Sunday, May 30, 2010

Letter to UNESCO

May 27, 2010

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO
7, place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07 SP, France

UNESCO General Director

Mrs. POKOVA, Irina

Mubarak’s Regime Continues to Raid and Loot the Tombs of the ancient Egyptians, the ancestors of the Copts.

Dear Madam,

The recent events directed at the Coptic Christians of Egypt are not only despicable, but contribute to the cultural genocide of Egypt and its sons. The Copts face genocide, ethnic cleansing, rape, and kidnapping on a daily basis. Hundreds of Coptic businesses and churches are also destroyed every year, further condemning the Copts to dictatorship and leaving them defenseless against oppression. Since the Copts cannot defend their rights, the government under President Hosni Mubarak continues to raid and loot the tombs of the ancient Egyptians, the ancestors of the Copts.

Recent months featured the unearthing of dozens of tombs of ancient Egyptian pharaohs, including 57 burial places discovered in Al-Fayoum. But what is to say that these archaeologists are not hired by the Mubarak regime rather than an independent organization? Reports from the New York Sun and Huffington Post indicate that several ancient Egyptian artifacts and art were stolen from tombs. The Mubarak regime continues to excavate in upper Egypt and refuses to explain the sudden disappearance of these ancient artifacts. Yet, the international community continues to ignore these cultural crimes because they have regional and political interests with Egypt.

The following link goes into much more detail regarding the catastrophic of secret excavations of the Pyramids of Giza: www.

The Mubarak regime also employs the policy of eminent domain, or the taking of private property, for its own use. The government seizes Coptic graveyards in one of the oldest cemeteries in Akhmim, and Luxor in Upper Egypt, They remove tombs and caskets without regard for the Copts’ rights to property. The graveyards are then sold to foreign investors and corporations.

The American Coptic Union (ACU) asks UNESCO to do the following:

  1. Condemn the actions of the Mubarak regime regarding ancient artifacts and property owned by the Copts.
  2. Demand the return of the stolen artifacts and property back to the Coptic people.
  3. Implement policies and regulations designed to prevent further looting and corruption by the government in the ancient tombs.

Thanks and God bless.


Rafique Iscandar

American Coptic Union –President


CC: Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, UN (Fax)

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

ElBaradei is the Only Hope for True Democracy in Egypt

Egypt is now preparing for a presidential election that will determine the status of democracy in

that country for at least another generation. For a similar period, it will affect US interests and

policies in the Middle East, as well the prospects for peace in that most dangerous region. The

survival of Egyptian Copts, an estimated 15 million out of an mostly Muslim population of more

than 80 million, is also at stake. For most of the past 30 years, the regime of Hosni Mubarak has

retained power through election fraud and suppression of the international norms of an open,

democratic society. In the 2005 presidential election, the opposition candidate, Dr. Ayman Nour,

was imprisoned and sentenced to 5 years at hard labor and banned from ever holding public

office. Independent observers agree unanimously that this was a fraud. Now a new potential

opposition candidate with impeccable credentials is being proposed. Mohamed ElBaradei is a

Nobel Peace Prize winner and the former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency

(IAEA), a United Nations body. He is expected to form a coalition of disparate opposition

elements that include Copts The Muslim Brotherhood as well as other opposition parties. He is

just starting a carefully managed tour in the US to gather political, financial and media support.

Meanwhile, the Mubarak regime is attempting to pass the office to one of Mubarak’s sons. That

effort is reinforced by election laws, passed by the Mubarak controlled legislators, that many

observers believe will prevent ElBaradei from even getting on the ballot. But, the Muslim

Brotherhood, despite being officially banned and definitely no friend to Mubarak, openly

controls a significant number of the Parliamentary votes that the Egyptian constitution requires

for a place on the presidential ballot. Together with Coptic and other minority support, the

candidacy of ElBaradei begins to appear Possible, but is admittedly a real long shot, especially

absent pressure from the USA.

Copts are Members of one of the world’s oldest Christian churches, founded AD 42, at

least a dozen years before the Roman Catholic Church in Rome. In modern times, they have

become the target of such wide-spread assaults in Egypt that their numbers are declining. Human

rights organizations Reports there have been tens of thousands of forced conversions to Islam.

Some say that that there appears to be a campaign of kidnapping, rape and forced marriage of

young Coptic girls and women to those who kidnapped them.

Others cite widespread destruction of their schools and entire communities. For their

part, the Muslim Brotherhood presents itself as opposed to sectarian violence and in fact has its

own history of being persecuted by the Mubarak regime. The BBC and other media have

regularly reported mass arrests and secret imprisoning. However, there have been few reports of

violence by, or against the Muslim Brotherhood similar to those regarding the Coptic minority.

Meanwhile, the US State Department is playing a dangerous game of trying to appear as

a neutral ally, but not so neutral as to upset the Mubarak regime. So we recently had the recent

said spectacle of the US Department of State quoted in Foreign Policy Magazine as

acknowledging the “anti-Christian” campaign but declining to urge the Mubarak regime to clean

up its dismal and dangerous repression of Copts or to call for genuine, open and fair democratic


This systemic unwillingness to confront the human rights record of our alleged

international “friends” only does us harm. We are exposed as hypocritical to the one moral

position to which we might lay claim. The violators take support from our silence, for that’s what

silence in the face of repression is. That silence only comforts and encourages even more

repression, and persecution.

Yet, like all hypocritical positions, we gain nothing from it but the dubious loyalty of less than

genuine friends.

