Thursday, January 19, 2006

Egyptian church clash injures 12

The BBC reported today that at least 12 people were injured in clashes in Upper Egypt when a group of Muslims attempted to stop Christians converting a house into a church.

Security officials said the Muslims set fire to building materials for the building in Odaysat, near Luxor.

Always sad to hear how Muslim Egyptians cannot tolerate Non-Muslims. You may have noticed that I never talk about religions except in a political context. Simply because everyone is free to worship whatever he/she feels comfortable with or even if other decided not to worship anything at all, it is also their freedom and will to do so. No one has the right to judge others on any religious basis. But in Egypt yes!

There is an amount of social intolerance among some people that is supported by the lack of enough laws to protect Egyptian Copts. They are always considered second class citizens in the eyes of many Muslim Egyptians. I am saying it while filled with sadness being myself a Muslim. I have witnessed myself so many vulgar situations that happened to my Coptic friends that made me feel so embarrassed that it occurred from other Muslims.

This incident is another sign of inequality among Egyptian citizens because laws give the right to Muslims to turn any room at their buildings into a free-tax and utilities mosque when Egyptian Copts get wounded and killed when they attempt to build a church! Freedom and Equality for Egyptian Copts.

Let Tolerance and Peace Prevail.
Pictures from the attacks here.


At 7:49 PM, Blogger Egypeter said...

I have no idea where to start. As a Copt, sectarian incidents like this (and the one in Moharram Bey just two months prior)are very very disturbing and really need to be addressed! I get terribly upset when garbage like this happens in my country. What compounds matters is the fact that many say that their are no problems between Muslims and Christians in Egypt...I think they figure that if they keep denying that problems exist then the problems don't really exist...obviously with a mentality of denial there will never be a solution. After all, how can you solve a problem if you claim there isn't one?!?!?

My first question is simply where are the police and secondly, will justice ever be served. I'm afraid I know the answers to these two questions. The police don't really care and probably side with the terrorists (terrorists are EXACTLY what these people are) and as far as justice goes...justice hasn't been served in sectarian issues in the past so I highly doubt justice will be served this time around.

In the year 2000 there were upwards of 20 Copts murdered during sectarian violence in Al Kosheh and not one of the criminals who were arrested were convicted...they were simply freed after their short detentions.

What is the solution, if there is one, towards the hatred that many muslims have towards their christian brothers...I DON'T GET IT!!! I agree with those who suggest that Coptic history needs to be taught in schools to help foster understanding b/w muslims and christians. Education should be used as the main weapon against intolerance and to help diffuse anger between the two communities. It really amazes me the Coptic heritage of Egypt is not taught in schools as if the educational system of Egypt wants to erase it from the history books. When in fact it's a very essential part of the country's history. I doubt many Muslims know that Egypt was ENTIRELY Christian before Amr-Ibn-Alass and the Arab invasion entered the country in the 7th century. Not only was Egypt entirely Christian but the Church of Alexandria was a leader in Christian theology that contributed GREATLY to Christian thought ALL around the world. The point being is that modern day Egyptian Muslims descendants were, in all liklihood, Christian!!

These figures are from El-Osbooa Newspaper in Egypt.

In Egypt:
1 Church per 6153 Christians...
1 Mosque per 67 Muslims...

All they were doing was converting a home to a church so they can worship freely and equally as their Muslim brothers...

Thanks FFE for posting. Maybe one day other Egyptians will be as enlightened as you!

Peace in Egypt!

At 9:27 PM, Anonymous albsayed said...


I feel your pain, and I join you in commending FFE for bringing light to these issues.

Obviously FFE represents an example of Muslims that are tolerant towards their Christian brothers and sisters. So all hope is not lost, as there are open minded, sympathetic Muslims within Egypt.

The ironic thing is, no one can honestly understand how vulnerable a minority feels until they themselves become part of a minority. So Muslim minorities in the west will start to feel what it's like to grow up as a minority in Egypt.

Just know that there are Muslims that side with justice, regardless of religion or sect.

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Egypeter said...

Albsayed - Thank you for your kind words and believe me I know that there are excellent and sympathetic muslims inside and outside of Egypt! My anger/sadness is only towards those that do no show tolerance and love towards the "other." I have friends here in American that are Muslim, Christian, Hindu, athesist, etc. I hope (and pray) that open-mided Egyptians will take a stance AGAINST those that hijack Islam for their own selfish reasons.


At 5:44 PM, Blogger Freedom for Egyptians said...


I disagree with you about the idea of "Muslim minorities" in the west. In the western world which i call it the civilized world, no one is treated on the basis of his/her religion. There might be some individual extremists but they can be brought to justice for inciting hatred.

That also explains why Europe became a hub for terrorists and extremists. Europe never believed in judging residents or citizens on the basis of their religion!

And in the US there are cities or neighborhoods where what you call minorities of different ethnic backgrounds or religions live together. They enjoy their typical food, drinks, places of worshipping and no one asks them why or treats them on different basis.


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