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March 4, 2015 / 13 Adar , 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’

‘Honorable Imam, You Bear Responsibility Before Allah’

Friday, January 9th, 2015

A bare two weeks before radical Islamist terrorists calmly emptied the clips of their AK-47 assault rifles into the bodies of 12 journalists at the Paris-based Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly magazine, Egypt’s president warned clerics at the Al Azhar Islamic Center of the urgent need to combat extremist ideology.

In his speech delivered at the centuries-old worldwide center for Islamic studies, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called on the imams to “revolutionize” Islam.

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Excerpts of the president’s address were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) in Washington, DC.

“I would like to reiterate that we are not doing enough with regard to true religious discourse,” the president stated. “The problem has never been with our faith. Perhaps the problem lies in ideology, and this ideology is sanctified among us. I am talking about religious discourse that is in keeping with its times.

“… I am addressing the religious scholars and clerics. We must take a long, hard look at the current situation. I have talked about this several times in the past. We must take a long, hard look at the situation we are in. It is inconceivable that the ideology we sanctify should make our entire nation a source of concern, danger, killing, and destruction all over the world. It is inconceivable that this ideology…

“I am referring not to “religion,” but to “ideology” – the body of ideas and texts that we have sanctified in the course of centuries, to the point that challenging them has become very difficult. “It has reached the point that [this ideology] is hostile to the entire world. Is it conceivable that 1.6 billion [Muslims] would kill the world’s population of seven billion, so that they could live [on their own]? This is inconceivable.

“I say these things here, at Al-Azhar, before religious clerics and scholars. May Allah bear witness on Judgment Day to the truth of your intentions, regarding what I say to you today.

“You cannot see things clearly when you are locked [in this ideology]. You must emerge from it and look from outside, in order to get closer to a truly enlightened ideology. You must oppose it with resolve. Let me say it again: We need to revolutionize our religion. “Honorable Imam [the Grand Sheik of Al-Azhar], you bear responsibility before Allah. The world in its entirety awaits your words, because the Islamic nation is being torn apart, destroyed, and is heading to perdition. We ourselves are bringing it to perdition.”

For the first time ever, Coptic Christians were honored with a visit from the nation’s leader at Christmas mass, as President el-Sisi visited Cairo’s Abbasiya Cathedral on the holy day. El-Sisi congratulated the small Coptic community on the occasion of the holiday earlier this week, and said in a brief address that all Egyptians are as “one hand.”

 

Egyptian President El-Sisi Appears at Coptic Mass

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

For the first time ever, Coptic Christians in Egypt were able to greet the president of their country on the most important holiday of their faith.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is the first Egyptian leader ever to attend Christmas mass at Cairo’s Abbasiya Cathedral, where he greeted Coptic Christians in a speech.

Sisi’s attendance at the religious service was preceded by a heavy security presence, especially due to prior attacks on Christian sites by radical Islamists.

The president congratulated Egypt’s Coptic community on the occasion of the holiday, and maintained that all Egyptians are as “one hand.”

Egypt Ends Major Trade Deal with Turkey

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Cairo has nixed renewal of a major trade agreement signed with Turkey in 2012 that is set to end in April 2015.

The agreement allows Turkey to use an overland route and Egyptian ports to export its goods to Gulf and African nations, thereby eliminating the need to ship the wares via war-torn Syria.

The decision not to renew the deal reflects the deteriorating relations between the two countries. Egypt’s diplomatic ties with Turkey have become increasingly cold since the ouster of former Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi by Egyptian military.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a strong backer of the Muslim Brotherhood who served previously as his country’s prime minister, has repeatedly lashed out at Egyptian officials since the ouster, calling it a “coup.”

A spokesperson for the Turkish foreign affairs ministry told the Anadolou news agency, “With this action, the Egyptian government is adding a new damage to other damages it has dealt to the interests of its people.”

The Muslim Brotherhood also gave birth to Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization and is a prominent player in Qatar.

During cease-fire negotiations this summer to end Israel’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge, Hamas requested the presence of both Turkey and Qatar at the indirect Egyptian-mediated talks with the Jewish State.

Although the request was rejected, Hamas did not respond to any cease-fire proposal without first at least consulting with officials in Doha, Qatar.

Gazans Dismayed as Egypt Razes Rafah Homes for Buffer Zone

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Gazans have been watching impassively on their side of the border as Egyptian troops demolished Rafah homes to make way for a military buffer zone.

Few are serene about the turn of events that will greatly reduce, if not entirely eliminate the possibility of smuggling anything in or out of Egypt via tunnels under the border near Rafah. That includes the normal goods of daily life, as well as the weapons and other items imported to expand the arsenal of Gaza’s terrorist infrastructure.

Security has been raised to its highest alert level in the area after a bomb exploded Monday near Egyptian troops as they worked. No one was wounded in the attack, but troops are on their guard.

On October 24, 31 Egyptian soldiers were killed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis terrorists. Since then, a state of emergency was declared for the town of Rafah – which straddles Egypt’s border with Gaza – and its surrounding areas. Ansar Bayt al-Maqis is linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) terrorist organizations.

The buffer zone, to be 500 meters (550 yards) wide, will run along the 13-kilometer (8 mile) Egyptian border with Gaza, starting from northern Sinai and extending to the Mediterranean Sea.

