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EGYPT: Hundreds protest to denounce terrorist attack on Coptic Christians

Egypt-copts

Hundreds of Egyptians took part in a demonstration Sunday morning to condemn the church explosion that took the lives of 21 Coptic Christians in the coastal city of Alexandria in the early hours of 2011. 

In the suburb of Shubra, downtown Cairo, some 500 Muslim and Coptic activists, politicians and other civil society leaders led a protest to show solidarity with the Egyptian Coptic minority and to denounce Saturday's deady assault.
 
Marchers shouted the slogans, "A Muslim and a Copt hand in hand to create a new dawn," and "Not a police state, not a religious state, we want Egypt to be a secular state," as they carried banners showing the crescent along with the cross, which has been a historical symbol of unity between Egyptian Muslims and Copts.
 
Protesters were swiftly surrounded by police officers,  who feared that clashes might erupt between the protesters and bitter Coptic inhabitants of the area.

The neighborhood of Shubra is one of few suburbs in the capital where large communities of Christians live alongside Muslims.

During the march, activists distributed out of flyers calling on Copts to boycott work for three days startuing Sunday and to make Jan. 7 (Orthodox Christian Copts' Christmas) a mourning day without any celebrations.

An attack outside a church in Alexandria right after midnight left 21 Copts and tens others injured, the deadliest incident of a string of clashes related to Copts in Egypt that surfaced in recent years.

In a televised address on Saturday, President Hosni Mubarak said that the attackers "will be making a grave mistake if they think that they will be spared the punishment of Egyptians for their act."

Copts account for 10% of the country's population of 82 million.

In Alexandria, hundreds of Muslims and Copts took part in another demonstration nearby the scene of the killings, where they demanded a transparent and public investigation into the terror attack and called on authorities to announce details of the crime as soon as possible.

The Ministry of Interior had earlier announced that the assault was carried out by a suicide bomber, following the Alexandria's governor's claims that Al Qaeda could be behind the explosions. 

-- Amro Hassan in Cairo

Photo: An Egyptian Christian mourns as he stands next to a blood-stained painting of Jesus Christ on Jan. 2, 2011 outside the Al-Qiddissine (The Saints) church in Alexandria, following a New Year's Eve car bomb attack on the Coptic church in the northern Egyptian city in which 21 people were killed. Credit: MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (32)

The common denominator in all of these troubled spots is hate.

The number of apologists for Islamic terrorism is astounding. No doubt these are people that are so not wanting to be a God that they will do anything to make Christianity to be some kind of blight on their "heavenly existence." What a lie from hell these people live under. But it is more simple than that. They want to live their lives without any accountability for any of their greed, lust, laziness or selfishness. So they pretend there is not evidence for the one true God and they do all they can in their power to "spin" facts and lies against the faith. I feel powerless to do anything about it.

For those accusing Muslims of terrorism:

key religious wars among Christians in Europe & USA that I remember:

* Thirty Years War
* French Wars of Religion
*Taiping Rebellion
*Spanish Civil Wars
* the Two world Wars
*Cromwellian conquest of Ireland

The Coptic Church was one of the most anti-Semitic churches in the Middle East and the most anti-Israel. It’s not new. And it hasn’t changed.

For instance, Severus Ibn Al-Muqaffa, a layman who became a top Coptic Bishop (the Bishop of Al-Ashmunein) one of the revered figures in Coptic Church history, viciously attacked the Jews and Judaism in his writings. While he often grouped the Jews with Muslims, whom he also hated, he often singled the Jews out for even more extreme hatred. That was in the 900s. And while hatred of the Jews has lessened in many Christian churches in contemporary times, the hatred of Jews in the Coptic church remains strong to date. Most Copts will not openly denounce or disagree with Pope Shenouda’s anti-Semitic incitement. Most of them support Muslim calls for Israel’s destruction.

The Coptic Pope Shenouda III continues to regularly deliver anti-Semitic sermons and calls Jews “Christ-killers.” And, in July 2008, he told Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper:

Jews are a cursed people who have their hands indulged in the blood of Palestinians.

