ACM Statement regarding the latest events to unfold in Egypt. (including the celebration tonight, Friday 5th July 2013, at Martin Place from 6:30PM)
The Australian Coptic Movement Association (ACM) congratulates the Egyptian people for once again standing in solidarity against a dictatorial regime led by former President Mohamed Morsi. Following the widespread Tamarod (“Rebel”) campaign that collected the signatures of over 22 million Egyptians, an estimated 17 million protestors took to the streets in what has been described as the largest protest in history. The ACM notes General Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi’s announcement that the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court would take the powers of the presidency and has temporarily suspended the Egyptian Constitution.
The ACM expresses its concern at that lack of support displayed by Western leaders in response to the ousting of President Morsi. Foreign Minister Bob Carr earlier described events in Egypt as ”deeply disappointing”. In an interview with Fran Kelly on Radio National yesterday, Senator Carr also stated:
“…one of the hopes many people had was that the Egyptian brotherhood which has been a force in Egypt from its formation in the 1920s would have an experience in government and undergo the maturation that comes from any political force that accepts democratic rules and participates in government. And many people thought it was the best potential outcome, Muslim Brotherhood, such a organised force, such a mobilising force would actually taste political power and use it responsibly.”
The ACM finds these comments to be disturbing given that the Muslim Brotherhood:
- has been an outlawed terrorist organisation in Egypt for over 80 years with strong ties to Al Qaeda, having only seized power as a result of the political vacuum following the Egyptian Revolution of 2011;
- was elected with only a 1% majority (and in light of widespread claims of rigging, bribery and corruption during the election process);
- has quickly lost its mandate to govern, given the widespread dissent of the Egyptian people.
Under President Morsi’s rule, Egypt is said to have plunged into its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, despite its heavy reliance on foreign aid. There has been a marked increase in hostilities towards Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority, the Shia minority, private media outlets and a worrying trend of sexual assaults targeting women.
The ACM are also deeply concerned by reports that in the lead up to Tamarod on 30 June 2013, US Ambassador Anne Patterson encouraged Copts to not participate in the protests.
Protesting and petitioning against a government is a fundamental democratic right.
The ACM rejects the notion that the Egyptian army is staging a coup d’état. It asserts that the army’s reactions were an inevitable response to the overwhelming demands of the Egyptian people.
Whilst Coptic Australians are concerned the recent events in Egypt mark an uncertain future for Coptic Christians in Egypt, the ACM remains hopeful that the ousting of President Morsi will bring about positive change in Egypt – for all Egyptians.
Members of the Egyptian community in Sydney will gather at Martin Place (main stage) from 6.30pm to 8.30pm tonight (5th July 2013) in celebration and in demonstration of their solidarity with the Egyptian people.
Come join in the celebration and hope the best for a new Egypt!
For inquiries, please contact us.
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