Wary of Morsy

This article was originally published in the Christian Century on July 17, 2012.

President Mohamed Morsy’s decision to reinstate the dissolved parliament has set off a firestorm of debate in Egypt. Is Morsy fighting for full democracy against a military regime? Or is he trying to institute a full Islamist takeover of government? Christians worry about the second possibility.

“There are attempts to take control of all state institutions,” said Karam Ghobrial, an activist with the Coalition of Egypt’s Copts, “and the biggest proof is Morsy’s decision to bring back parliament.” Ghobrial is one of many lawyers who filed an injunction against the president’s ruling. Ghobrial’s comments reveal a deep-seated Coptic distrust of Islamists. “There should be international attention from the United Nations to protect minorities,” he said, “because Morsy broke his oath to respect and uphold the law.”

Morsy’s presidency did not start off this way. “We as Egyptians, Muslims and Christians,” he proclaimed in his victory speech…

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