He also forbade all Copts from visiting Jerusalem as long as it “remains occupied,” meaning as long as there are Jews there.

But he is not the first to incite Coptic violence against Jews. In fact, the Copts were not only extremely anti-Semitic (as they continue to be), but they often led the Muslims in pogroms against the Jews of Egypt. There are almost no Jews left in Egypt, and the Copts joined the Muslims in calling for the Jews’ expulsion. Many Jewish homes and property were taken not by Muslims, but by Copts.

As in the case of many Christian groups in the Middle East, the Copts sided with Muslims in their persecution of the Jews. And they bet on the wrong side. Now that bet is coming back to bite them in the ass.

To Leyla

I do not know where you learned that the population of Egypt in the Islamic conquest were 20-25 million? how you calculate the number? do you remember the Crusades? do you remember the 70 000 killed in only one day in Jerusalem under the auspices of the Pope the head of Christians? do you remember Muslims killed in Bosnia? Do you know what happened to the Muslims in Iraq, Chechnya and the Philippines? Do you know the U.S. torture camp in Cuba?

Terrorism has no religion or race. It is perpatrated by people of all backgrounds, and it affects people of all background. To the man who said Armenians were killed because of Islam, you are absolutely false. My family is Armenian, originally from Adana, who came to Palestine, where the Arab Muslim mukhtar of our village let us live for free. Do not forget, it was Arab Muslims who saved us, the Sharif of Mecca issued a decree in 1917 for the protection of Armenians.

This is an act done by criminals, who wish to create sectarianism in Egypt. Don't let the criminals win.

From Psalm 10:

1 Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?
2 The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.
9 He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.
10 He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.
11 He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.
14 Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.

14 Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.
16 The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.
17 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
18 To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.

Tolerance, under Islamic rule, was only extended to the degree that the Christians and Jews understood their proper place as dhimmi paying the jizya. Let us not try to rewrite the history of rule under Islam as one of 'tolerance.'

To Ahmed Hendawi

You want us to total for you the people that were killed since the inception of Islam. Muslims when invaded India, would kill 50, 000 in one night. The western nations did not get at war with each to spread Christianity at all, so do not think that you are smart when you total the wars in the west as Christian wars. But Muslims went into wars to spread Islam and targeted Christians even more than Jews to kill them.

For your information Egyptian population were about 20-25 millions when the Muslims invaded Egypt. Egyptian population at the beginning of the 19century were 2 millions. You know that Egyptians by nature do not immigrate, were did the Egyptian disappear not considering the Arab tribes that immigrated from Arabia and settled in Egypt since the invasion of Islam not considered that Egypt was one of the most civilized country became so backwards after the Islamic invasion. Egypt can be estimated to have lost more than 50 millions of its population because of Islam.

My response id to Mr mark Smith
One of the big mistakes in reading history is that western people judges everything in the world through their history and values and believe history is the history of the west, not through the reality and facts. When the Arabs invaded Egypt, Egypt was a majority of Christians, though the old Egyptian Religion still existed and though Christians were more than 90% of the population, Christians never exterminated the remaining Egyptians who followed the old religions, In fact some of them had the symbols of the old religion still remained in the main streets without anyone destroying them. So do not compare and think in terms of the Catholic church because most of the Eastern churches has a very tolerant history. In fact the Greek Orthodox Monks are the people who opposed the Byzantine Emperor when he was about to expel the Turkish tribes that started to settle on the edges of the Eastern Roman Empire before they become powerful two century later and eventually brought down that Christian country and the Ottoman, for your knowledge, are one of the most ruthless Islamic countries in the history of Islam.

In most part Christianity in the East was totally different from the west. The History of the Egyptian Church record the refusal of the Egyptian Pope to accept any mediation with the Roman Emperor and told him bluntly that the church is non of his business. Our churches did not entangle herself in dirty politics, we are very proud of a very honorable history in contrary to the Catholic church which no Christian would be proud of.

Following the blunt refusal of the Egyptian Church to get the Emperor involved in our affairs while Egypt was under the control of the Roman Empire resulted in considering the Coptic church a heretic church.

