*** DEBUG END ***

Egyptian Copt will advise Morsi on country’s Christians

07 September 2012


New wave: President Mohammed Morsi greets photographers as he leaves the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, on Wednesday

New wave: President Mohammed Morsi greets photographers as he leaves the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, on Wednesday

A PROMINENT Egyptian Copt, Samir Morcos, who has been appointed one of President Mohammed Morsi's four special advisers (News, 31 August), has said that he will strive to ensure that Christians remain integrated within the Muslim-dominated society. Mr Morcos, a Christian intellectual, is the President's adviser on democratic transformation.

He told an Egyptian newspaper that he was "from the school of thought that calls for reassuring the Christians through providing security and reassurance to Egyptians in general. We should ensure the citizenship rights for all, and provide justice for all."

Mr Morcos added that providing special privileges to protect Christians would be counter-productive, because "the one who gives a privilege today can withdraw it tomorrow. But if it is given to all, then it will become the rule that no one can withdraw it, and it will become a right for all Egyptian citizens."

As a result, he said, he would not demand special rights for Christians: "My file is much broader than the issue of the Copts, which I view as a narrow issue. I am carrying out a public service for the sake of God and the homeland." He said he hated "the religious classification of Egyptians as Muslims and Christians, and I do not want to be referred to in a religious way, particularly since the Christian issue and the problems of the Christians in Egypt are only one part of many concerns, which include all the woes of the homeland."

Of the other three presidential advisers, two are Islamists (one from the Muslim Brotherhood, and one from the Salafist al-Nour party), and one is a female academic. The advisers will be assisted by a team of 17 consultants, with Islamists being the dominant group represented in the 21-member team.

There is a second Christian, Rafiq Habib, among the consultants, but he lacks popularity within his own community because of his close links with the Muslim Brotherhood, and his official position within the latter's political party.

Despite President Morsi's attempts at minority representation in his advisory body, its composition has drawn criticism from Copts and Muslims who fear that the government and key institutions are falling into the hands of Islamists. There are concerns that the new constitution could impose restrictions on civil liberties and freedom of speech.

A publisher, Muhammed Hashem, described the Islamists' discourse as "very racist and discriminatory. They dismiss those who don't support them as atheists. We won't accept that. We want a real social contract."

Also feeling marginalised are the revolutionaries who led the uprising that ousted the Mubarak regime. "We revolted against the authoritarian rule of one dominant political party," a young Egyptian told a Cairo newspaper, "but there is still a certain regime trying to control power unilaterally."


Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)