Dear Friends and Partners,
You have seen much in the news once again these past days about the situation in Egypt. As a result, we would like to take this opportunity to share with you the heart of the Egyptian people because much of the western news coverage is avoiding the real issues.
The press casually refers to the military’s removal of President Morsi as a “coup” while many governments are trying to avoid the term, all the while finding ways to express support for the ousted president in the name of “democracy”. Yet unlike a typical military coup where an army acts on its own agenda, this action by the Egyptian army was taken in fulfillment of the will of the people and deserves our support.
Mohammed Morsi was elected one year ago in elections that the press praised as Egypt’s first-ever “free and fair” elections. We did not believe these elections were free and fair then and we do not believe so now. Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood supporters used threats and other undemocratic methods to get the Egyptian people to vote for him, and in some areas they actually prevented Christians from voting. But his election is really a side issue – the critical point is that even if Morsi had been elected in truly free, democratic elections, he has since lost his legitimacy and the mandate of the people.
The people of Egypt, through demonstrations and petitions backed by millions of citizens, have demanded the removal of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood allies because they have turned their backs on the people. Together they have been quietly busy for the last year taking measures to transform Egypt into an Islamist state and seizing unlimited power for the president in a show of authoritarianism at least equal to anything President Mubarak ever attempted. All this time, they have ignored the country’s economy and allowed – even encouraged – attacks on minorities, particularly the large Coptic community, to increase with impunity. All this time the international community and the West have ignored these anti-democratic moves, but the Egyptian people have noticed and their quiet protests have grown, culminating in the mass demonstrations of the last two weeks. In the result, the pope of the Coptic Church and others, including the leadership of the influential Muslim al-Azhar university, have openly supported the army’s actions, leading to cries for violence from the Muslim Brotherhood.
Most Egyptians – Muslim, Christian, or others – want peace. They want jobs and education for their children and a role in shaping their future and the country they love. Unfortunately, however, there is a large portion of the population, represented by the Muslim Brotherhood and even more radical groups, who believe that the only future for Egypt lies in imposing their restrictive and intolerant brand of Islam on all Egyptians, using whatever means necessary. Just to drive home their point, since Morsi’s removal a priest and a number of other Christians have been murdered and Christian homes, businesses, and churches have been attacked and burned in four major cities to date.
OFWI is greatly concerned over the increasing violence and open calls by the Muslim Brotherhood for attacks against Christians. The international community that supported the people of Egypt two years ago when they rose up against President Mubarak must not now be silent when those same people demand the removal of his successor who cares even less for democracy and his people. We must speak out and support the people of Egypt and help them work toward truly free and fair elections as soon as possible.
At the same time, we must never forget that democracy is not an end in itself or democracy will become the new tyranny. As we and many others have repeatedly pointed out, even Hitler came to power through truly free and fair elections. Rather, democracy is simply a tool whose purpose is to enable us – all of us – to live peaceful and quiet lives in the pursuit of happiness or godliness or holiness, according to our choices. True democracy is not exercised on election day once every four or five years; true Democracy proves itself as it is lived out every single day between elections. In this, last year’s Egyptian elections have failed. Let us stand up for Democracy and let us stand with the Egyptian people.
• for peace and security for all Egyptian people, and especially for the Christians and other minorities, at this difficult time of division, uncertainty, threats, and violence; and,
• that democracy, human rights, and religious freedom would win the day over all forms of tyranny and intolerance in Egypt, and that the military and interim leaders would be guided by the best interests of all the Egyptian people and not be sidetracked by the taste of power as they move forward on the road to democracy and the defeat of religious extremism.
The Bible teaches that faith without action is dead, so please take action urgently and write (contact details are included below):
• to your Prime Minister and Foreign Minister or your President and Secretary of State, demanding that they support the principles of true democracy and not just the appearance of democracy and that, accordingly, they stand behind the Egyptian people as they did two years ago and support the actions the Egyptian army has taken to try to keep the course toward democracy on track; and,
• to the ambassador of Egypt in your country, expressing your support for the people of Egypt and for the army’s actions in supporting the principles of true democracy; ask them to ensure protection for minorities in light of the threats from the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic extremists and don’t forget to inform them that you will be watching with great interest the progress of their country as soon as possible toward truly free and fair elections guided by the principles of democracy and human rights.
Please remember to send us a copy of your correspondence at:
Remember that the persecuted Christians are dying every day, but they are still smiling. They are in a very deep dark night, but they have the candle of the Lord. The enemy can have a very strong weapon and a very strong army, but we have the Lord Almighty.
“They can kill the dreamer, but they cannot kill the dream” in the Lord’s name.
Be with God and may God be with you.
Rev. Majed El Shafie
President and Founder
One Free World International
El Shafie Ministries
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Fax: (613) 941-6900
The Honourable John Baird
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2
Tel.: (613) 996-0984; Fax: (613) 996-9880
His Excellency Wael Aboul-Magd
Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt
454 Laurier Avenue East
Ottawa, ON K1N 6R3
Tel.: (613) 234-4931; Fax: (613) 234-4398
In the United States:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Tel.: 202-456-1111; Fax: (202) 456-2461
Secretary John Kerry
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Tel.: (202) 647-4000 (Main switchboard)
His Excellency Mohamed M. Tawfik
Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
3521 International Ct. NW
Washington DC 20008
Tel.: (202) 895-5400; Fax: (202) 244-5131