Politicians join Copts in solidarity at ACM rally

ACM RALLY FEATURE

On Sunday, 14th April 2013, Australia’s Coptic Community descended on Martin Place, Sydney CBD to show their support for the persecuted Copts of Egypt and demand the immediate cessation of attacks on minorities.


Up to 2,000 people gathered in Martin Place, Sydney on Sunday, 14 April 2013 to protest against escalating attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt.

The rally was attended by HG Bishop Daniel of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese (Sydney, NSW) and HG Bishop Daniel of the St Shenouda Coptic Monastery (Putty, NSW), along with church heads from the Coptic Catholic Church and Presbyterian Churches. Also present were various Egyptian associations and Egyptian political representatives who make up the collation of the ‘Egyptian National Salvation Front, Australia’.

Protestors held banners reading messages such as: “World shuts its eye as more Copts die”, “Free Egypt from the Brotherhood” and “I want my Egypt back from those terrorists”.

The rally, hosted by The Australian Coptic Movement Association (ACM), was in response to the latest attack on thousands of Coptic mourners filing out of a funeral service at St Mark’s Cathedral.  The mourners were set upon by a Muslim mob that hurled fire bombs, live ammunition, tear gas and rocks at them while they were still inside the Cathedral.  Police were slow to arrive to the scene and, when they finally did – joined in the attacks.

ACM Spokesperson, Mr Peter Tadros described the Egyptian State Government’s complicity in the recent attacks and its repeated failure to protect minority Christians in Egypt as “State sponsored terrorism”.  He called for the Federal Government to use its seat on the UN Security Council to call for an end to Coptic persecution.

Both New South Wales State and Federal Parliaments were represented by attendees at the Rally.

The Hon. Mr Philip Ruddock MP, representing the Hon. Tony Abbott, reminded the protestors of Mr Abbott’s statement at a previous ACM rally, where he said that “a democracy must be judged not by how effectively it implements the will of the majority but how effectively it protects of the rights of the minority”.  Mr Ruddock assured the crowd that the Coalition Government would do all it can to voice the concerns of the Coptic community in Parliament.

In his address, Mr Chris Bowen MP, former Immigration Minister, condemned the most recent attacks told the protestors of Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s meeting with President Morsi last year, where he had raised the issue of Coptic persecution with Mr Morsi.

Mr Craig Kelly MP also called for the Australian Government to use its seat on the UN Security Council to address this issue on the international stage saying “now is not the time for silence or appeasement from the international community – for as the Copts go, so may the entire Middle East”.

The Hon. Rev. Fred Nile MLC proudly held a Coptic Cross throughout the event.  In his address to the Coptic protestors he called on the Australian Government to make urgent protests to the Egyptian President Mr Morsi, and request that he guarantees the protection of all citizens, including its Christian minority.

Other guest speakers included Mr Laurie Ferguson MP, Hon. Luke Foley MLC, The Hon. David Clark MLC and the Hon. Greg Donnelly MLC, Mr Hermiz Shahin representing the Assyrian Universal Alliance and Mr Mina Yassa from Amnesty Australia.

The rally was concluded with the Master of Ceremonies urging all those who attended to write to their Federal MP’s and raise their concerns with the escalating attacks against their counterparts in Egypt.

For inquiries, please contact The Australian Coptic Movement on at info@auscma.com. A PDF of the report can be found by clicking here

 

The Australian Coptic Movement Association’s operating costs are run purely on the donations received by its supporters and the tireless work of its volunteers. Please donate to our cause by clicking here and help the Copts promote their rights and their community. All donations greater than $2 are 100% tax deductible.

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