The Honourable Jim Karygiannis, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Agincourt and Liberal Critic for Multiculturalism, was shocked by the answer from the office of the Foreign Affairs Minister. Mr. Karygiannis has written to the Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, requesting the Canadian government contact the Egyptian government with respect to a list, which includes the names of two Canadians, of people accused of participating in the production of the video, ‘Innocence of Muslims’.
The comment from the Minister’s Press Secretary was:
“I’m not sure it does anyone any good to discuss these issues publicly. We’ll certainly be working on this issue privately with the Egyptians.”
“I cannot believe that the Minister’s office wants the two Canadians to be quiet – their lives may be on the line.” said Mr. Karygiannis. “Why does Baird want to muzzle Canadians who fear for their lives?”
The names of Nader Fawzy and Jacques Attalla, both Canadian citizens, have been placed on a list, issued by the Egyptian Government, as being involved with the movie ‘Innocence of Muslims’ in its production, promotion and distribution. Mr. Fawzy and Mr. Attalla refute these allegations and say they have no association whatsoever with the movie.
“What does ‘working on the issue privately’ mean? What assurances do they have that the government will be working on this with the Egyptians?” Mr. Karygiannis asked. “If discussions do happen, will we get regular updates on the progress or lack thereof?”
Mr. Fawzy and Mr. Attalla claim the list has been sent to the court. If found guilty, they claim the punishment could be death. There is also a danger that the court could offer a reward to anyone who either kills them or returns them to Egypt. They believe they have been targeted because they are members of the Coptic Orthodox faith and have spoken out against the persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt.
“As usual, Members of Parliament, who are working on behalf of their constituents, are being stonewalled.” Mr. Karygiannis stated. “Once again, Harper and Baird are letting Canadians down. They don’t seem to know how to protect Canadians, so they are trying to sweep it under the rug.”
Mr. Fawzy is a single parent with three children. Mr. Fawzy visited 42 Division of the Toronto Police Services to give his statement with respect to the threats against him.