Christian human-rights analysts warn the expanded powers seized by Egypt’s president means more anti-Christian persecution to come.
In a set of legal maneuvers this week, Muslim Brotherhood-anointed President Mohamed Morsi moved to sidestep the courts and make his office immune to judicial oversight. With no constitution to restrain him, Morsi holds broad executive and legislative authority.
Middle East analyst Theodore Shoebat’s concern is what Morsi’s power grab means for Egypt’s Christians. He references two regimes – one ancient, one modern – to illustrate what happens when leaders opposed to Christianity take control.
“Before Nero inflicted a full persecution on the church, he at first seized full control of the Roman government,” Shoebat said.
“In order for us to comprehend how Christians will be eventually persecuted under a Muslim Brotherhood Egypt, we must look to North Sudan, a country also run by a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Omar al-Bashir,” he continued.
“Bashir has committed a genocide of millions of Christians all in the name of jihad. And he, like Morsi, also believes that the Quran must be the constitution of his country,” Shoebat said.
Shoebat said he sees no reason to believe Morsi will not follow the model of both Nero and al-Bashir.
“The same will happen in Egypt. Once Morsi makes sure that he is officially a dictator, then a full out persecution of the Copts will occur,” Shoebat said.
Shoebat said a small hint of Morsi’s intentions was revealed in the president’s response to the investiture of the new Coptic pope.
“Lets not forget, Morsi refused to attend the ceremony for the Coptic Pope Tawadros II – this is quite the indication of his hatred for the Christian population,” Shoebat said.
International Christian Concern’s Middle East analyst Aidan Clay noted the Coptic pope made good on his threat to pull out of the Constituent Assembly.
“Islamists have made it blatantly clear that they will draft their version of the constitution without buy-in from secularists or Christians. At least 12 liberals withdrew from the Constituent Assembly – the 100 member body tasked with drafting Egypt’s new constitution – on Sunday, following the departure of five Christian representatives days earlier, because they were not given fair representation,” Clay said.
WND reported earlier that newly installed Pope Tawadros II had threatened to pull the Christian delegates from the Constituent Assembly if the body didn’t stand firm on the decision to leave Article Two intact, the article that only permits Shariah to be a legal guide in Egypt.
Tawadros is warning he will pull the Christian delegates from the Egyptian Constituent Assembly if a religious freedom article in the nation’s draft constitution is compromised.
Tawadros, who recently was chosen as the deceased Pope Shenouda III’s successor, says Christians will stand firm on Article Two.
In a report issued Friday, Shoebat, calling former U.N. Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed ElBaradei the father of the revolution and a background player in the Muslim Brotherhood’s ascendancy to power in Egypt, said there is nothing to prevent the full implementation of Shariah in Egypt.
“Dr. Mohamed Yousry Salameh, the Executive Member of the Al-Dostur, founded by Mohamed ElBaradei, the father of the Egyptian Revolution, stated that the party needed to push the Muslim Brotherhood to begin an implementation of Sharia in Egypt,” Shoebat said.
“So who is now stopping us from enforcing Shariah, including all its edicts as you all want? Answer: it’s the president, and his party the Muslim Brotherhood. It is he, after all who is in power,” Shoebat said, quoting Salameh.
“So what do they have to stop this Shariah? Answer: nothing. There are some who say that the society is not ready for this Shariah, but this is a statement if I said it, or so and so said it, they will peel his skin alive, while if others [the Muslim Brotherhood] say it, it is alright,” Shoebat said, again quoting Salameh.
“The statement implies that the only thing keeping Egypt from being a Shariah state was the Muslim Brotherhood itself. Now that Morsi has taken the position of dictator, it is now quite clear that the full enforcement of Shariah is on its way soon,” Shoebat said.
Shoebat also said there will no longer be any barriers to an all-out persecution, including killings, of the Christians.
“The Christians will be massacred by orders from the state itself, and will be happily done not only by government officers and soldiers, but by the Egyptian people themselves. Egypt will not be ruled under full dictatorship, but also by mob rule,” Shoebat said.
Clay added that on the legal front, Egypt’s institutions are moving steadily into the firm grip of the Muslim Brotherhood and its jihadist allies.
“In a proposed draft of Egypt’s new constitution, which was released in early October, are provisions relating to Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC), which are almost identical to the outgoing constitution,” Clay said.
“In the draft, President Mohammad Morsi – like ousted President Hosni Mubarak before him – has the power to appoint the head of court and its 15 members after receiving nominations from lower courts,” Clay said.
“According to Tahani el-Gibaly, a member of the SCC, the provisions are disastrous because they place the SCC under the grip of executive and legislative powers, rather than as an independent body,” Clay said.
This leaves the Assembly firmly in the hands of the jihadists.
“Nearly all the representatives who remain in the assembly are Islamists from the Brotherhood and the more radical Salafis, removing any doubt that the constitution will be centered on Islamic Shariah,” Clay said.
Clay explained that for anyone analyzing the events, the gradual process revealed the possible outcome from the early stages of the Egyptian revolution.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that the new constitution will not settle Egypt’s transitional woes, as Islamists have emerged as the strongest political force and are quickly monopolizing power from the young revolutionaries who sparked Egypt’s uprising,” Clay said.
“Islamist parties, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, have already solidified control of the legislature, winning nearly 75 percent of the seats in parliamentary elections earlier this year,” Clay said.
“Furthermore, in June, the Brotherhood claimed executive authorities when their candidate, Morsi, won the presidential election. If the provisions remain as they stand now, the SCC will be consolidated under Islamist rule,” Clay said.