• Copts
  • February 9, 2010
  • 6 minutes read

Coptic Church says no to cameras

Coptic Church says no to cameras


Pope Shonouda refuses to install cameras in churches like mosques

He emphasized the independence of his church from any security apparatus

The Orthodox Coptic Church has refused to install security cameras inside their churches across Egypt. Dr. Mahmoud Hamdy Zaqzouq, Minister of Religious Endowments installed security cameras, which operate 24 hours inside the 3,000 mosques of Cairo. They will be installed first in Al-Hussein, Al-Sayeda Zainab, Al-Nour, Al-Azhar and Al-Sayeda Nafeesa, then the rest of the mosques of the Republic. The pretext was to secure the Zakat boxes from being stolen. The minister denied any security reasons behind this decision.

A source from the Church stated that the Orthodox Church refuses to have any cameras inside it. It also stressed to al-Masreyoun that a well-known member of the National Democratic Party, who is close to the Pope, submitted to him a similar proposal from the security leaders, but the Pope refused and emphasized the independence of the Church from any authority because it does not belong to any person.

The Pope rejected another request made during the weekly sermon on Wednesday, where it requested the state’s supervision, represented by the CAA, on the economic activities of the Church after words were spread about the funds of the church in local banks. He responded to that saying that the funds of the Church belong to Christ and no one has the right to supervise it.

On the other hand, Amena Noseir, Professor on the Islamic philosophy and Ideology in Azhar University and member of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, called for dealing with the churches in the same way as mosques. She added “if the aim was of spying on mosques is to protect worshipers then we also call for the protection of Copts as they are partners in the nation, as it also supports citizenship. This was welcomed by many sheikhs and scholars of Azhar such as Sheikh Salem Abdel Galeel, Deputy-Minister of Endowment and Sheikh Gamal Qutb, former Head of Fatwa Committee in Azhar, who called for the abolition of the decision of the Minister of Endowment.

MP Ali Laban, of the MB Parliamentary bloc, denounced the decision of the Ministry of Endowment to spy on mosques through the installation of surveillance cameras on its roof monitored through the internet. He stressed that this decision only achieves a US-Zionist agenda to intimidate Scholars and sheikhs of the Endowment and to terrorize worshipers and keeping them away from their religion as he described the decision against Islam.

In an urgent request for information submitted to Dr. Ahmed Nazif, Prime Minister, Dr. Laban accused Dr. Zaqzouq, Minister of Endowment, of abandoning his responsibility in protecting the scholars and mosques against all means of the Ministry of Interior’s oppression. He pointed out that this ministry’s decision gives the legitimacy to the security apparatus to discredit the dignity and prestige of the Islamic scholars of Egypt.