Egypt's Coptic Christians get first-ever visit....
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi paid a first-ever visit by an Egyptian leader to the Coptic Christian Jan. 6 Christmas Eve service. (The Copts, 10 percent of Egypt's populace, follow the Julian Calendar for religious services; the JC was adopted in 46 BC by most of Christian Europe as the civil calendar, which currently runs 13 days behind the Gregorian Calendar that most of Christian Europe adopted in 1582. Egypt adopted the Gregorian civil calendar in 1928; by 1930 all of Europe was on the GC.) Pres. al-Sisi said, as reported by the Gray Lady:
“Let no one say, ‘What kind of Egyptian are you?’ ” Mr. Sisi told the thousands of worshipers, declaring that Egypt would rise above centuries of tensions between Muslims and Christians. “It is not right to call each other anything but ‘the Egyptians.’ We must only be Egyptians!”
The cathedral erupted in applause, and Copts, who make up about 10 percent of the roughly 85 million Egyptians, heralded Mr. Sisi’s appearance there as a milestone. . . .
The Coptic pope, Tawadros II, supported the hugely popular counter-revolution that unhorsed the Muslim Brotherhood government, which had conspired with two religious parties to turn Egypt into a sharia state, The MB had allowed roving Muslim mobs to kill Copts & destroy property during its brief reign.
At TAS Raymond Ibrahim, an Egyptian-born Copt & Arabic/Islamic scholar, recently analyzed the significance of al-Sisi's New Year's Day speech at al-Azhar University in Cairo. It identified Islam's internal issues as central to addressing the current upheaval in Islamic countries & clashes with the West. In other words, the problem is not with the West & its conduct or attitudes, but lies within an Islam that has not undergone a Reformation.
Bottom Line. Egypt's president has emerged as the most important pro-western Islamic leader, presiding over the world's foremost repository of moderate Sunni Islam.
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