Closed Meeting of Immigrant Copts and Saad Eddin Ibrahim; Preparations to Establish International Coptic Entity

More than a hundred activists of immigrant Copts in the United States and Europe held a closed meeting on March 28-29 with Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim in Virginia.

The meeting discussed all matters relating to the work of the Coptic immigrants and how to avoid mistakes of the past. They said they would start procedures to establish a Coptic organization that can demonstrate the powers of the immigrant Copts individually and collectively.

Dr. Ibrahim said that religion should be separated from the state, and that he objects to Article II of the Constitution that stipulates Islam as the religion of the State, and Islamic Shariah as the main source of legislation.

The meeting was attended by Adel Guindi (Paris), Kamal Ibrahim (Chicago), Magdy Khalil (Washington), Mounir Beshai (Los Angeles), William Wissa (Paris), and Jacob Qiryakos (New Jersey).

The final statement called for consolidating all the demands of the Copts into one demand, namely full citizenship rights and equality in Egypt, without restriction or condition, and according to universal human rights standards.

They called on President Mubarak to bring about rapid and significant progress in a number of issues, such as freedom of religious practice, political participation, employment participation, ending all forms of discrimination exercised by the organs of the state, ending directing the state-owned media in favor of one religion only, ending violence against innocent Coptic citizens, and reviewing the personal status of Christians.

They said that their efforts in Egypt and abroad to achieve these demands are no form of opposition or resistance against the regime.

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