The Honorable George W. Bush

President of the United States of America

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington DC

 

May 15, 2005

  

 Subject:-Regarding Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmad Nazif's Visit to Washington,

May 15 to May 22 , 2005

 

Dear Mister President:

  

As patriotic American citizens, the American Copts greet you and support your indefatigable efforts to eradicate terrorism and liberate religious, ethnic, and racial minorities suffering from persecution under the yoke of oppressive governments and failing political regimes.

 

We are sending this plea to you, Mr. President, as you and other members of the administration receive Mr. Ahmed Nazif, the prime minister of Egypt. Mr. Nazif was sent by President Hosni Mobarak in an attempt to shore up the stressed relations between the United States and Egypt.

Mr. Mobarak perhaps knows that he may not be very welcome in Washington while he is maneuvering and manipulating the Egyptian political scene trying to appear as a concerned leader, keen on the evolution and the establishment of a reformed truly democratic political system in Egypt, while he is actually suppressing and oppressing any real attempt at this.

 

Mr. President, please don't be deceived by Mr. Momarak sweet talk and excuses. Mr. Mobarak is known to talk different from the two sides of his mouth. He had ample time to implement badly needed political and other reforms in Egypt but he always brutally crushed any honest and peaceful opposition to his rule. The Copts' grievances have been presented repeatedly to Mr. Mobarak tpo be met with utter refusal and denial of the existence of any problems facing the Copts in Egypt. These grievances include among others: the exclusion of the Copts from all the higher positions in the three branches of the Egyptian government as well as the army and the police, the continued adoption of a more than one and a half century old Ottoman decree prohibiting the building of new churches without a virtual explicit license by the president of Egypt, the so called "Hamayoni Edict", while no such restrictions stand in the way of building any number of mosques in the country, the total islamization of public education and the media without giving the Copts similar and adequate rights in these important areas that shape up the attitude and the behavior of the country's Moslems against the Copts, the consistent bias of the Egyptian judiciary and police against  the Copts in favor of the Moslems when conflicts arise between the two parties, the abduction and forced conversion of Coptic minors to Islam, and the failure of the Egyptian state to protect the Copts against physical aggression and psychological abuse which are becoming matters of repeated daily occurrence all over the country. The final resolutions of the Diaspora Copts Symposium held in Zurich, Switzerland, towards the end of September 2004 reiterated these grievances. A copy of these resolutions is included with this letter. These same resolutions were relayed to Mr. Mobarak and, as usual, were met with his total negligence and silence.

 

However, the most important issue, and indeed the root of all these problems facing Egypt and making this otherwise peaceful and progressive country a breeding place for terrorists is the fact that the Second Article of the current Egyptian Constitution states that Islam is the state religion. This provision is not only against the spirit of our modern times but it relegates the ten million Copts of Egypt to a state of dhimmitude and robs them of their legitimate rights in their country. As far as the Copts are concerned, this is the root of all the evil that hit the Copts since it was introduced by the late President Anwar El Sadat in an attempt to appease the growing Islamist power in Egypt at the time, and to neutralize his opponents influence. This article, which is an affront to any modern state, should be the first to be abrogated in a truly reformed constitution. It is virtually the root of all evil that affected Egypt and her Copts and Moslems.

 

Of immediate concern to us, the Christian Egyptian Americans, is what is now happening to our kin in Egypt. The de facto islamization of Egypt under Mobarak and the concurrent deterioration of the status of the Copts in their homeland are well known to your administration. There are ongoing efforts to annihilate the native Christian community of Egypt. This has been going on since the 1952 coup d'etat, but has greatly intensified under Mobarak's rule. Attempts to obliterate the native Christian Egyptian community, of at least ten million native Egyptians, are exemplified but not restricted by making the Copts fair targets to terrorist attacks as happened in the notorious Al Kosheh massacre of December 31, 1999, when twenty one Copts were literally slaughtered by terrorist Moslems, yet the Egyptian State failed to punish the perpetrators and set them all free after  repeated parodies of tinted Egyptian justice. The active participation of the Egyptian "State Police" was a scandal that helped the politically influenced and pressured judges to send all the perpetrators of this pogrom literally free.

 

More recently, in a well publicized Egyptian television interview, perhaps meant to cool down the Egyptians' feelings of anger and frustration with his regime, and may be at the same time a signal the beginning of what he tries to paint as a legitimate "re-election campaign", President Mobarak clearly indicated his opposition to the repair of old churches and the building of new ones. During this interview Mr. Mobarak stated emphatically that he would be opposed to the repair of old churches, and logically the building of new ones, if this would "arouse religious sensibilities." Of course the  Egyptian president knows that the Moslem fanatic sensibilities towards repairing and building churches have such a low threshold that any lowly security man in a village can successfully defy his written permit and stop the construction or repairs of any church. This is certainly the only time an Egyptian dares thinking about going against the president's orders!

Mr. President, this very statement by Mr. Mobarak, , is a carte blanche for the Moslem fanatics, the main source of terrorism all over the world, to justify burning Coptic churches and the abortion of any attempts to repair or build them in the land of Egypt. This statement by Mr. Mobarak is a de facto legalization of the daily acts of aggression against the Copts, their churches and their possessions. As it is, this unfortunate uttering will enforce the already existing laws dating back to the dark days of Ottoman occupation of Egypt, which put almost impossible conditions that a Coptic community has to meet before they are eligible to get a license from the president of Egypt, no less, to build a new church in a village! Mr Mobarak often says that he never denied a license to build a church, but he obfuscates two facts: That the Copts should not need the permission of the president of Egypt to build a church exactly as Moslems don't  need such a largesse from the president to build any number of mosques anywhere they like, and the fact that his permits to build churches are often successfully challenged and abrogated by the lowly state employees who would not otherwise say a word against the president.

 

As you know Mr. President, unlike the USA, in Egypt, any presidential uttering becomes a law! By making this unfortunate and discriminatory statement Mr. Mobarak legalized the ongoing destruction of churches and put a new and added impassable hurdle  towards repairing or building new churches.

 

Mr. President, we all know that the US support is crucial for the survival of the current decrepit and failing regime in Egypt. The American Copts plea with you to send Mr. Ahmed Nazif back to his master telling him to take active and prompt measures to improve his nasty record vis a vis the Copts, and restores to them their God given rights in their own land.

This would be a confirmation of the seriousness of your administration in its relentless resolve to eradicate terrorism, promote freedom and the respect of the human rights of all the nations, especially those who are unfortunate enough to be under dictatorial or tyrannical rule.

 

Mr. President, it is very unlikely that a person who feels the dignity and freedom in his homeland resorts to terrorism. Freeing Egypt from the destructive path of islamization adopted by conceded to by Mr. Mobarak would be a major step to fight terrorism. Helping the Copts of Egypt would certainly be a very significant step towards freeing the world from the wraths of persecution and hating the others.

 

Mr. President, the Copts of the United States of America thank you and wish you all the success in your visionary attempts to stamp out tyranny and terrorism all over the world. We shall always pray for your success.

 

Chemist, Milad Iskander, President,

American Coptic Association

www.amcoptic.com

P.O. Box 55 Saddle River,

New Jersey 07358

 

Sincereley,

Milad S. Iskander