Church leaders reject governors’ reshuffle for excluding Copts

Emad Khalil
06/08/2011

Church leaders expressed anger at the exclusion of Copts in this week’s reshuffle of governors, saying they expected authorities to include three Coptic governors instead of one, as was the case before the revolution.

Eleven new governors were appointed in the reshuffle.

The priest at Virgin Mary Church in Omaraniya, Flopatir Gamil, said excluding Copts from governorships takes Egypt backward and gives negative indicators of political life in Egypt. He said the new formation should have included more than one Coptic governor and accused authorities of following the calls of religious bigots.

Archbishop of Mar Gerges Church in Shobra, Saleeb Matta Sawiris, rejected the reshuffle, saying that he expected the number of Coptic representatives to increase after the revolution up to three governors, in order to help remove the barriers existed between Copts and Muslims under the former regime.

Despite the appointment of writer Samir Morcos as deputy governor for Cairo’s northern region, it is insufficient compared to gubernatorial shake-ups under the former regime, he added.

Safwat Gerges, chairman of the Egyptian Center for Human Rights, also decried the reshuffle for excluding women and Copts. He considered it a surrender to religious bigots, who recently refused the appointment of a Coptic governor in Qena.

The Copts Without Restrictions movement also denounced the exclusion, considering it a negative message to society.

The movement said in a press statement that bigots feel they have become the dominant force in society now, and that their latest protest in Tahrir Square, where they upheld dividing slogans, paid off.

It stressed that it would work hand in hand with national forces to confront attempts to impose Wahabi hegemony in Egypt.

The Maspiro Youth Union also criticized reshuffle, adding that the choice of governors was not based on efficiency.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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