Egypt Upper House Approves Reconciliation Panel to Ease Sectarian Tensions
Egypt’s Shura Council approved a proposal by the National Security Committee (NSC) for the formation of a reconciliation panel to study sectarian tension issues, taking into consideration that the State is committed to providing security for all, that citizens are equal before the law, with no discrimination between Egyptians on the basis of race or religion, and that freedom of belief is inviolable.
MP Saad Emara, NSC deputy, pointed that the NSC’s report stressed the need to start reconciliation to help stabilize the situation in Egypt and abroad, and to analyze religion-related disputes faced by Egyptians in their daily lives, noting that a special reconciliation panel should be formed, under Emara’s leadership, as NSC deputy, with the membership of 6 lawmakers, half of them Copts.
Emara further pointed that the reconciliation panel will identify all problems, look into all previous studies into sectarian issues, agree on solutions and alternatives, set a timetable for implementation, and present results to the NSC. Then, a draft law will be submitted to the Council’s Speaker to finalize and legislate as necessary to ease the tensions.
The NSC recommended the development of a legal system for the construction of churches and mosques and prevention of hate speech, while urging a speedy completion of the special investigations in Khossos and the Cairo Cathedral incidents.