As long as an ElBaradei or any other democratic candidate is kept off the ballot, as long

as Coptic innocents are put to the sword of conversion, as long as the USA declines to speak

truth on these subjects, we lose the respect and forfeit the trust of those who would be our

genuine allies. All the forces and factors in that explosive region are noting our cynical approach

of wanting friends at any cost to our self-respect. They surely recognize that every day of USA’s

tacit approval of the status quo in Egypt is one step closer to the day we will again regret having

supported a repressive regime. That’s how we got where we are in Iraq. It is at the foundation of

our situation in Afghanistan. It was at the core of Vietnam. Proponents of that kind of

“diplomacy” claims it is realistic and practical. But what could ever be more realistic and

practical than supporting genuine, open, democratic elections in Egypt?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Reply to Ms. Kosa, United States Department of State

Lauren S. Kosa
Egypt Desk Officer
Office of Egypt and Levant Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Dear Madam;

Thank you for your reply to our remarks and concern regarding Ms. Chapman’s statement to the Egyptian Al Masry Alyoum newspaper.

First, we apologize for our error in Ms. Nicole’s name and title. We have corrected our records.

Secondly, despite the welcome comment that US is not against ElBaradei, it unfortunately continues, by omission, to imply US support for Mubarak. Further, we wish to point out that a vague support for “reform” is seriously inadequate in addressing the outrages and human rights violations that continue under his regime against an innocent population who’s only “offense” is their Christian faith.

Silence is complicity. Mubarak understands that what you do not oppose, you accept; what you do not criticize, you approve. You owe the Egyptian people, more than your tacit approval.

Thirdly, your most recent reply ignored the crisis of Egyptian Copts. Ms. Chapman minimized the officially sanctioned attacks on them as “intimidating.” That would be an appropriate word for a threat. But the crimes against innocent people are reality. There is a physical, religious and cultural genocide underway.

In 1938, at the Evian Conference, the US walked away from the impending holocaust with the same complicit attitudes that now abandon Egyptian Copts. Recently, the US condemned atrocities 95 years ago in another middle-eastern country that are all too similar to those now underway in Egypt.

We strongly suggest that a position more worthy of the United States of America would be proactive public and private objection specific to the crimes and unequivocal in its aversion to the perpetrators. That alone will avoid the need for another too-late apology decades after the complicity.

We respectfully urge the USA to openly acknowledge the plain fact of the Mubarak regime’s anti-Christian policy and actions. We ask that your office issue a public statement condemning the genocide of Egyptian Copts. Finally, we ask that a corrective statement be made that clarifies that the US neither opposes El Baradei’s presidential candidacy nor does it support the candidacy of Mubarak.

Thank you,,
American Coptic Union

Rafique Iscandar, president

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ElBaradei’s Policy Is Right To Engage Muslim Brotherhood

In recent months, many newspapers and members of the US media showed no sympathy for the people of Egypt, who desperately seek freedom and dignity. Some of these newspapers insulted and falsely accused Dr. Ayman Nour, former Egyptian presidential candidate, of being anti-Semitic. A recent report by Foreign Policy Magazine expressed support for the Mubarak regime despite the regime’s crimes against humanity and anti-Christian sentiment. They also criticize ElBaradei for his campaign of freedom and dignity for all Egyptians.

Foreign Policy’s statement of ElBaradei joining main stream Islamists is not true. He reached out to opposition groups, activists, and the Coptic community in Egypt and abroad. He is a supporter of Coptic human rights in Egypt and calls for an end to the genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Copts.

ElBaradei’s primary goal is to change the Egyptian Constitution that favors Mubarak and his son’s desire to continue that dictatorship.

It is strange and hypocritical for a respected foreign policy publication to recognize, but without critical comment, a despotic constitution such as Mubarak’s that denies basic human rights according to international law.

The magazine disparages ElBaradei, claiming he lacks a constituency. Such statements by their editors merely parrot the official line of the regime, designed to lower his appeal to the people of Egypt and make the American people reluctant to support him. The lack of a past incumbency and the lack of a constituency are not the same thing at all. Despite blatant repression, a great many Egyptians are widely known to support the democratic policies that ElBaradei proposes.

Although the American Coptic Union (ACU) disagrees with the Muslim Brotherhood on many issues, comparing them to the Mubarak regime is unfair. The ACU supports ElBaradei’s policy of inclusion. He knows they cannot be ignored. They are a political force in Egypt. The US government has held negotiations with the Brotherhood and supports their 20% role in the People’s Council (Parliament). ElBaradei wants the Brotherhood to work within the public spectrum, not as an underground movement. Some of the effective governments in the world are based on a live and functioning coalition such as ElBaradei proposes. In fact, it might be said that many of the political stagnation in the USA today is the lack of functioning bipartisanship that has effectively suffocated balanced governance.

It cannot be denied or ignored that the Mubarak regime, not the Muslim Brotherhood, is responsible for deliberate crimes in Egypt against humanity, ethnic cleansing, genocide, kidnapping and raping of the Copts. The Mubarak regime is, on the face of it, far more dangerous to Egyptians of all religious and political persuasions than the Brotherhood.

While US Department of State Egyptian Desk Director Nicole Chapman acknowledged anti-Christian sentiment in Egypt, the Foreign Policy overlooks it. While US media criticize Iran for its harsh treatment, and poor record in Human Rights, FP Magazine, and others are continue to praise and support the Mubarak regime, despite their obvious but undeclared agenda, which is in most cases against US interest in the Middle East. Some media outlets cry for women’s rights in Afghanistan. While that is wholly justified and laudable, it is careless and irresponsible to ignore the crimes against 500,000 Coptic women who have been kidnapped, raped and forced to convert and marry with Muslim perpetrators.

We call on the American people, the America Media and the American Government, through the US State Department, to support ElBaradei’s freedom movement in Egypt. We ask that all media, print and electronic, demand just for all Egyptians. American Coptic Union speaks again, responsibly and forthrightly, demanding justice for all Egyptians, as well as for Egyptian Copts.

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