Islamic Tolerance Alert. By Omar El Akkad for the Globe and Mail (thanks to all who sent this in):
An obscure, Toronto-based Coptic Christian association has been thrust into the spotlight after three of its members were arrested in Cairo earlier this week, signalling another salvo in a long-running battle between Egyptian authorities and expatriate Christian groups.
Adel Fawzi, Peter Ezzat Mounir and Adeeb Ramses were arrested in Cairo on Wednesday, according to multiple sources. All three were working for the Cairo offices of the Middle East Christians Association, a Coptic Christian group founded by Nader Fawzy, an Egyptian-born Swedish citizen currently living in Toronto. Mr. Fawzy founded MECA four years ago after arriving in Canada, and says the group now has offices around the world and thousands of members.
Mr. Fawzy said Egyptian members of MECA have been intimidated by Egyptian police before, but never arrested.
“We didn’t do anything against the law,” he said. “I don’t know how far the police will go in Egypt.”
It is as yet unclear what charges Mr. Fawzi and Mr. Mounir face. While no formal charges have been filed, the trio appear to have been accused of insulting Islam, converting Muslims to Christianity and working with a foreign group. Mr. Fawzy said there is no evidence to support any of the allegations against the men, adding that the arrests were likely retaliation for a number of court cases MECA has launched against the Egyptian government in recent months.