December 29, 2011 Special Dispatch No. 4392

Rif'at Al-Said, Leader of Egyptian Al-Tagammu' Party: The Christians in Egypt are Right to Be Scared; Some Are Packing Up and Leaving; The History of Egypt Includes Religious Riots and Oppression, and Subsequent Christian Emigration

December 29, 2011
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 4392

Following are excerpts from an interview with Rif'at Al-Said, leader of Egyptian Al-Tagammu' Party, which aired on Dream2 TV on December 12, 2011.

Interviewer: "The Church gave an instruction to vote for [the Egyptian bloc]. So you too have been using religion."

Rif'at Al-Said: "I do not believe that the Church, as an institution, which is headed by Patriarch Shinoda, gave such an instruction."

Interviewer: "So who gave the instruction?

Rif'at Al-Said: "I don't know. It could be that some priests said that people should vote for the [Egyptian] bloc, or else the Muslim Brotherhood might come to power, and start decapitating people. This is due to what happened on the second 'Kandahar Friday,' when the Muslim Brotherhood formed a very strange pact with the Salafis. Pictures of bin Laden, the so-called 'Man of the Nation,' were raised, the flags of the Taliban and a foreign country were hoisted. Attacks against the 'Crusaders' began – right in [Tahrir] Square – and the Muslim Brotherhood did not oppose this. So the Christians have every right to be scared…"

Interviewer: "So you admit some priests instructed the Christians to…"

Rif'at Al-Said: "I don't admit it because I don't know. I said that it's possible…"

Interviewer: "I'm talking about the reality."

Rif'at Al-Said: "What you and I can both see is that many enlightened Christians voted for the [Egyptian] bloc, while some Christians were afraid to go [to vote], and others are packing up and leaving. Let me reassure you…"

Interviewer: "You are confirming what we have been hearing a lot, about Christians who are getting ready to leave Egypt…"

Rif'at Al-Said: "Or have already left. It's true. I'm aware of this. It's only natural. When you consider the history of Egypt, you see the [religious riots] in Al-Zawiya Al-Hamra', for example, which led to a wave of [Coptic] emigration to Australia, America, and Canada. I've heard many people – friends of mine who have nothing to do with politics – saying that they are getting ready to leave [Egypt]. They are right to do so, because nobody is guaranteeing their safety. There is talk about the jizya poll tax. What nonsense! And they see the 'role model' we have right next to us – Hamas." […]

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