CAIRO: Coptic lawyer and activist Mamdouh Ramzy said his call for a Lawyer’s Syndicate committee to promote Christian religious law was meant to counteract a similar committee by the Muslim Brotherhood promoting Islamic Sharia.
Ramzy told Daily News Egypt that he filed the request at the Lawyer’s Syndicate last month to force the Muslim Brotherhood to dissolve a parallel committee promoting Sharia, adding that he wants the group to stop mixing religion with politics.
“However, if Muslims are allowed to have a religious committee in the Lawyers’ Syndicate, then why shouldn’t we [Copts] have the same rights? Ramzy asked.
In a statement sent to Daily News Egypt, Mohamed Tosson, chairman of the Sharia committee, said he opposed Ramzy’s request because the constitution stipulates that Sharia is the main source of legislation in Egypt.
While Ramzy said that Christianity has its own guidelines from which legislation can be derived, Tosson disagreed, saying Christianity “doesn’t have legislations, and only offers instructions and advice.
Tosson also dissociated the committee from the Muslim Brotherhood, saying it was formed even before the group was established and that it includes Coptic members.
To that, Ramzy said the Brotherhood is taking over the committee, turning the syndicate “into an institution to aid the terrorists and the illegal group’s political detainees.
Hamdy Khalifa, chairman of the Lawyers’ Syndicate, said the request will be discussed at the biweekly general meeting, according to Ramzy.
“My request is listed in the syndicate’s agenda and will be discussed soon, he said.
Ramzy added that his request was approved by Hussein Al-Gamal, the syndicate’s secretary general, Omar Haridy, the syndicate’s treasurer, as well as deputy members Mohamed Abdel Ghaffar and Ismail Taha, who are affiliated with the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).
While Ramzy said his request was rejected by Brotherhood members, lawyers affiliated with the group said the request was not officially filed and accused Ramzy of creating media hype.
Prominent Brotherhood lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud told Daily News Egypt that Ramzy’s request is not the first of its kind.
“In 2004, another Coptic lawyer, Mamdouh Nakhlah, spoke about filing the same request, however neither one did anything official, Abdel Maqsoud said.
“They only seek media attention, he added.