I’ve been following events in Egypt with interest for how the popular movement and the religious leaders are working together. It’s not easy to get information.
But I was very interested that the leader of the Coptic church, Pope Tawadros II (follow him on twitter at #Tawadros), spoke at the speech in support of the military action removing Morsi. The Christian Copts are a religious minority in Egypt and sometimes subject to persecution.) I’m also looking for the speeches by Mohammed ElBaradei and Tamarod’s youth leaders Mahmoud Badr and Mohamed Abdelaziz, who also spoke in support of the military intervention.
There is some strong criticism against ElBaradei, the Nobel Prize winner, that he will support neoliberal economic reforms (read “austerity”) in Egypt. It’s hard to get accurate information on what’s happening with the youth movement. Tamarod was the name of the Tunisian movement and it looks like the Egyptian youth movements have coalesced under that name. (Read more about the Egyptian nonviolence struggle in my Sojourners’ article “Nothing Spontaneous About It.”)
I finally found a video of the Coptic leader’s speech (see below and transcript below that):
“In the Name of the One God that we all worship. This is a truly parting moment in the history of the land, in the history of our beloved Egypt. And this is the road map for the future path that was laid out by the general commander of the Armed Forces. In this road map, agreed upon by all those who attended, we have placed all the factors that guarantee a peaceful path for all Egyptians. This road map was created by loyal hearts and a strong love of the nation with a short and long-term vision for the future. This road map was placed by honorable people who want the benefit of the nation first and foremost, without excluding or distancing anyone. This road map was placed to solve the current situation in our dear land.
We, in Egypt have all gathered under the Egyptian flag, and this flag encompasses us all. It’s black color represents the people of the Nile Valley. The white color represents the youth and the purity of their hearts. The red color represents the sacrifices of the police force who offer and continue to offer themselves always to protect the internal front. In the midst of the flag, we see the yellow eagle who represents the armed forces which we see as the safety valves of this land. May Egypt live on and may all the Egyptians live in love and harmony, moving to every city square for the upholding of this land which deserves a lot from us. I thank your very much.”–Pope Tawadros II