Egypt names first-ever Christian head of country's top court

President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi picked the 65-year-old judge Boulos Fahmy to head Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court from among the court's five oldest of 15 sitting judges, as is prescribed by law.

Published: 09th February 2022 06:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th February 2022 06:21 PM   |  A+A-

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, right, swears in Judge Boulos Fahmy, as the first-ever Coptic Christian to head the country’s highest court, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, right, swears in Judge Boulos Fahmy, as the first-ever Coptic Christian to head the country’s highest court, in Cairo, Egypt, Feb 9, 2022. (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

CAIRO: Egypt’s president on Wednesday swore in the first-ever Coptic Christian to head the country’s highest court.

Judge Boulos Fahmy is the 19th person to preside over the Supreme Constitutional Court since it was established in 1969. President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi picked the 65-year-old Fahmy from among the court's five oldest of 15 sitting judges, as is prescribed by law.

Fahmy succeeded Judge Saeed Marei, who retired over health reasons, according to Mohammed Bassal, a respected expert in Egypt’s judicial affairs and editorial manager of the Shorouk daily.

Fahmy has headed the court’s General Secretariat since 2014. His appointment as chief judge has been welcomed by many in the Muslim majority country.

Moushira Khattab, head of the government-appointed National Council for Human Rights, hailed the decision as “historic” and “a giant move” in the field of political and civil rights.

However, Ishak Ibrahim, a prominent expert on Christian affairs in Egypt, said in a Facebook post that the move will have little impact on ending discrimination against Christians as they are vastly underrepresented in Egypt's state institutions.

“It will not have a significant impact on eliminating discrimination and ensuring the opportunity for all citizens with justice and equality,” he said.

“We’ll be able to say there’s a significant improvement when we find the percentage (of Christians holding posts) has moved from around 2% to a percentage close to their numerical one,” he added.

Christians, who make up almost 10% of Egypt’s population of more than 102 million, have long complained of discrimination at the hands of the Muslim majority. Activists also say Copts are discriminated against and kept from high office.

Since taking office in 2014, most Christians have seen el-Sissi as their protector and ally in opposition to Islamists. He usually attends Orthodox Christmas Mass as a show of solidarity with Copts.

He has also taken steps to empower Christians, including the appointment of the first-ever Coptic Christian woman as provincial governor in 2018. He also allowed the building of churches across the country after decades of restrictions.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp