Egypt editor quits after publication of anti-Christian pamphlet

Egypt editor quits after publication of anti-Christian pamphlet
2 min read
16 Jun, 2015
Mohammed Omara, resigns as editor in chief of Sawt al-Azhar after backlash against pamphlet which called Christianity a failed religion.
Al-Azhar mosque in the old city of Cairo [Getty]
The editor in chief of the magazine for Egypt's al-Azhar university has quit after publishing a pamphlet which claimed Christianity was a failed religion.

Mohammad Omara stepped down on Saturday from Sawt al-Azhar, telling Egyptian media that he did so of his own accord to dedicate himself to work as a theologian.

The Egyptian Union for Human Rights recently filed a complaint against Omara for "disturbing the peace and damaging Muslim Christian relations" for a pamphlet titled The Failure of Christianity in the Middle East, which was distributed in last month's issue.

The pamphlet discussed Christianity's "internal weakness" that allowed it to be overtaken by Islam in the region.

Omara said he had tried to resign in the past but the university's grand imam, Ahmad al-Tayeb, denied his requests. Tayeb has appointed a new editorial board.

The monthly publication is distributed by al-Azhar university, which has been the pre-eminent academic centre of Sunni Islam for centuries.

It is not the first time Omara's magazine has released anti-Christian literature. In 2009 an article claimed the Bible was "corrupted" and Christians were polytheists.

An article in 2014 accused Christian Copts of fighting for Napoleon Bonaparte's against the Mamluks in the 19th century.

The former member of al-Azhar's scholars authority has also offended Shia Muslims by accusing them of collaboration with "crusaders, Hulaga Khan, the Americans and Zionists".

Omara, once a young Marxist, has been accused of belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood, and has said the coup against the pro-Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, was "invalid" and would "turn the clock back 60 years in Egypt".

Youm7 has reported a lawsuit was filed against Omara alleging his membership of the Brotherhood, which the government says is a terrorist organisation. 

Christians form between 10 percent and 20 percent of Egypt's population.