Protest over Christian persecution in Egypt held outside the House of Lords in London

Source:  www.assistnews.net

Date:  2013-04-21

By Alexandra Geels
Special to ASSIST News Service

LONDON, UK (ANS) -- Enraged demonstrators condemned the persecution of the Coptic Christians of Egypt outside the House of Lords, the upper chamber of the UK parliament, during a protest demonstration organized by Coptic United (www.unitedcopts.org) on Saturday, April 20, 2013.

Protesters outside the House of Lords condemn Christian Persecution in Egypt

Coptic clerics, human rights activists, as well as leaders of like-minded organizations including Global Minorities Alliance (GMA), a Glasgow-based human rights organization's with its Chief Executive, Sheraz Khan, and others, participated in the protest.

Throughout the demonstration, the activists shouted full-throated slogans like: "Christian blood isn't cheap", "Many killed and not a word said", "Stop the Islamization of Egypt", "No Islam by force", "We demand justice" "Where is justice" and "Wake up UK".

Addressing the demonstrators, Dr. Ibrahim Habib, head of United Copts of Great Britain, accused Egypt President Muhammad Morsi's regime of "not doing anything for the people of Egypt."

He accused them of attempts aimed at increasing its power through "undermining" and "destroying" Egypt's government and civil society structures."

One of the demonstrators holds up a Coptic Cross outside the House of Lords

Habib went on to say, "They brutally oppressed the opposition through police and replaced people in the media and judiciary, with their sympathizers. The constitution, which was produced by a majority of them, is a shameful document that doesn't reflect the aspirations of the Egyptian people".

Dr. Habib's speech was punctuated with slogans in favor of Coptic Christians and against Morsi's regime.

The protesters were carrying placards that were inscribed with slogans like: "Stop the killing of Christians in Egypt," "We demand freedom of worship" "Stop the culture of impunity against Christians" and "They are killing us today, who will they kill tomorrow?"

Dr. Habib said at least 20 incidents involving mob sex attacks on female protesters were carried out during the anti-government demonstrations from November 20, 2011 to December 1, 2012.

Dr. Habib also criticised Morsi's regime for lodging lawsuits against media members opposed to government policies.

Sheraz Khan (left) seen with Dr. Ibrahim Habib

"Judges who voiced opposition to the Muslims Brotherhood were targeted, suffered ill treatment and were even terminated from their offices", said Dr. Habib.

Dr. Habib told protesters: "Egypt is being hijacked by the fascist Muslim Brotherhood. We are protesting against what is happening to Egypt. We are alerting the West to the dangers of the reincarnation of new Nazis in Egypt.

"We ask the Western governments to stop supporting the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt and help the rebirth of a new Egypt that is diverse, tolerant, progressive and accepts people of different beliefs that can co-exist in harmony."

Speaking to the demonstrators Sheraz Khan, the Chief Executive of Global Minorities Alliance (GMA) -- www.globalminorities.co.uk/human-rights-organisation --criticized Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi for failing to protect and safeguard rights of Coptic Christians as well as other minorities.

He said: "I would have been pleased if members of House of Lords had also stood with us to express their solidarity with the persecuted Coptic Christians."

Putting a twist on one of the slogans, he asked demonstrators: "Could it be that the members of House of Lords also thought that the blood of Egyptian Christians was cheap and that is why they did not turn up?"

A woman demonstrator shouting slogans

When Mr. Khan again asked angry men and women who had rallied opposite the House of Lords if "Christian blood was cheap?" the demonstrators unanimously yelled, "No".

He said no Egyptian president before Muhammad Morsi enjoyed as much legislative powers as Morsi did "and yet he hasn't been able to deliver."

Mr. Khan said Muslim Brotherhood was "indifferent" and "apathetic" to the perpetual suffering of the Coptic Christians in Egypt.

Citing statistics from "Morsimeter", a website which shows a performance chart of Mr. Morsi, Mr. Khan said that President Muhammad Morsi could only deliver 10 out of the 64 goals he had set before him when he had assumed the office of the President.

He also criticised Mr. Morsi for sending one of his representatives to the enthronement ceremony of Coptic Pope instead of attending the ceremony himself.

"President Morsi should go home if he cannot deliver equal rights to all Egyptian citizens because this is what he is supposed to do being the President of Egypt."

"Go Morsi Go, Go Morsi Go", shouted demonstrators.

Mr. Khan listed a catalogue of human rights breaches in Egypt under President Morsi. He criticised the Morsi regime for killing of people outside Ittahidya Palace and for the harassment of women protesters in the past.

He said it was ironic that Morsi regime blamed women for staging protest demonstrations instead of respecting and acknowledging their democratic right to assemble and protest.

The GMA chief was also critical of curbs placed on journalists by the Morsi regime. He also criticised Morsi for failing to give a proper representation to Coptic Christians in the Upper House of Parliament.

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