Thus far some 300 homes have already been razed to the ground, with at least 500 left to go. The project is expected to displace more than 10,000 Egyptian citizens who are to be compensated by the government for the loss of their homes and any businesses or livelihoods they were forced to leave behind.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called on Egyptians to unite with him to fight the terrorists who threaten the security of the nation and have essentially transformed the Sinai Peninsula into their personal stronghold.

“This is our battle, all of us,” he said in comments following last week’s attack on the military. “The battle of all Egyptians.”

The government has allocated up to one billion Egyptian pounds (nearly $140 million) in compensation funds for those whose homes were demolished.

“We won’t forget their sacrifice,” el-Sisi said.

Israel’s Ambassador Presents Credentials in Egypt

Monday, September 15th, 2014

A new Israeli ambassador to Egypt presented his credentials to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Sunday, perhaps heralding the start of a new era as well. There has been no Israeli ambassador in Cairo since Israel’s embassy was torn apart by a rioting mob in September 2011.

Ambassador Chaim Koren presented his credentials in a ceremony at the presidential palace in Cairo. In his previous post, Koren served as Israel’s first ambassador to the emerging state of South Sudan.

He technically began serving as Israel’s ambassador to Egypt three months ago, working from his personal residence in Cairo. Since he has yet to find an office in the nation’s capital, he will continue to work from his residence there for the time being.

Israel’s government was encouraged by Egypt’s acceptance of Koren’s credentials and saw it as a sign of good relations between the two nations, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

As a follow up, government officials “would be pleased if Egypt were to instruct their ambassador to return to Israel,” said a diplomatic source quoted by the Hebrew-language NRG news site.

Egypt played a major role in mediating the current cease-fire between Gaza terrorist factions and Israel.

Egypt Denies Offering Land for ‘Sinai State of Palestine’

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry says President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi never offered the Palestinian Authority a chance to establish a new state in the Sinai Peninsula, according to i24 News.

On Monday morning, Israel Army Radio had reported the Egyptian president had made the suggestion to to Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas earlier this week in Cairo.

The alleged proposal would have provided a tract of land 1,600 square kilometers (618 square miles) adjacent to Gaza, to “end the refugee story,” as Abbas told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency.

The total area of the site – which would be controlled by the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas — is five times the area of Gaza. According to Israel Army Radio, the proposal has a green light from the United States, and Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was given a ‘heads up’ as well.

In exchange, the Palestinian Authority would end its demand for Israel to retreat to the 1949 Armistice Line – known internationally also as the “1967 border” after Israel won the 1967 Six Day War.

The broadcast report noted that el-Sisi reminded Abbas in their conversation that he is 80 years old. The Egyptian president allegedly warned the PA chairman that if he chose not to make history by accepting the proposal, “your successor will.”

Abbas, however, rejected the plan – much as his predecessor, former PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat once rejected a plan that would have given his people 97 percent of the territory in Judea and Samaria for which they have fought for so long.  Arafat instead insisted on holding out for land from Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital.

The Egyptian proposal is not really a new idea. In 1956, the Egyptian government proposed a similar concept. Then, too, it was rejected by the PLO.

“Now this is being proposed once again,” Abbas told a gathering of his Fatah faction in Ramallah on Sunday. “A senior leader in Egypt has said, ‘A refuge must be found for the Palestinians and we have all this open land.’ This was said to me personally. But it is illogical for the problem to be solved at Egypt’s expense. We won’t have it.”

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry claimed in its denial on Monday that the proposal was actually offered in the past by Muslim Brotherhood-backed former President Mohammed Morsi, deposed a year ago by el-Sisi.

Under the plan, Palestinian Authority-controlled cities in Judea and Samaria would remain autonomous and their residents would remain in their homes.

So-called “refugees” from abroad – who are now into the third and fourth and in some cases even fifth generations – could move to new homes in the proposed State of Palestine, adjacent to Gaza. There would be a considerable amount of seafront property in the tract being offered, enough for both real estate development, and for a port.

Just two main conditions were attached to the proposal: (1) the state be demilitarized, and (2) that cities in Judea and Samaria be autonomous, not the entire regions.

Egypt Slaps White House, Jails Al Jazeera Journalists for 7 Years

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Journalists around the world are expressing outrage in the wake of an Egyptian court’s decision to sentence three Al Jazeera journalists to prison for seven years.

The three were taken from their hotel room in Cairo in December 2013 and charged with conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood to tarnish Egypt’s international reputation. Australian ex-BBC reporter Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian ex-CNN journalist Mohamed Fahmy, and local Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed were among 20 accused in connection with the charges.

Al Jazeera has denied the accusations and journalists around the world have condemned Egypt for conducting what is seen as a direct campaign by Egypt’s new president to snuff out freedom of speech.

In the United States, the issue was also perceived as a diplomatic slap to the White House, which condemned the sentence. Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri to express his government’s “serious displeasure” over the matter.

The court decision had come just one day after Kerry’s unannounced visit to Cairo in which he announced that Washington had unfrozen billions of dollars in military aid to Egypt. He also vowed during his visit that the U.S. would deliver 10 Apache attack helicopters for use in the fight against terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.

Newly-elected President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi refused to “interfere in the judicial verdict,” setting off an international firestorm.

“Egypt should review its unacceptable sentences against Egyptian and international journalists, and show commitment to freedom of the press,” said British Foreign Secretary William Hague, Al Jazeera reported.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott added that his government would work to get the imprisoned journalists out of the country “quickly.”

Leaders from various other international groups said that they, too, would work to free the journalists.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egypt-slaps-white-house-jails-al-jazeera-journalists-for-7-years/2014/06/24/

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