Archives For Egypt

Coptic Christian and activist, Ramy Kamel is still incarcerated in an Egyptian prison.

Coptic Solidarity provided an update on Instagram early September stating,

 “Ramy Kamel’s detention was just extended 45 days. Attorney says the purpose for solitary confinement for NEARLY 2 YRS, is to break his mind, cause mental health issues, depression, disease, & ultimately suicide.”

Kamel’s case is amongst the most notable examples of Islamist persecution in the once secular state.

Over the past few decades, the Muslim Brotherhood has successfully deployed a form of lawfare against the Egyptian Christian community.

This has made Copts, who are approximately 10% of Egypt’s population, the equivalent of second-class citizens.

Caldron Pool reported on the plight of Kamel in early December 2020.

This was alongside a September piece called “Jihad of the womb” highlighting the ancient North African Christian community’s struggle for rights under the “convert, pay a tax or die”, cold shadow of Shar’ia law.

Kamel was arrested without a warrant in 2019 on what Middle East Monitor termed as “false charges.”

It’s believed that Kamel’s arrest was related to his outspoken opposition to the widespread persecution and systemic discrimination of Egyptian Christians.

21Wilberforce.org explained, ‘Kamel has been imprisoned and tortured by the Egyptian government simply because he is a religious freedom leader.’

They add,

‘On November 23, 2019, Mr. Kamel was arrested under the cover of dark, around 1:30AM. He was beaten and interrogated without legal representation at the Supreme State Security Prosecution in Cairo’s Fifth Settlement neighbourhood.

‘Just 18 days earlier, he was arrested, transferred in an armoured vehicle to National Security headquarters in Nasr City, and severely beaten and tortured. He was interrogated without legal representation in an effort to compel him to reveal his research sources, and likely to intimidate him prior to participating at the UN Forum.’

Dublin based human rights organisation, Front Line Defenders, confirmed the extension of his incarceration.

The September 6th extension is one of a least two 45-day extensions this year, ordered by Cairo criminal court.

Kamel is charged with “funding a terrorist organisation,” “defamation” and “misuse of social media.”

Front Line Defenders listed government human rights violations against Ramy Kamel as judicial harassment, arbitrary detention, raid, break-in, theft, threats and intimidation.

In a statement on their website, the organisation also affirmed a deep concern ‘regarding the continued detention and health deterioration of Kamel.’

‘We believe,’ they said, ‘he is being solely detained in relation to his peaceful and legitimate human rights activities.’

In June, Coptic Solidarity called Kamel’s continued detention and denial of fair judiciary process, ‘unjust.’

The group reasserted their support, demanding his immediate release along with the ‘dropping of all fallacious charges against him, as stated in [Coptic Solidarity’s] joint letter to Joe Biden.’

This new extension dampens earlier optimism amongst Kamel and his supporters. Many of whom are working towards ending his 20-month imprisonment, much of which has been in solitary confinement.

Although Ramy Kamel is an ocean away, his story should resonate with Westerners facing serious downgrades to their own freedoms.

Particularly in Australia, where, under COVID-19 fiats known as “public health orders”, rogue Premiers, (all seemingly enabled by a weak Prime Minister) are deploying unjust mandates, alongside anti-terrorism laws, and tactics, to sure up their power by waring against Australian citizens.

Such as the unprovoked and violent attacks against unarmed, non-violent, pro-liberty and pro-informed consent protesters in Melbourne this week, by a well-armed, militarised police force.

Another point of relevance is the pending removal of civil rights and civil liberties from the vaccine hesitant – pejoratively referred to by the “vaccinated” as “selfish” and “anti-vaxxers.”

Also noteworthy was U.S President Joe Biden and Victorian Labor leader Daniel Andrews, recent attempts to conflate the virus with the unvaccinated, forgetting the origins of the Wuhan Coronavirus, and falsely calling the crisis, “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

The “domestic terrorism” and “misuse of social media” charges against Ramy Kamel, are proof that these labels can be an easily used by abusive governments, ecclesial, and civic leaders, to squash dissent, in order to avoid accountability, reasoned opposition, and the truth.

This happened in Australia this week when political leaders (and their enablers in legacy media) employed a blatant misinformation campaign in order to twist construction workers opposing medical conscription, into “thugs,” “neo-Nazis” and “right-wing extremists.”

It won’t be long until conscientious objectors to the current COVID-19 “vaccines” are falsely labelled the same.

#FREERAMYKAMEL

#FREEAUSTRALIA


First published on Caldron Pool, 25th September 2021.

©Rod Lampard; Caldron Pool

Egypt is being petitioned to release Coptic activist Ramy Kamel who was arrested in late November, 2019, by Egyptian security forces.

At the time, Middle East Monitor reported that Kamel’s arrest was part of the Egyptian government’s ‘crackdown on members of the opposition.’

MEM said that Kamel, a ‘founding member of Maspero’s Youth Union’ was arrested ‘without a warrant early in the morning by seven plain clothes police officers.’

The officers ‘confiscated his mobile phone, laptop and camera; and refused to allow him his asthma inhaler.’ (some reports included blood pressure medicine.)

