems of discrimination, intolerance, and other human rights violations against members of religious minorities remain widespread in Egypt.
The government has failed to protect the Coptic minority. This high level of violence and the failure to convict those responsible continues to promote a climate of impunity, giving a green light for further attacks as well as encourage the ongoing phenomena of the disappearance of Coptic girls such as the case of 14 year old Sarah Malak who despite many requests has not been returned to her family. Even the newly enthroned Coptic Pope Tawadros II has been advocating for Sarah to no avail.
We note that on 04/09/2012 The Hon. Senator Bob Carr met with President Morsi and FM Mr Kamel Amr on in Cairo. During this visit the Hon. Senator Carr noted Australia’s large Coptic community and their concerns. Since then we noticed that the Hon. Prime Minister Julia Gillard also met with Egypt’s president as recently as 26/09/2012, just prior to Australia gaining its historic UN seat.
The attacks on Copts have become so regular that only the major attacks are reported in the media. Australia’s seat on the UN Security Council presents a valuable opportunity to uphold Australian values of justice and freedom especially since these were the main goals of the Egyptian revolution. The revolution has since been hijacked by Islamists and President Morsi.
The majority of members who are drafting Egypt’s new constitution hail from the Islamists parties. At the time of preparing this statement we learnt that the very few Christian members of the draft constitution assembly have since exited the committee due to the clearly Islamist tone of the majority of the members.
The draft constitution does not represent the cultural, religious, ethnic, and political diversity of Egyptian society. Furthermore, the draft constitution failed to uphold the objectives of the January 25th Revolution and undermines the values of citizenship, equality, freedom, and human rights.
The constitution that has been drafted leaves the door wide open to the creation of a religious state, which poses severe challenges to rights and freedoms and this contradicts the initial objective of the Egyptian Revolution of the 25th January 2011 which called for freedom and social justice for all.