Following our ancient history of non violence at a time when most of the world was not civilized and we were the most powerful nation on the face of the Earth, we did not invade other nations in the manner of the Assyrians, the Roman and the Persians, Egyptian remained very tolerant until the Islamic times , the first Arabs were to some extent tolerant but later Islamic rules with the exception of the Fatimids were not tolerant with the most intolerant the Mamluks and Ottoman.

Please fix the headline on the front page. The bombing occurred in Alexandria, not Cairo.

Even though the Coptic Christians make up only 10% of the population these radical Muslims will not just let them be! This proves that there can be no compromise with these people. Liberals and people like Obama think that if we kowtow to them, apologize and try to appease them they'll leave us alone. But they won't! They are Hell bent to destroy us no matter what!

@@@Jane,

The channel you're speaking of is the Father Zakaria Boutros channel and he has appeared on TBN and other news sources.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HXX2fO8pM4 (father Zakaria Boutros)

@@@

When I was in Cairo about a year ago, there was a Christian TV show, much like a show here in TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network), that was very vitriolic anti-Islam. I think it was on satellite TV and I was told it was funded by American evangelists in the US.

I've never read or heard any News report about this, but I was reminded of this channel after first reading of the bombings in Iraq, now in Egypt. Does anyone know of this channel and its background? If American evangelists are taking part in adding to the troubles in the MidEast this should be in the News.

Cairo alone has a population of about 7,750,000.
A few hundred folks protesting is quite lame and hardly newsworthy.

This is exactly what is needed to end Islamic fanaticism. I commend the Muslims who stood up for what is right and marched with the Christians in Egypt. The only thing which is sad about this particular march is that there were only 500 people in it. Egypt has 72.4 million Muslims. They need to have a march of 500 or more people against radical Islamists in every neighborhood of every town in that country. And then the Muslims of Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and so on need to join that movement, normal Muslims standing up against the Jihadis.

I notice that Israel or any prominent rabbis didn't offer any sympathies or condemn this cowardly act. Can you imagine if it had been a synagogue in New York, the whole world and it's mother would be offering their outrage at such a terrible loss of Jewish life.

Islam is slavery. Its philosophy is the end justifies the means. The Koran is nothing but a corruption of the Bible, edited to empower the evil. Mohammed was a warrior who killed anybody that didn't follow him. In the early 1900's, Islam murdered 1.5 million Armenian children, women and men. Now they deny it. Obama is right there supporting their lies and claiming that Islam is a peace-loving religion. If that's true, why don't the Muslims condemn the violence and allow their women and children free will?

The Coptic Church is one of the oldest Christian denominations, still using Aramaic, the language of Jesus of Nazareth, in its ceremonies. Most probably other aspects of the Church would be more authentic than modern adaptations. The picture of Jesus shown in the article depicts a more Arabic/Jewish man than the Anglicized version worshiped by most Americans. His hair and beard are darker and his face is fatter. Forensic studies of bones found in Nazareth from the time of Jesus indicate that males of that period were short and stocky, with very bad teeth. It can be assumed that their clothes would not be radiantly white and lack of bathing and sanitary facilities would most likely cause body odor. The conventional depiction of the tall, thin, light-haired man in immaculately white robes would not be harmful if “Christians” would not view it as a God-given revelation. The world and Christianity, itself, would be better served if people viewed Jesus and his precepts as they actual were and as they were meant to be viewed. During the last several weeks, I have received many Christmas Cards depicting Angels with blond hair and blue eyes and other Anglicized characterizations of Bible figures. Even Heaven has become an Anglo/Saxon haven. Modern “Christianity' deals in trivia; ignoring the essentials. Jesus of Nazareth was a poor man who taught empowerment of the weak and poor. He would open the beautiful halls of our churches to the poor and homeless for shelter and distribute their riches to feed and clothe them. That, of course, would be unthinkable to most of today's “Christians.” If we despise our own white brothers and sisters, how can we be expected to love all of the rest of the non-white, Non-Christian world. Religion today is a political phenomena not a spiritual one.

 
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