10 per cent assumption
Sir-- Amidst all the calls for free and fair elections, screams for international monitors, and US calls for transparent elections, it seems the 8-10 million native Egyptians, the Copts have been simply forgotten. They simply slipped under the world radar.
The Copts are the largest and oldest surviving Christian group in the Middle East. At the same time they are the minority group in Egypt. With a population in excess of 80 million people the Copts account for 10 per cent.
Yet there are no calls for the Copts to be allowed and encouraged to actively participate in the upcoming election.
Notwithstanding they are the minority, a fair and reasonable assumption is they should have a proportionate representation in parliament. A reasonable representation would equate to holding 10 per cent of seats in parliament.
On that basis one would assume the Copts should hold at least 50 seats, approximately 10 per cent of the 508 seats. The sad reality is the Copts will be lucky if they get two seats, only because the Egyptian constitution gives the head of the state the right to appoint 10 members to parliament. It is expected the president will use this privilege to appoint two Coptic MPs out of the 10 seats. Effectively, the Copts have no chance of attaining proportionate representation in the predominately Islamic country controlled by Muslim-dominated parties.
Sir-- I guess Hillary and Netanyahu must think they are dealing with some one way below their intelligence ('De-Zionising Israel' Al-Ahram Weekly, 11-17 November). I guess they will have to think of a different way to dupe the Palestinians to taking this ride they are planning for them. From the beginning this was a non-starter. The Palestinians will not be taken for a ride. Having said that, it seems rather obvious the Americans enjoy being taken to the bank, a broke one at that.
Slanders of America
Sir-- It seems that the fabrications and lies of America against Egypt will not stop, and it seems that US intervention in Egypt's internal affairs will not stop.
The first lie was by former US president George W Bush who announced in his book Decision points that Egypt told the United States that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction as a smokescreen to cover up the failure of the war phantom, which was launched against terrorism and the outcome was the killing of millions of innocent Iraqis and turning Iraq into a swamp of sectarian strife, forgetting that this invasion was the result of false information from US intelligence.
The second lie is the International Religious Freedom Report issued by the US Department of State and which says there is religious discrimination against Christians and Bahaais in Egypt, and that these minorities do not enjoy equal opportunities for employment-governmental organisations. This report is blatant interference in Egyptian internal affairs. The US has no right to make an assessment on this issue.
Best not to interfere
Sir-- I don't think it is a good idea that we interfere in the elections in Egypt ('The road to parliament' Al-Ahram Weekly 11-17 November). The last time the US encouraged people to elect their leaders in the Middle East they elected Hamas.
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