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article imageOp-Ed: Canadian Coptic Christian frightened by accusations from Egypt

By Ken Hanly     Sep 23, 2012 in World
Toronto - Nader Fawzy, a Coptic Christian from Toronto, fears for his own life and his family's safety after his name appeared on a list of those associated with the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims".
At a news conference in Toronto, Nader Fawzy claimed that he has received threats from Egypt since he has been on a list of those associated with the film "Innocence of Muslims". Fawzy is an activist promoting the Christian Coptic community. During the third and fourth centuries AD Christianity was the major religion in Egypt. Even now an estimated 10% or more of Egyptians are Coptic Christians. They have suffered repression over the centuries as outlined on the appended video.
Fawzy believes that the Egyptian government added his name to the list of those associated with the film because of his activism. He denies any connection with the film. There is a Coptic Christian in the U.S. who has been associated with the film. Fatwa claims that the publishing of his name amounts to a fatwa or religious edict that makes it a duty to kill him. Fawzy said: 'There is no safety at all. Once the fatwa is published, anyone can come to kill me or my kids or my family in Egypt.' The Egyptian government has actually issued arrest warrants for Fawzy and another Canadian born in Egypt Jacques Attalla of Montreal. Attalla, also a Coptic Christian, denies any involvement with the film.
The Egyptian government has also ordered arrest warrants for a number of other Coptic Christians. Many live in the U.S. The film was made in California.
Fawzy is asking for police protection because of threats to his life. Nevertheless Fawzy said that he would not stop speaking out about the plight of Copts in Egypt. Fawzy said:"I have to say it and say it loud, If they start with [silencing] me today, they will continue with everyone in western world. Maybe you tomorrow, maybe after tomorrow someone else."
The Canadian Foreign Affairs department responded to Fawzy's concerns by advising him to keep quiet. Fawzy replied in public: "I'm not here to seal my lips, I'm here to talk as everyone in Canada on Canadian soil has the right to talk." The press secretary for Foreign Minister John Baird said the best way to get the two Canadians off the warrant list is through quiet backdoor diplomacy rather than public calls for action. On the other hand the old proverb is that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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