Egypt Appoints First-Ever Christian As Chief Justice

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Wednesday swore-in Judge Boulos Fahmy, the first Christian as head of the country’s highest court. Fahmy is 65, and appointed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court.

Fahmy, a Coptic Christian had begun his legal career in 1978 and was selected in this post from among five oldest of 15 sitting judges on the bench.

President Sisi conveyed his best wishes to Fahmy, and wished him all the best in shouldering his responsibility in the best manner to deliver justice and implement the law, his office said in a statement.

Sisi assured to support Egypt’s Christian minority, which makes up to 15 percent of the population and has long been complained of discrimination by some of their fellow Muslim citizens.

Egypt’s Head of National Council for Human Rights, Moushira Khattab termed Fahmy’s appointment as a historic and a “great 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 Fahmy’s appointment will have little impact on ending discrimination against Christians because they are vastly underrepresented in Egypt’s state institutions.

Ibrahim doubts the move will have any significant impact on eliminating discrimination against the Christian community, and it also do not provide an opportunity to ensure all the citizens with justice and equality.

Sisi, who assumed office in 2014, has repeatedly expressed support to Christian minority and also usually attends Orthodox Christmas Mass as a show of solidarity with Copts. 

Sisi also appointed the first-ever Coptic Christian woman as provincial governor in 2018, and also allowed the building of Churches across Egypt after decades of restrictions.

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