Head of Egypt Human Rights Group Fears Brotherhood Takeover



By: RHONDA SPIVAK  
Published: February 14th 2011
in News » World

Rev. Majed el-Shafie, President and founder of One Free World International

Rev. Majed el-Shafie, an Egyptian Muslim who converted to Christianity and was tortured and condemned to death, fears that the current upheaval in Egypt will strengthen the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

Shafie is alive today because he managed to escape Egypt and get to Israel by driving a jet-ski from Taba in Sinai to Eilat in 1998.

 

Rev. Shafie, who was eventually given political asylum in Canada and now lives in Toronto, is the president and founder of the largest human rights organization monitoring events in Egypt, known as One Free World International, El-Shafie Ministries.

 

His organization, which monitors violations in Egypt and other Arab states against the Christian minority, has 24,000 people in Egypt alone updating him on the situation on the ground there.

 

“We have people all throughout Egypt who are informants letting us know what is really going on there.

 

Many of these people are volunteers who do this because they believe in it. But others are Egyptians, including some who work in the police and the army, who take bribes to be an informant. That is how we do it.”

 

According to Shafie, “the Muslim Brotherhood has used the demonstrations in Egypt to advance its agenda. They are going street to street, door to door asking people to go out to demonstrate... They want a hand in the new government. They are being more aggressive, more active, are coming out in full power.”

 

Shafie says that the Muslim Brotherhood is popular with the poor, illiterate people of Egypt “because they provide the basic food and necessities to them... The Muslim Brotherhood is very wealthy. They own supermarkets in Egypt and they get funds from countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.”

 

He believes that if elections are held in Egypt in the near future, the Muslim Brotherhood will likely come to power.

 

Shafie, 34, was born a Muslim in Cairo to a distinguished family of lawyers and judges. He was exposed at an early age, through a Christian friend, to hatred toward the Christian minority in Egypt. He decided to convert to Christianity and subsequently wrote a book about it. As a result, he became an outcast and a victim of oppression.

 

He began a mission to insure that the Christians in Egypt had all the same legal rights as the Muslim community there. After beginning a ministry which built two churches, a Bible school and a medical clinic, he established a newspaper to request that the Egyptian government grant equal rights to the Christian community.

 

The government did not tolerate this, and Shafie was arrested in 1998 and taken to the torture section of the Abu Zaabel prison in Cairo.

 

“I was jailed at Abu Zaabel jail and tortured for seven days, and then put under house arrest for three months... After receiving the death penalty, I escaped from house arrest and hid with a Beduin family for two months in Sinai.

 

“Then I went to the Hilton hotel in Taba, [near the border with Israel] and I stole a jet-ski and landed in front of the Princess Hotel in Eilat, in Israel... It was about a three-minute ride on the jet-ski,” he said.

 

But when he got to Eilat, Shafie was imprisoned again – this time by Israeli authorities because the government did not know what to do in his circumstances. Legally, he could not stay in Israel; but if they sent him back to Egypt, he would be executed.

 

“I was in an Israeli prison because under the peace treaty with Egypt, they couldn’t take me in,” he said.

 

He stayed in prison in Israel for “one year, three months, 15 days, 12 hours and 24 minutes. When you are in prison you count every minute.”

 

Related articles: (Egypt, Mulsim Brotherhood, Israel, One Free World International)




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