Friday, July 13, 2012

Christian Brotherhood

Some Copts in Egypt are forming a "Christian Brotherhood":
"As Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood attempts to consolidate its political control of Egypt’s presidency and parliament, the formation of a new 'Christian Brotherhood' was announced on July 5. The new movement does not have the endorsement of the Coptic Orthodox Church and is described by its founders as either a 'sectarian' or a 'liberal and secular' organization that will or will not seek political power, depending on who is asked. Unlike the Muslim Brotherhood, which is still officially unrecognized in Egypt, the new movement will register with the Egyptian Ministry of Social Affairs to obtain legal status. The announcement came at a time of growing sectarian tensions and protests following incidents such as an attack by bearded Islamists on a Coptic woman in the Cairo suburb of Ma’adi for not wearing a veil (al-Masry al-Youm [Cairo], July 7)...
"Mamdouh Nakhla described some of the goals of the new movement in a recent interview with a pan-Arab daily (al-Sharq al-Awsat, July 7). Noting that the political model of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has been very successful in Egypt, Nakhla insists that the Christian Brotherhood (CB) will follow this model, at times almost slavishly – for instance, the CB’s political wing will be called Hizb al-Adala wa’l-Hurryiya (Justice and Freedom Party) in imitation of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Ḥizb al-Ḥurriya wa ‘l-Adala (Freedom and Justice Party). The CB will also be led by a 'Supreme Guide,' just as in the MB. According to Nakhla, 'We have been convinced by the Muslim Brotherhood’s success in coming to power, particularly as this group is still officially illegal. This is why we intend to implement this same idea, utilizing even the same hierarchy and positions, which may even have the same names…'
First, it's not at all clear from this what the goals of the new Christian Brotherhood actually are. Beyond that, it seems likely that if this catches on at all, it will primarily attract Coptic youth as long as the hierarchy remains ambivalent.



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