Saturday, March 31, 2012

Egyptian Presidential Elections :The Egyptian Christians’ vote

To whom shall the Egyptian Christians grant their votes in the presidential elections in 2012 ??
In the past, the Egyptian Orthodox Coptic Church used to support the Mubarak regime and used to tell the Coptic Christians to vote for Mubarak and even to vote for Gamal Mubarak for fear of Islamist take over.
Late Pope Shenouda with Gamal Mubarak in 2009
The Church does not only have to choose a presidential candidate to endorse or even to recommend but it also has to elect a new Pope in order to lead the Church in this upcoming new era and to deal with the upcoming new president and the new constitution.
There was already a leak from the orthodox church following the death of Pope Shenouda claiming the Church will be elected after the presidential elections.
This means that the Church will choose its Pope based on the new president of Egypt as in the end, the new Pope will deal with the new president so it will depend on the character of the new president.
The Church managed to create this relationship with the State especially in the time of Pope Shenouda, will it be able to keep in this way in the new era? A question I know many Churchmen are thinking about it now.
The pope of the Orthodox Church in Egypt is not only a spiritual role but a political role as well whether we approve or not, whether we like or not.

In real civilized societies, the churches and mosques do not tell the people which presidential candidate or party they should vote for but we are speaking about Egypt where Sheikhs and Priests got a very holy status in a polarized society that hunted down by the ghosts of sectarians from time to time.

Now there are Islamist rise and Islamists control in the parliament at the same time the Muslim Brotherhood is fighting for the cabinet. The Islamists are also got three presidential candidates so far applying for the race, two of them already have booked their place in the second stage of the race: Abu El Fatouh and Abu Ismail.

It is like a nightmare for many Christians especially that historically the sectarian tensions in the 1970s started with the rise of the Islamist movement as well the radical movement in the society.

The Christians do not want to feel that they are second citizens, especially after the revolution.
Potential Presidential candidate Mohamed Salim El Awa has no chance to get the Christian vote after his accusations to the Orthodox church that was hiding weapons in the churches’ basements in the famous war of the words between him and between Bishop Bishoy in 2010.
Now El Awa is trying to make the Christians forget his quotes with his frequent visits to Churches throughout the country but in vain. Already it is unclear up till this moment if El Awa who got close relations with SCAF will be able to be qualified or not.

Presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abu El Fotoh is popular among many liberal young Christians who consider him a moderate Islamist candidate who deserves their support and started a campaign to gather PAs in the past few weeks like Mina Fayek who joined the Abu El Fotoh official presidential campaign.
According to news reports published by Shorouk newspaper last March 12th, 2012 there is spilt in the Orthodox Church when it comes to  Abu El Fotoh. Shorouk newspaper claims that in a meeting of 22 Bishops and priests, 12 priests had declared their support to Abu El Fotoh.

The Catholic church hosted Abu El Fotoh in a Q&A lecture last week in the famous Jesuit School where he answered questions for two hours. Most of the audience were Christians from both Orthodox and Catholics.
Most of the questions he was asked related to citizenship, Sharia, his Muslim Brotherhood background and the concept of the civil state.

At the end of the of the lecture, the Christian audience spilt between some who admired his views and some who still suspect his MB background. Still, one thing is agreed among both teams no one wants to vote for the remnants of Mubarak regime running for the presidential post.
It is like a dilemma.
The fear from the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist background of Abu El Fotoh is the main barrier between the former leading member in the Muslim Brotherhood and many Christians in Egypt.
Hazem Salah Abu Ismail is like a nightmare for many Christians and it has to be so after all the man considers them second-degree citizens who have to pay Jizya so they would not fight in the army and that the Christian who wants to drink alcohol, he can do it in his home secretly !!
Update: He said that he will not impose Jizya or veil on Christians.
PA from Tarek William to Abu Ismail
PA from Tarek William to Abu Ismail
Tarek is a worker from Tanta
Of course Abu Ismail and his brothers who do not want to use their mind for once to understand their religion refuse to recognize that the Jizya  is not something found alone in Islam but throughout history you will find that ancient Greeks imposed a similar taxation in the countries they controlled, it was something common during that time yet according to Islamic Scholars there is no need for it now.
Nevertheless, Abu Ismail bragged that there are not less than 300 Christians working in his campaign and that he got PAs from thousands of Christians !!!
The Egyptian Christians PAs are classifed alone in  Abu Ismail campaign !!
The Egyptian Christians PAs are classified alone in
Abu Ismail campaign !! "Abu Ismail Campaign" 
Yes, many eyes have been rolling since last night after hearing the news and they have to be honest.
Of course, these eyes did not see that video showing Mr. Mina Magdy and his mom who organized a conference for Abu Ismail in Mataria , Qalubiya !!
Mina Magdy and his mother support Sheikh Hazem
Nevertheless, Sally Tomah, the member of the Revolution Youth Coalition tweeted that she knew that an Egyptian Christian driver got allegedly LE 500 for a PA he signed to recommend Abu Ismail for the presidency.

When it comes to the other non-Islamist candidates like former regime’s men, it is unclear.

Self-claimed revolution Christian activist Samuel Al Ashy heads the Revolutionary front for Omar Soliman’s support and has been sending emails confirming that Soliman will run for the presidency.

Al Ashy, a journalist that was accused of attacking the army during the Maspero clashes on October 9th, 2011 is a controversial personality among the Christian community.
Already many Christian friends blacklisted him whenever they hear that he supports Omar Soliman.

Personally, I think Amr Moussa can get some of the Christian votes in the elections because of the Islamist takeover rise especially if Moussa reaches to the runoffs against one of the Islamists especially Abu Ismail.
It is unclear up till now which candidate will get the Egyptian Christians vote abroad, in fact, it is unclear that if they are going to vote at all considering the small turn out of Egyptians abroad in the parliamentary elections compared that the huge political battle politicians and activists had to undergo to grant the Egyptians abroad the right to vote.

According to statistics that go back to 2009 the number of Egyptian Christians abroad was estimated by 2 million in America, Europe and Australia. This voting bloc is extremely important.
This is just a preliminary look to the Christian vote in the presidential elections.

More development and updates will take place insh Allah after April 8th,2012.


  1. For more on American Copts

  2. Egypt will die if abu ismail is elected.

    Zenobia more media attention is needed to other candidates. Like KHALED ALI!! Some one who is not Islamist and has an actual brain.

    Please do a piece on them.

    As an Egyptian in the UK, i can tell u that the whole system for elections abroad was very poorly thought out. Not everyone lives next the ONE Egyptian embassy in Britain AND the internet system was rubbish and kept failing.

  3. Please realize that the Egyptians are being brainwashed into thinking we can choose our president democratically while we are being coerced and manipulated into it.
    Solution: I will endorse the candidate I like all through the campaign period. But when I vote: I WILL VOTE FOR THE ONE CAN GET A MAJORITY AGAINST ISMAIL. This is the only way we don't split our votes. Please, please, pass this concept on.

  4. Why don't they form their own party?


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