Quotes About Copts And Moslems.
With talk on sectarian conflict filling Egyptian minds, papers and skies, the following quotes seemed especially pertinent.
"The criticism directed at the religious address and sermons of mosque imams is a kind of insolence at a time of increased insolence. Most of the criticisers are not known to be familiar with their religion [Islam], nor do they perform any of its due rituals."
Al-Azhar grand imam Sheikh Sayed Tantawi, as reported by the Cairo daily Al-Ahram, in response to the claim that mosque imams were fanning the flames of fanaticism and sectarian conflict through their Friday sermons •
"I challenge anyone who claims that any mosque imam or preacher serves to foment sectarianism. Minister of religious endowments, Sheikh Mahmoud Hamdi Zaqzouq in Al-Haqiqa weekly • Some mosque imams disregard national and citizenship rights in their sermons…They claim to promote religiosity while they only destroy the nation and divide its people."
Tareq Hassan, political writer at al-Ahram •
"Scores of so-called Islamic bookstores, each with a printshop of its own, publish books which play on the sentiments and instincts of simple Muslims."
Dr Samir Sarhan, former head of the Book Authority, on the huge number of ‘Islamic books’ flooding the market, propagating a narrow-minded, fanatic image of Islam, and promoting a body culture as far as relations between men and women are concerned. •
"We should all try to do something about the increased suffering and consequent immigration of Christian Arabs, not only for their sake but also for the sake of continued humane existence in our region and our world."
Radwan al-Sayed, writer, in al-Hayat al-Dawleya published in London •
"In order to ingrain in our society cultural values which oppose sectarian conflict, we must promote acceptance of the other between Copts and Muslims. Competence alone and not religion should be the only measure of assignment to jobs."
Dr Sultan Abu-Ali, former minister of economy •
"Instead of striving to promote a culture of tolerance and enlightenment to confront the extremist thought which came to us from the oil countries [of the Arabian Peninsula], and which have wreaked havoc with our [normally tolerant] religious address and educational system, we chose to turn a blind eye to it. We swept the national unity problems under the carpet, considering it enough to propagate a rhetoric of ‘one national fabric’ and courtesy meetings between [Muslim and Christian] religious leaders. Such measures are absolutely futile, and the matter now requires a confrontation that cannot be delayed."
Dr Hisham Sadeq, Professor at the Faculty of Law of Alexandria University •
"The ending to the recent Alexandria sectarian events is still open. More sectarian events could destroy the nation and hand over its people’s destiny to others outside its borders."
Dr Rifaat Laquosha, Professor of Law at Alexandria University •
"Those who believe religion is a nationality do not only live a huge illusion, but also stab in the heart the concepts of the nation and full citizenship rights."
Abdou Mubasher, political writer at al-Ahram •
"Only Egyptian Muslims swear talata billah al-azim (three times, in the name of the great God). This is a clear intonation on the thoroughly Christian “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” • Can anyone on earth believe that Egyptian children do not learn of the journey of the Holy Family into Egypt, this journey that is reportedly full of miracles, was blessed by God, and taken care of by Egyptians."
Journalist and writer Neam al-Baz, who writes for children and signs as “Mama Neam”. She wears the higab (the Islamic veil), and is famous for her elegant looks, and affectionate, outgoing nature. Ms Baz is a keen advocate of national unity.