Egypt’s Brotherhood ‘exclusionary political sect’: Bishop

Ahram Online – 15/6/13

Bishop Moussa says Muslim Brotherhood, President Morsi need to interact with all Egyptian citizens, Islamist forces, civic groups and Coptic Christians.

Bishop Moussa, head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church’s Youth Bishopric, advised President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to abandon the concept of an “Islamic caliphate state” and reach out to all Egyptian factions.

“If the Brotherhood rule as an exclusionary political sect they will fail,” he said in an interview with Al-Ahram Arabic-language news website on Thursday.

Moussa explained that the concept of an Islamic caliphate frightens Egyptians and makes them suspicious about the Brotherhood’s loyalty to the country.

“They [Brotherhood] need to get out of their shell and interact with the Islamist forces, civic groups, Copts and citizens,” he explained. “The Brotherhood have the right to think of whatever they want, however, when it comes to the rule, they have to interact with the rest of the society.”

The Youth Bishop believes that the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is “a sensitive matter.” Moussa said that he has not seen a political, social or economic vision for it. “They shouldn’t have faced this issue alone; the people should have been part of the issue. We should communicate with Ethiopia and help in developing it through various projects,” he explained.

Moussa refuted rumours that Egypt’s Pope Tawadros will help solve the Nile dam crisis. “Six months ago, a meeting was scheduled between Egypt and Ethiopia’s Pope in Ethiopia. It is definitely a good opportunity to talk about the Nile water. However, the dialogue will be within the church context, and it has nothing to do with politics,” he added.

Anti-Morsi protest is a ‘national effort’

Egypt has been locked in a dispute with Ethiopia in recent weeks over the latter’s construction of a dam on the Blue Nile to generate electricity. Many Egyptian politicians have cited concerns that the new dam could interfere with the volume of Nile water that reaches Egypt.

“Take care of your sons [Christians] on June 30,” Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya Shura Council member Assem Abdel El-Maged said on a religious satellite channel. He also said Christian Egyptians are responsible for the anti-Morsi Rebel Campaign.

“It is a nice joke,” Moussa said in response to El-Maged’s accusation, explaining that Muslims are the ones responsible for the Rebel Campaign and Christians cannot marginalise Muslims.

Egypt is expected to witness mass demonstrations planned for 30 June to demand Morsi’s ouster and snap presidential elections.

“June 30 will be a national effort. I heard a lot of the Brotherhood youth will participate on 30 since they want a modern civil Egypt. We welcome a state that appreciates religions and not a religious state headed by clerics,” he asserted.

“The Coptic youth have the freedom as Egyptian citizens to express their opinion the way they choose. However, it is not acceptable to touch on religious foundations, Orthodox teaching, or morals,” Moussa stated. “No one will say anything if they protest in a peaceful way.”

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