Kamel was accused of ‘joining a terror group, receiving foreign funding and broadcasting false information.’ Then interrogated for over 10 hours.

It’s believed that Kamel’s arrest was related to his outspoken opposition to the widespread persecution, and systemic discrimination of Egyptian Christians.

Maspero Youth Union, a Coptic human rights and religious freedom advocate group, was ‘established after a church on the outskirts of Cairo was torched in October 2011’, when the Egyptian army, at the behest of the Muslim Brotherhood, killed 30 protestors.

This week, The Hill reported a ‘bipartisan push’ within Washington, petitioning Egyptian authorities to ‘take action’ and see that Kamel received a ‘fair trial, or dropped charges and an immediate release.’

According to The Hill, ‘Sens. Thom Tills (Republican) and Chris Coons (Democrat), co-chairs of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, sent a letter to the Egyptian embassy in Washington, D.C.’ requesting,

“the Egyptian government, as a steadfast partner of the United States and supporter of religious liberty, to take action commensurate with the values professed in the Egyptian Constitution and compatible with American values regarding human rights. Mr. Kamel has been held under the unclear charges of defamation, funding a terrorist organization, and the misuse of social media. We urge the Egyptian government to honor Mr. Kamel’s right to a fair trial or to release him entirely of the charges held against him.” 

The Hill curiously noted that Kamel was arrested the same month he was to appear before the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, to ‘testify on minority issues’ such as the systemic persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt by Islamists.

In September, Caldron Pool posted an exposition called ‘Jihad of the Womb: The Rampant Islamist Abductions of Egyptian Coptic Christian Women’ where we unpacked the 2012 congressional hearing, and the 2020 Coptic Solidarity report on the ongoing persecution of 12 million Christians in Egypt.

This included a  long list of trafficking victims, damning testimonials of widespread corruption, of law enforcement turning a blind eye, a culture of shame, silence, and powerlessness which enables Islamist people traffickers to carry out abductions with almost 100% impunity.

It’s probable that Kamel is a victim of this corruption.

As recent authoritarian laws which squash freedom in favor of arbitrary LGBTQAAI+ rights in Victoria, prove, religious freedom isn’t solely a point of concern for Egyptians.  

Just as government regulated speech is not freedom of speech [i], faith regulated by the State, is not freedom of religion.

The questionable arrest, and year-long imprisonment of Kamel shows how easy it is for a person to be held without charge – without respect for due process – when governments, who are swept up in an ideological movement, enforce, protect and chain themselves to that ideology, by way of undefined buzzwords like “misusing social media”, “spreading hate”, “extremist” and “terrorist group.”

As many on the Left have chided lawmaking critics of Islam since 9/11, anti-terror laws can be used as a weapon of terror in, and of themselves.

It’s a shame that many on the Left refuse to apply their own criticisms to the downgrade of freedoms caused by the exaltation of arbitrary rights, or open their eyes to how relevant a case like Kamel’s is to the dangers inherent in the Left’s support for authoritarian, arbitrary laws here in the West.

#freeRamyKamel


References:

[i] Babones, S. 2018. The New Authoritarianism, Polity Press

First published on Caldron Pool, 4th December, 2020.

©Rod Lampard, 2020.

It’s stating the obvious to say that the persecution of Christians isn’t taken seriously by elites, and the general public in the West.

The persecution of Christians worldwide, is taken about as seriously as the Egyptian authorities take the abductions, abuse and trafficking of Coptic Christian women.

Such abuses are either quietly acknowledged, well hidden, or don’t exist.

In a #metoo Western world, human rights abuses against Egyptian Coptic Christian women should be front page news. It’s not.

The #metoo movement melt into spectators whenever news reaches Western shores. Suggesting the ineffectiveness of a hashtag, and the docility of a complacent, selective activism.

A movement which appears more concerned with placating the “approved” image of Islam for the Muslim majority, than it is in ‘raising the visibility of violence against Coptic women in Egypt.’(CS)

2011-2013 (the infamous Arab Spring) saw some of the worst persecution of Egyptian Coptic Christians in decades. Religious freedom radically declined under the Muslim Brotherhood. Churches were burned, or bombed. Priests were gunned down, and monasteries were attacked.

In 2012 a United States Congressional Hearing into human rights violations in Egypt also heard of

‘…the disappearance, forced marriages and forced conversions

of Coptic women. [Noting that] the vulnerability and abduction of Coptic Christians is not new. Going back to the 1970s, there were many accounts of Coptic women and girls being abducted by Muslims, forcibly conducted and forcibly married.’

This was before the June 30 2013 revolution, tripped by mass protests calling for the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Accompanying this was the outlawing of the Muslim Brotherhood, who had been quietly backed by the then Obama/Biden/Clinton administration’s foreign policies. (By comparison the Trump administration has expressed interest in following Egypt’s lead in designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation, but is yet to act in any meaningful way on behalf of Egypt’s Coptic Christians).

Suspension, then reform of the 2012 Muslim Brotherhood’s Egyptian (Shari’a influenced) constitution followed. However, much of the law was retained.

