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Islam Under Scrutiny

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Thousands attend Sydney Protest - Rally in Martin Place Sydney On January 19, 2011

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The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Sydney and its Affiliated Regions and the Australian Coptic Movement (ACM) conducted a peaceful Rally in Martin Place Sydney On January 19, 2011.

The Rally was attended by over 4000 people of nearly every Christian denomination, members of the Jewish community, as well as members of AIM.

The Coptic Church and Community acknowledge and extend their sincere appreciation and gratitude to every Person of every faith and creed that attended.

 We give a special thank you to All our elected representatives and clergy that made themselves available to stand in solidarity with Coptic Australians.

Senator Concetta Firravanti the Senator for NSW and who was sent as a representative on behalf of the Hon. Mr. Tony Abbott MP, the Federal Opposition leader

The Hon Greg Donnelly MLC, representing NSW Premier, Kristina Kenneally.

The Hon. Craig Kelly MP, Liberal member for Hughes,

The very Rev. Fred Nile MLC, president of the Christian Democratic Party and

The Hon. David Clarke MLC, parliamentary secretary of the NSW Shadow Attorney General.

Mr. Hermiz Shahin President of the Syrian alliance

Coptic Church Vicar Very Rev Father Tadros Simon.

We also acknowledge and thank the numerous members of the Clergy from the Copts, Melkites, Assyrians, Catholics, Anglicans other Christian denominations that attended.

Contrary to the ill informed report by nine MSN “No representatives of the Australian Muslim community or their leaders attended”. There was no sign of any “Nine reporter or TV Crew” present and the source of their information is very dubious.

Christina Anthony was the MC (Master of ceremonies), and did a tremendous Job.

The Rally was opened by a short Prayer by Father Tadros, followed by the singing of the Australian National Anthem. We are AUSTRALIANS first and foremost and we are proud Australians who happen to be Coptic.

The objective of this rally was to protest the recent Alexandrian bombings, persecution of Christians and non Christians by Islamic extremists.

In addition the rally acknowledged the victims of the Queensland floods and donations were raised on their behalf. People from all over Sydney sacrificed their time and attended despite the inclement weather.

The Rally was joined by city workers who showed an interest for the plight of the Copts and other Christians worldwide.

The dignitaries present gave much appreciated speeches.

Rev Fred Nile called upon Julia Gillard to recall the Australian Ambassador from Egypt to give a detailed report on the plight of the Copts.

Senator Concetta Firravanti informed that Mr. Abbott would reactive a policy to allow for the migration of persecuted Copts from Egypt.

The Hon. David Clarke MLC gave a passionate “pull no punches speech” addressing Coptic persecution. He is to be commended for his forthrightness.

It was widely acknowledged that Julia Gillard’s Silence is inappropriate and offensive.

During the Rally outside DFAT she was told “Julia Gillard make your choice”. She has certainly lost my confidence.

Kevin Rudd was told, “To wake up, open his eyes, and to listen”.

My view is the bad blood resulting in the transition of power in the aftermath of the “knifing of Kevin Rudd”, is contributing to the disunity and dis-functionality of the Federal ALP.

I would encourage every Copt to make a statement at the ballot box. We elect these people, they do not elect us.

The protesters made it clear we are all Australians and that Copts are Australian before they are Egyptian, proudly carrying the Aussie Flag.


After the guests delivered the impassioned and much appreciated speeches, the protest moved from Martin Place to outside the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), on Pitt Street.

The Very Rev. Father Tadros Simon, the Vicar General of the Coptic church Sydney accompanied by a number of other clergy and Peter Tadros of ACM, went up to the DFAT office and handed documents to the representative of Kevin Rudd. I hope Mr. Rudd has the decency to make a statement even if it is 3 weeks after the new years attack, time will tell.

Finally and most deservedly the greatest acknowledgment must go to the NSW State police, and all covert operational officers that ensured our safety and closed down Pitt Street for over an hour.

We also thank all the nameless faces that were attracted by mere coincidence and stood in solidarity with all present.

There were no representatives from the Egyptian Government present, and the rally was incident free.

Again we thank every single person that attended and all those that worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this event a success.

Last Updated on Sunday, 23 January 2011 06:12  

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