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Show us True Islam and True Statehood
Show us True Islam and True Statehood
Egyptian Muslim citizens set ablaze 5 shops and burnt 25 homes which are the source of living, private property, and only shelter for their Coptic neighbors. The Muslims burned the shops and homes with kerosene while assaulting
Thursday, March 15,2007 19:53
by Nora Younis, Nora Younis Blog
 

Egyptian Muslim citizens set ablaze 5 shops and burnt 25 homes which are the source of living, private property, and only shelter for their Coptic neighbors. The Muslims burned the shops and homes with kerosene while assaulting their owners with batons and stones. This is what happened in the southern Giza village of Bamha in Ayatt, leaving behind 11 Egyptian Copts suffering from burns, fractures and bruises, according to al-Masry al-Youm newspaper.

 

Why did this happen? The reason behind all this came when the 300 Copts living in the village wanted to turn one of their own homes in the village into a church. Someone in the village, allegedly the mosque’s imam, distributed leaflets calling upon Muslims to rise and defend their beautiful village.

 

Well, many will argue that such an incident could be carried out by a small deviant group of wayward people in any country all over the world. OK, let"s buy this argument and reflect upon reactions of the various state institutions:

 

Ministry of Health and Population did not issue any statement concerning the casualties and nature of their injuries. Its Minister did not visit the victims.

 

The state-owned newspapers did not run the story on their front pages. Only Al Akhbar newspaper made reference in its Crime page, as if the fire was for theft or as if it ignited on its own.

 

Ministry of Interior’s statement came at odds with both independent and official media stating that number of burned homes was 3, and number of casualties was 3, and that all injuries were slight and minor. The statement further referred to the victims three times as "members of the Coptic sect"; which emphasizes sectarianism vs. citizenship.  

 

Not only hasn’t the Minister of Interior visit the crime scene, but also the first reaction of security forces in their attempt to control the situation was to cut power off the whole village. I believe such power outage terrified non-burned Copts sending them into terror.

 

As for the official Islamic institution Al Azhar, Muhammad Sayed Tantawi, its Sheikh, condemned the incident calling it "a sectarian strife" and explained that Islamic Sharia respects followers of other religions, allows freedom of belief for others, and that all citizens are equal in rights and duties. This statement, however, came short of any reference to freedom of worshipping and establishing places of worship; which is the core issue.

 

Surprisingly, whereas the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) did not issue any statement regarding this; and whereas the NDP chief did not visit the injured citizens or even order compensations as his habit after terrorist attacks, the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement on its official English web site condemning the incident and describing it as "violence between Copts and Muslims". They also quoted Ahmed Abdou, the Muslim Brotherhood MP for the constituency of Mazghona, in Giza, as saying "The attacks contradict the spirit of brotherhood and love that existed among Muslims and Christians for centuries. And that Islam does not prohibit building churches and does not restrict religious freedoms for anyone. He added that these incidents are not deeply rooted and they will end as soon as people are taught the true teachings of religion". This came while the Muslim Brotherhood"s official Arabic web site ignored the incident and no statement has been issued from its Supreme Guide so far.

 

In fact, when I reviewed the reactions of various state institutions, I found the English statement of the outlawed MB group to be the most responsible among all.

 

Accordingly, I call upon the Muslim Brotherhood group to initiate an apology and donation campaign for building the Church of Bamha. I nominate MP Ahmed Abdou to lead the campaign being the people’s representative in the concerned location. Yet, I urge the campaign shouldn’t be confined to members of the group. It should be inclusive of all Muslims who do know the sound and true teachings of Islam. I call upon moderate Muslims to give a helping hand in building the church and I call upon MP Abdou to attend its first Mass.

 

Show us the true Islam, for the true statehood has fallen.

 

 

Nora Younis

Leftist Political Activist - Egypt


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