ACM presents at 4th Annual Coptic Solidarity Conference in Washington DC

Monica Presenting

ACM’s Monica Mikhail presented at Coptic Solidarity’s 4th Annual Coptic Solidarity Conference held in Washington DC. The conference, held annually, attracts a host of international activists, politicians and researchers alike to examine the role of Copts and their ongoing struggle in a changing Egypt.

Capitol Hill is more than just the meeting place of the U.S Congress.  It is a grand and historic figure -synonymous with freedom, liberty and justice.

It was only fitting that Day 1 of Coptic Solidarity’s Fourth Annual Conference kicked off in the heart of Capitol Hill in Washington DC – and Monica Mikhail was privileged to attend, representing the Australian Coptic Movement (ACM).

The conference, titled “To What Extent Will the U.S. and the International Community Support an Islamist Government in Egypt?” ran over two days, from 20-21 June 2013.

Its “Policy Education Day” on Day 1, hosted an impressive line up of speakers, including the United States’ 81st Attorney General, Judge Michael Mukasey; Canada’s Religious Freedom Ambassador, Dr. Andrew Bennett; Ambassador R. James Woolsey, Former Director of Central Intelligence; Baroness Cox, Member of UK House of Lords; author and FOX News Journalist, Judith Miller, and a total of 9 Members of US Congress and Parliamentarians.

It was encouraging to see speakers with such depth of knowledge and expertise, share in the ACM’s passion for the human rights of the Coptic Christians of Egypt and clarify our priorities in lobbying for the rights of Coptic Christians in the Western world, particularly with respect to the US Obama Administration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 of the Conference was hosted at the Marriott Hotel in Washington DC.  Coptic Solidarity President, Mr Adel Guindy, opened the conference stating “America could be on the wrong side of history by its continued support of a fascist regime that is rejected by the Egyptian People”.

Speakers included panellists addressing regional security issues and examined the role of the Brotherhood Regime, both in Egypt and its influence in the current US Administration.

As a member of a panel chaired by author and journalist, Mr Raymond Ibrahim, ACM’s Monica Mikhail was given the opportunity to present on the activities of the ACM in Australia.  Monica noted that the issue of Coptic persecution had gained widespread attention and was becoming an increasingly recognised human rights issue amongst both politicians and the wider Australian community.  She spoke of motions in Parliament, passed unanimously both in the Federal and NSW State Houses of Parliament, following widespread lobbying and activist campaigns adopted by the ACM.  Monica also presented the ACM’s plans for lobbying the Australian Government to raise the Coptic issue at the UN Security Council.  She also called for a united front amongst the 4-million Coptic diaspora stronghold outside Egypt and urged attendees to consider what strength there is in unity.

Being the only representative from Australia, the conference presented a great opportunity for the ACM to share its Australian experiences with the wider international Coptic community and to draw on the experiences of others.

Recommendations were made following the conference, including a call to:

(1) press the US State Department to designate Egypt as a ‘Country of Particular Concern’ in line with the US Commission of International Religious Freedom’s recommendation;

(2) pressure the Obama administration to condition its $1.8billion in US foreign aid on the protection of the human rights of its Coptic citizens and;

(3) support the passage of both House and Senate bills for the Creation of a Special Envoy to promote Religious freedom in Egypt.

For further details on the Coptic Solidarity conference, please contact info@auscma.com.

 

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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