Copts voice anger over Mubarak’s parliamentary address

Copts reacted negatively to President Mubarak’s speech to parliament Sunday.

US Coptic Association President Michael Mounir said the president ignored the demands of the Copts, specifically demands for a unified law on worship places and the criminalization of religious discrimination.

“The president called for laws on trivial issues,“ Mounir said. “He should have called for a law to regulate elections so as to ensure fair representation for Copts in parliament.”

However, Coptic intellectual Kamal Zakher considered the speech a reiteration that Egypt is a secular state. “This is broader than to talk about worship places or discrimination,” he said.

But Emad Gad, expert at the Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies, disagreed. “We are not a secular state,” he said. “We are a quasi-religious state.”

Gad called on the president to abolish Article II of the Constitution, which says “Islam is the main source of legislation”, in order to confirm the state's secular nature.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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