ACM Year-Ender – The Role of the Australian Government on Egypt

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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 or belief.  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 for further attacks.

On the 13th October 2011 The Australian Federal Parliament passed a motion in both houses condemning the ongoing attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt.  The following day an identical motion was passed in the Legislative Council of NSW.

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 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 Australian 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 from the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists and Jihadists and these same groups make up the majority of the members who wrote Egypt’s new constitution.

The controversial constitution does not represent the cultural, religious, ethnic, and political diversity of Egyptian society. Furthermore, the 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.

We cannot think of a better time than now in light of Australia presence at the UN Security Council for the Australian Government to continue to advocate on behalf of the Coptic Minority in Egypt who represent one of the largest non-Muslim group throughout the entire MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. The very existence of all other minority groups in the MENA region rests with the fate of the Copts. If the Copts cannot be protect that no other minorities in the region will survive.

The Australian Coptic Movement Association

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