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Motion for a resolution - B7-0039/2010Motion for a resolution

    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on recent attacks against religious minorities in Egypt and Malaysia


    with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
    pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure

    Véronique De Keyser on behalf of the S&D Group

    See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0035/2010

    NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.
    Procedure : 2010/2512(RSP)
    Document stages in plenary
    Document selected :  
    Texts tabled :
    Texts adopted :


    European Parliament resolution on recent attacks against religious minorities in Egypt and Malaysia

    The European Parliament,

    - having regard to its previous resolutions, and in particular that of 15 November 2007 on serious events which compromise Christian communities' existence and those of other religious communities,


    - having regard to Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,


    - having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,


    A. whereas the European Union has repeatedly expressed its commitment to the freedom of thought, conscience and religion and stressed that governments have a duty to guarantee these freedoms all over the world;


    B. whereas, according to international human rights law and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in particular, everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; whereas this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance;


    C. whereas on 6 January 2010 a drive-by shooting killed seven individuals, 6 Coptic Christians and a policemen, and injured others when worshipers were leaving a church after a midnight mass on Coptic Christmas Eve in the city of Nagaa Hammadi in Upper Egypt; whereas further clashes involving Coptic Christians and Muslims broke out in the past weeks that were qualified by the Egyptian Government as individual incidents;


    D. whereas on 8 January 2010 Egyptian authorities announced that they had been arrested and were holding three people in connection with the attack of 6 January;


    E. whereas Coptic Christians represent around 10 per cent of Egyptian population; whereas several violent acts against Coptic Christians took place in the past years in Egypt including the attack that killed at least 20 people in Kosheh village in 2000 and the murder of two young Copts in Awlad Toq Garb in 2007;


    F. whereas the Malaysian Catholic Church had filed a lawsuit against the government in 2007 after the government threatened to prohibit publication of The Herald newspaper on the grounds of national security if it did not stop using the word "Allah" commonly used by the Bahasa-Malaysia speaking community of Christian faith as translation of "God";


    G. whereas on 31 December 2009 the High Court ruled that the Christians in Malaysia have the constitutional right to use the word "Allah" to refer to God and that the word "Allah" is not exclusive to Islam;


    H. whereas the government had confiscated over 15 000 copies of the Bible in Malay language in 2009 where the word "Allah" was used as a reference to God;


    I. whereas the Malaysian High Court's verdict sparked protests from Muslim groups that led to firebombs being thrown at eight churches in the country;



    J. whereas interreligious dialogue is crucial to promote peace and mutual understanding between peoples in the world;


    1. Stresses that the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion is a fundamental human right which is guaranteed by international legal instruments and strongly condemns all kinds of violence, discrimination and intolerance based on religion and belief;


    2. Expresses its deep concern about the recent attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt and its solidarity with the families of the victims; calls on the Egyptian government to ensure the personal safety and integrity of Coptic Christians, and of members of other religious minorities, in the country;


    3. Welcomes the efforts made by the Egyptian authorities to identify the perpetrators of the 6 January attack; calls on the Egyptian Government to ensure that all persons responsible for this attack, as well as for other violent acts against Coptic Christians or other religious minorities, are brought to justice;


    4. Calls on the Egyptian government to guarantee that Coptic Christians, and members of other religious minorities, fully enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms and to prevent any discrimination against them;


    5. Considers that the action of the Malaysian Home Ministry constitutes violation of the freedom of religion; is especially worried that the Malaysian government has acted outside the law and its interference contributed to the mounting of tensions among religious groups in the country;


    6. Welcomes the Malaysian High Court's decision as a victory for freedom of religion in a country where the dominant religion followers enjoy special privileges; calls on the Malaysian Government not to seek to reinstate the ban but to try and appease the resulting tensions and to refrain from further actions that might upset the peaceful coexistence between the dominant and the minority religions as stipulated in the Constitution of Malaysia;  


    7. Calls on the Malaysian authorities to carry out a thorough and rapid investigation into reported cases of attacks against the places of worship and to bring those responsible to justice; 


    8. Calls on the Council and the Commission to pay particular attention to the situation of religious minorities, including Christian communities, in the European Union's relations and cooperation with the countries concerned;


    9. Supports all initiatives aimed at promoting dialogue and mutual respect between religions;


    10. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of Egypt, and Government and Parliament of Malaysia.