The AP reports that Egypt’s Copts have pulled out of the drafting committee for the country’s new constitution:
Egypt’s Coptic Church withdrew Monday from an Islamist-dominated committee that will draft the nation’s new constitution, and a leading Christian figure said the minority was never really represented to begin with.
The move fed growing fears that Islamists and the military will control the most important governmental bodies in post-revolutionary Egypt and minorities, women and the liberal groups that drove last year’s uprising will be largely excluded. Out of 100 members of the committee originally selected, there were six Christians, six women and a handful of liberals.
The perpetually persecuted sect didn’t really have much of a choice. It was either stay in and be ignored, or leave and be ignored. Perhaps more effective bargaining for their rights can take place behind the scenes, rather than on the public record of a committee where politicians must demagogue for their constituencies.
But overall, the news from Egypt isn’t getting much better. Hanging over everything in the country is the looming specter of an economic crisis. Ultimately, the struggles of the Egyptian economy are what will either radicalize the government or drive it toward more moderate stances. We, along with the Copts, can only wait and see.