Saturday, April 22, 2006

Copts Around The World Rally in Protest.

According to different web sites, Copts in various parts of the world are coming out in large rallies to show their anger and frustration with the repeated attacks and hate crimes committed by fanatic Moslems against Christians of Egypt.

These demonstrations follow the knife attacks on 3 churches in Alexandria, Egypt, which caused the death of a worshiper, and the injury of many others. The attacks were the latest in long chain of hate crimes against Copts that are noted to be escalating with the alarming rise of Islamic extremism in Egypt.

During the last few days, Diaspora Copts have demonstrated in Greece, as well as in Cyprus. In the USA, Copts came out in large numbers in a demonstration in front of the White House in Washington D.C.

Another demonstration is being arranged to march in front of the U.N. building in New York City, on Monday April 24, a day that is celebrated in Egypt as “Sham El Neseem” or spring celebration. On the same day, the resident Copts of California are planning another large rally in front of the Federal Building, in Los Angeles.
Monday, April 24th is also the day for the Copts of Australia to come out in their demonstration in Melbourne, and the Canadian Copts to express their feelings by marching in Ottawa, the capital city.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Explosion of Sectarian Violence Feared.

Egypt's latest bloodletting between Christians and Muslims has many fearing an explosion of sectarian violence in the Arab world's most populous country, fueled by frustration with plummeting living standards.

Increasingly radicalized Muslims, facing growing unemployment, have found it easier to take out their anger on the small Christian minority than confront the government of President Hosni Mubarak, social commentators say.
"It's a war with ourselves, with fanaticism and hatred among the sons of this nation," said Mohammed El-Sayed Said, an Egyptian political analyst. "What makes things more dangerous is that it is that the poor and marginalized who have become part of these clashes, which gives it a popular depth that is hard to control."
The latest clashes erupted Friday with knife attacks at three Coptic Christian churches in the port city of Alexandria. Three days of rioting by Christians and Muslims followed. Two people — a Christian and a Muslim — died, at least 40 were wounded and more than 100 were detained.
"Egyptians have become Muslim or Christian first, they only become Egyptians first in football stadiums," said Sherif Youness in the Egyptian independent daily Al-Masry el-Youm.
Observers elsewhere in the Arab world blame the same religious extremism that fueled violence between Christians and Muslims during Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war and the sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims that plagues Iraq today.

Strife between Egypt's Muslims and Christians is nothing new. The Copts, whose liturgy follows Eastern Orthodox Christian traditions, were a majority in Egypt when the Muslim Arabs conquered it 1,400 years ago.
They now comprise about 10 percent of Egypt's 73 million people. Modern tensions are fueled in part by a perception among some Egyptian Muslims that Coptic Christians control an inordinate amount of wealth compared to their population.
In January, a Copt was killed in fighting with Muslims and police over an attempt to turn a guest house into an informal church without government permission.
In October, Muslim militants attacked churches in Alexandria protesting the distribution of a DVD they deemed offensive to Islam. Four people were killed in weeklong riots.
In reality, most Copts are not wealthy and many contend they have too little say in Egypt's political and social life. They complain especially of job discrimination in the high ranks of the civil service where positions such as general, provincial governor and faculty head are almost invariably held by Muslims.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Pope Shenouda: No Meeting.

A report published today mentioned that Pope Shenouda has declined a meeting request by a number of officials from the government, security directors, and the ruling party in Egypt. The reason given was that the Pope is in a period of seclusion in a monastry.

There seem to be discussions in the leadership circles of the Coptic church about declining to receive the state officials who usually come for a visit on the occasion of Easter. This attitude expresses protest from the church regarding the repeated attacks on Copts and Coptic institutions, which happen without a strong reaction from the government against the fanatic Moslems. The numbers of these fanatics have increased in a way that threatens great dangers.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Attempt to Attack a Cairo Church is Foiled.

The Egyptian publication “Watani” published on its web site that the security forces have arrested a 25 years old man who was armed with a knife and attempting to enter the church of “El Adra” (The Virgin) in El Zaytoun district of Cairo.

The man is a 25 years Zakaria Elsayed Zakaria. He is a Moslem.

The incident happened on Sunday, when Copts were celebrating “Palm Sunday” in the church. The police announced that Zakaria is being held in custody for four days while the matter is being investigated.
According to a security source , Zakaria’s father said that his son is suffering from “psychiatric disturbance”.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Copts arrested in Alexandria.

According to an article appearing on, and written by Nabeel Sharaf Eldeen, there are 32 victims resulting from the clashes in Alexandria which followed the Knife attacks on Coptic worshipers as they exited three churches on Friday. Two among the victims are policemen. The clashes have also caused burning of 40 cars, setting a church on fire, destruction of 35 shops and the front of a mosque.

The situation now in Alexandria is quiet, but full of tension.

On the other hand, copts-united has published the names of 8 Copts who were arrested by the police after the last events. The organization has urged the police to free these Copts "as they are the victims and not the perpetrators".

Clashes follow Murdered Copt funeral.

Clashes broke out between Muslims and Coptic Christians in Alexandria in Egypt after the funeral of a Coptic worshipper killed in church on Friday.

Police fired tear gas and tried to separate the groups, who threw stones and attacked each other with sticks. Fifteen people were arrested.
The unrest followed the funeral of Nushi Atta Girgis, 78, who died in one of three knife attacks in Alexandria.
Christians have accused the government of failing to protect them.
Mourners shouted anti-government slogans as the funeral procession - attended by an estimated 3,000 people - turned into a protest outside the church where the funeral was held.
At least 15 people were injured and four vehicles were burned out, an interior ministry source said.
The ministry said those arrested were both Copts and Muslims and included "some fanatic extremist elements".

The government has said a "deranged" man was arrested for carrying out all the attacks at the three churches, but some Copts believe they were carried out simultaneously as part of an anti-Christian plot by extremist Muslims.
A judge has remanded the arrested man, Mahmoud Salah-Eddin Abdel-Raziq, 25, in custody.
"Certain papers speak of a madman. I don't believe a word. It is propaganda to silence us and to make us believe it is an individual incident," said Karim, a 78-year-old Copt at the funeral.
"We have always been peaceful, but we are always crushed by the Muslims," said 30-year-old Girgis Mina. "If the state does not protect us, we will do it ourselves."
Christians make up 10% of the Egyptian population and have complained of harassment and discrimination.
Some Copts argue that previous attacks on them have gone unpunished or have drawn light sentences.
Most Christians in Egypt are Copts - Christians descended from the
ancient Egyptians.