Senior Islamic scholar reported to public prosecutor for remarks on Church

21/9/2010

Lawyer Naguib Gabriel has filed a report at the General Prosecutor’s office against Mohamed Salim al-Awwa, a renowned Islamic thinker who alleged in an interview with al-Jazeera’s Ahmed Mansour that Egyptian churches host large quantities of arms and are impenetrable to Egyptian security.

Gabriel demanded that legal measures be taken against al-Awwa and Mansour, saying the remarks are abusive to the Coptic community as a whole, and an attempt to propagate false claims that harm the position of Egypt’s Christian population.

“My God, forgive those who abuse the church,” said Pope Shenouda III, the head of Egypt’s Orthodox Church, commenting on the remarks during his monthly sermon at the Coptic Orthodox cathedral in Alexandria. The Pope described al-Awwa’s allegations as “inappropriate” and voiced his astonishment at the suggestion that the church relies on foreign protection. “Those are baseless allegations. The state keeps a close watch on our foreign relations, and I seek strength from God alone.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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