Coptic Patriarch Hopeful After Egyptian President Deposed
By Junno Arocho Esteves
CAIRO, July 04, 2013 (Zenit.org) – Patriarch of Alexandria of the Catholic Copts Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak expressed his support for the ouster of Mohamed Morsy as president of Egypt by the Egyptian military.
“We have been celebrating since yesterday evening. We did not sleep. The people of Egypt have peacefully regained their country. And therefore showed the world that they are civilized people, in spite of the great problems they face,” Patriarch Sidrak told Fides News Agency.
The end of Morsy’s presidency followed after weeks of public protests against a perceived government monopolization by the Muslim Brotherhood, the former president’s political party.
The Egyptian military deposed Morsy and set about establishing an interim government with the assistance of opposition parties and religious leaders in an effort to stabilize the country which has suffered weeks of turmoil in the wake of violent protests. Adly Mansour, head of the Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, was appointed interim president until elections are scheduled.
“Several signals show that we are on the right track. We will not repeat the mistakes made in the past. This time, they have well prepared the next steps, today the new interim President Adly Mansour swears in, and gradually steps will be taken towards the full restoration of democratic order”.
Despite his optimism at the new turn of events, Patriarch Sidrak conveyed his concern with situations affecting the nation. “We cannot say that we do not have fears. The economic situation is worrying and makes everyone more at risk of being manipulated by the sirens of propaganda. Morsy’s militant supporters feel they have lost, and this can trigger feelings of revenge. We must convince them that there is also place for them in the Country and that no one rejects them, but they should be and behave as Egyptians, as fellow citizens of all the other Egyptians, and not aim at establishing religious despotism.”
The Coptic Patriarch explained that while most Egyptian citizens would “never accept to go back” the how the government was run under Morsy’s party, the fact remains that at least 5 million citizens “will continue to support the radical beliefs of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
“They should not be excluded from the political scene,” Patriarch Sidrak stressed, “but they must behave like a political party, and not as a means to impose religious hegemony. Everyone can live their own religious faith in the mosque or church, without imposing on others religious precepts.”