January 7th, 2008 05:45 EST
Letter to President Bush: Please Ask President Mubarak These Questions
The following is a letter to President Bush released by Mounir Bishay, President of Christian Copts of California:
A message to President Bush: Please Ask President Mubarak These Questions
Dear President Bush:
During January 8-17, 2008, you will be touring the Middle East visiting several countries including Egypt. The purpose of your tour is to help the Palestinians and the Israelis reach a permanent reconciliation to their conflict and bring peace to that troubled region. This is a noble cause which we applaud you for taking and we pray that you succeed in your mission.
There is however another cause that we hope you will include in your agenda which we believe to be as important and urgent. It has to do with the grave state of the Christian Coptic minority of Egypt.
As you meet President Mubarak we hope that you raise this issue with him. There are many questions we would like you to ask him, here are just a few.
Are you aware that under your rule Coptic Christian citizens of Egypt are systematically being discriminated against while you haven`t done much to correct the matter? Is this because you don`t know or you don`t care?
Why are attacks against the Coptic Christians of Egypt by their Muslim neighbors escalating alarmingly during your rule? What plans do you have to curb them?
Why are the Coptic people, who number over ten percent of Egypt`s population, represented by just about one half of one percent in Egypt`s parliament? What mechanism do you have to correct this shameful under representation?
Why are certain high-ranking positions in Egypt out of reach for Coptic people? And why are Copts systematically and drastically limited from occupying certain high-ranking positions?
Why must permits to build or repair churches be approved by the President or regional governors, unlike permits to build mosques? Why not enact a unified law for building all places of worship?
Why does Egypt not recognize the right of Muslims to convert to other religions of their choice? Why have many of those Muslims who convert to Christianity been detained and tortured in Egypt`s prisons while Christians who want to convert to Islam are usually welcomed, encouraged and rewarded?
Are you aware that under your rule underage Coptic Christian girls are being kidnapped by Muslim men, illegally forced to convert to Islam, and forced to marry outside of their faith?
President Bush, there is no greater legacy to achieve for your presidency than to be remembered as a fighter of terrorism, a champion of peace and a defender of the oppressed.
We pray that you succeed in all.
This Message is Sponsored by Coptic Organizations Worldwide