Reg. No. 1084047
Editorial supervisor, Dr. Helmy Guirguis
 
Dr. Helmy Guirguis 71, the president of the UK Copts, passed away on the 31 of January, 2015 after a struggle with illness. UK Copts mourns its founder and leader. He is a leader that touched so many by his life and has been fighting for the coptic case till his last breath. The commemoration mass for his 40th day will be held on Sunday 15th of March, 2014 starting 8 AM in Saint Mary and Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Centre of Birmingham (Lapworth) .For commiserations, please send us an email to info@copts.co.uk

Justice or “Just Us”


To paraphrase Richard Pryor the famed American Citizen Justice has become Just Us at the expense of all others. In 1862, Abraham Lincoln then the American President, in commenting on the Civil War said, “In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be wrong.

God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In this lies a stark reminder of religious ruling in the world. We have to decide whether God is on our side or we are on God’s side. God taught us to give what is Cesar’s to Cesar and what is God’s to God. He instructed us that earth and heaven are two different things and that rulers are humans subject to all the biases and prejudice that colors mortals actions; these are not beyond questioning and no one can claim the ultimate wisdom that is preserved ONLY to God.

God taught us to love; Love God with all our hearts, our minds, our soul and our strength and to love our neighbor like ourselves. In other words, one’s love for God has its aim to make us better moral individuals. However our love for others ensures the good functioning of our societies. It is relevant, therefore, that when Jesus was asked: ‘Who is Your Neighbor? He chose someone not from His religion; the Good Samaritan who, out of the goodness of his heart, cared about the stranger in need. He emphasized that the “GOLDEN RULE” of behavior is to “Do for others what you want them to do unto you”. In other words we will be judged by how we treat those different from us since they have an equal human worth as ours. Those who demonize those unlike them cannot be on the side of God who treats everyone of us just the same. God considered the least among us to be the most. It is a twisted logic to think that God will revel to see us causing other humans suffers or dies. It is only the cruel and violent who espouse this philosophy. This is a true human tragedy. The great thinker of the 18th century Immanuel Kant emphasized that in order to have freedom you must have justice, which is essential for communities to share love of others, by the prevailing human standards.

Since the dawn of history the law applied equally to all humans alike. Aristotle, in 340 B.C. asserted that:” It makes no difference whether a good man has defrauded a bad man or a bad man defrauded a good man, or whether a good or a bad man has committed adultery: the law can look only to the amount of damage done”. Therefore, I become bewildered when a contemporary ruler uses his/her authority granted by the people, for them to govern, claims that a certain action was deemed a tax evasion protected by the existing law at that time. I scratch my head in disbelief; how can one conform to the existing law and at the same time commits an illegal act? Does that mean that we can suit the law to our liking at the time or that some people are treated different from others? It was Abraham Lincoln who said “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy”. That begs the question:  what should we call what is going on in Egypt at present when neither law nor equality exist and where hatefulness is practiced routinely against Christians and other citizens?

I blame the present Government for the recent fast deterioration and rampant lawlessness in Egypt. If we are to mix God and society (which is not the intention of our maker) we have to wonder which of the prevailing religions is best suited to provide clean air, safe water, less congestion of traffic, better public transportation, effective education, mature political parties and Civic Institutions. One has to ask: are the main problems facing Egypt, at present, reside in the shape of the swim suits and what people drink or eat while they lack the basic necessities of life? Are these minor issues the ones that need fixing at the present time? Everyone knows how dysfunctional the country has become and that it is about to go bankrupt. It is the responsibity of any sitting Government to get serious and to apply the law faithfully. We may differ, at times, in our interpretation of how to apply the existing law, but at any law’s core is: equality for ALL citizens and the cohesive responsibilities for ALL the communities.

Lotfy Basta MD,FRCP,FRCPE,FACP,FACC,FCCP,FAHA

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U.S. International Religious Freedom Report for 2013 – Egypt

Respect for religious freedom remained poor during the year under both former President Mohamed Morsy’s administration and the current interim government. On July 3, Mohamed Morsy was removed and Adly Mansour was named interim president.

FCO Annual Human Rights and Democracy Report 2013

Foreign Secretary William Hague launched the 2013 Foreign & Commonwealth Office Report on Human Rights and Democracy. The report is a comprehensive assessment of the global human rights situation in 2013. It sets out what the Government is doing through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to promote human rights and democratic values around the world in three principal ways.

75 Percent of Persecution is Against Christians: Report

The 2013 Persecuted and Forgotten? Report provides in-depth analysis of the situation Christians face in 30 countries where believers, to one degree or another, are not fully free to practice their faith. In the past two years violence and intimidation targeting Christians have increased in a number of nations.