Press-Republican

Columns

July 29, 2013

The old reality in Egyptian neighborhoods

At the moment, Egypt is operating under a Constitutional Declaration issued soon after the recent military overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

This temporary declaration replaced a constitution signed by Morsi in 2012, after Islamist parties pushed it through a referendum process that turned off many voters. That new constitution replaced an ad hoc, provisional document used after the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak. His regime had operated for nearly 30 years under a 1971 charter.

Yes, it's all quite complicated. What outsiders must grasp is that the fine print in any Egyptian constitution is not what is inspiring the rising tide of bloodshed in local communities -- bloodshed that is frightening leaders of the land's religious and ethnic minorities, said Samuel Tadros, author of "Motherland Lost: The Egyptian and Coptic Quest for Modernity."

Leaders of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Christians, an ancient community that makes up about 10 percent of the population, are not "focusing so much on what is happening at the national level," nor are they "just worried about attacks by radical Jihadists," said Tadros, a research fellow at the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom. "They are worrying about being attacked by their neighbors, by the people they go to school with, the people they ride the bus with every day. ...

"You can say what you want about religious freedom in this constitution or that constitution. But once this hatred has reached the level of your local neighborhoods it will take generations to bring about some kind of change."

This growing atmosphere of hostility and lack of concern about religious freedom can also been seen in Pew Research Center reports covering surveys done in Egypt in the past three years. The bottom line: Muslims in Egypt have become "considerably less tolerant of religious pluralism" than most Muslim communities in the Middle East and around the world, according to a Pew analysis by Neha Sahgal and Brian Grim.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for sustainability

    Conserving the land and assuring long-term profitability are two of the key goals for farmers these days, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns
Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time