As cited by Coptic Solidarity in their 2020 report, ‘while no apostasy law exists per say. The 2nd article of the Egyptian Constitution, states that Islam is the religion of the state and the principles of Islamic Shari’a are the main source of legislation.’

According to the report, the Egyptian government’s tactic is to ‘deny the extant of trafficking.’ Their official response is that the women freely chose to leave Christian families and convert to Islam.

The 2012, United States Senate Congressional hearing uncovered some legitimate cases where this had occurred, but even in those cases ‘legal hurdles made it extremely difficult for a woman to escape the marriage and convert back to Christianity.’

Despite government denial. Evidence, and testimonies collected by Coptic Solidarity from a range of reliable sources over many years, contradict the official Egyptian government party-line.

For instance, evidence provided by Christian Solidarity International to the 2012 Congressional hearing comes from ‘Egyptian lawyers, real life cases, family members, and police reports.’

Despite government denial. Evidence, and testimonies collected by Coptic Solidarity from a range of reliable sources over many years, contradict the official Egyptian government party-line.

For instance, evidence provided by Christian Solidarity International to the 2012 Congressional hearing comes from ‘Egyptian lawyers, real life cases, family members, and police reports.’

In addition, ‘attorneys, social workers and members of the clergy interviewed for this and the previous report all attested to organized and systematic planning in the cases of missing Coptic women.’

The 2012 Congressional hearing heard of how the human trafficking of Coptic Christian women occurred.

‘Many [Coptic women] were lured into false relationships through fraudulent means or forcible abductions. These women were coerced into converting to Islam and married to their abductors against their wills.’

The few Coptic Christian women who are found testify that they’d ‘been drugged and kidnapped or kidnapped with violence. Reporting forced conversion, rape, forced marriages, beatings and domestic servitude.’

According to Christian Solidarity International, ‘abductors target vulnerable women and girls, and girls in vulnerable and unprotected moments.’

‘Captors sever contact between victims and their families. The first task of the captor is to come between a young woman and members of her family. They can do this by force, by taking away her phone, by denying her any contact with her relatives. They lock her up. They deny her mobility. They threaten her by telling her that her family would disown her. Conversion is the ultimate goal of captivity.’

This includes married women, and married women with children. One significant reason for this is that under 2012 Egyptian law, if a woman converts to Islam, her children, by law would be considered Muslim.

Coptic Solidarity’s apt term for this is ‘jihad of the womb.

The Christian Post published the report’s long list of trafficking victims, which included damning testimonials of widespread corruption, with law enforcement turning a blind eye, creating a culture of shame, silence, and powerlessness which enables Islamist people traffickers to carry out abductions with almost 100% impunity (p.8).

For instance, ‘if an adult married woman converts to Islam, courts immediately annul her existing marriage (unless the husband agrees to convert likewise) and the woman becomes free to marry a Muslim man.’ This law doesn’t apply if the married woman was a Muslim looking to marry a Christian man (p.7)

This isn’t just an issue for Egypt or the Egyptian Coptic Christian community.

In January, Ben Davis wrote of how British police have been accused of ‘turning a blind eye to the grooming of 57 young female children for sexual exploitation by a coordinated group of Muslim men.’ According to ‘former GMP detective Maggie Oliver, “girls were lost in the wind’ due to what the Daily Mail reported as being a concern from law enforcement that ‘arresting the perpetrators would result in the “incitement of racial hatred.”

The blasé response from the West has shown how naïve we’ve become. Like Chinese Communists, if the Egyptian government’s official party-line states that “no human rights abuse crisis exists”, then it must be true.

Any crimes committed under the banner of Islam is candy-coated for a gullible public, made numb by a decades long misinformation campaign that portrays Islam simultaneously as a “race” and a “religion of peace.”

It’s no wonder that widespread testimony, and any evidence that contradicts the well-built facade is easily dismissed as the fairy tales of racists, bigots and Islamophobes.

Crimes against humanity are hidden behind the gaslighting of the global community.

This is on par with what the 2020 Coptic Solidarity report – summarised here by Christian Headlines contributor, John Paluska – called the Egyptian Government’s ‘victim blaming’ (p.3).

Impunity for Islamists matches the free ride given to Communists by Western academics, some politicians and most of the mainstream media.

Tragically, like the Uyghur ethnic minority in China, this means that on the world stage, up to 12 million of Egypt’s approx. 80+ million people are essentially voiceless.

12 million people, who no matter how hard advocates scream in order to waken a docile, manipulated world, to their suffering, are left behind by the Western part of that world, because it’s paralysed by fear through the navel gazing of intersectionality (CRT) theory, and a toxic obsession with political correctness.

There’s now no plausible excuse for ignorance or inaction.

Coptic Solidarity’s 2020 report on the ‘Trafficking of Coptic Women & Girls in Egypt’ requires a response.

Related material:

https://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?c4666101/user-clip-kio


First published on Caldron Pool, 24th September 2020.

Image credit: Vatican & Reuters.

©Rod Lampard, 2020