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  • » 01/03/2011, 00.00

    EGYPT – ISLAM

    Alexandria, tensions between Copts and Government



    Demonstrations in Cairo and Alexandria to demand greater protection, and an end to discrimination. The authors of the massacre could be Egyptian fundamentalists. The Vatican rejects accusations of "interference" by the imam of Al-Azhar against the words of the Pope at the Angelus, January 2.

    Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The suicide attack on the Coptic Church of Saints (Al Kiddissine) in Alexandria was carried out by local elements of the Islamic Jihad, according to specialist anti terrorism sources. President Hosni Mubarak immediately after the attack had asked Copts and Muslims to show unity in the face of "an foreign attack." The New Year's Eve suicide bombers who carried out the bombing on the church of Alexandria had, at first, tried to get inside the place of Christian worship to cause the greatest number of victims among the faithful.

    An Egyptian police source cited by the Arabic daily 'Al-Quds al-Arabi', according to some witnesses said the bomber had tried to enter the church. However he changed his mind on seeing officers on guard outside the main door. Instead the terrorist waited for the faithful to emerge from the Church after mass. Investigators are analyzing an unidentified corpse found at the site of the attack in an attempt to identify the bomber. Meanwhile, a dozen people have been detained and questioned, seven are still in police custody.

    The anger of the Copts after the attack, which caused 22 dead and dozens wounded, shows no sign of abating. Hundreds of demonstrators clashed with police in Alexandria and Cairo, demanding more protection. The Copts accuse the authorities of discriminating against them, of preventing the construction of churches and of paying little attention to violence perpetrated by Islamic radicals. Yesterday Copts attacked the car of the Minister of Interior and the imam of Al-Azhar Islamic University on a visit of condolence to the patriarch Shenouda III.

    Just prior to the visit to Shenouda III, the imam of Al-Azhar University, Ahmed Al Tayeb, criticized the Pope's Angelus address yesterday and his January 1 address. Defining them as "unacceptable interference in the affairs of Egypt" he accused the Pope of having "a biased view on Muslims and Christians who are at risk of being killed around the world." The newspapers interpreted the Pope's words as an invitation to Western governments to defend the Christians in the countries they inhabit. Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi replied: "The Pope spoke of course of sympathy for the Coptic community that has been so hard hit, but then expressed concern for the impact of violence on the entire population, both Christian and Muslim. So it is difficult to see how the Pope’s words, so eager to inspire non-violence in all, can be considered interference.'' "I think there has been a misunderstandings in communication, but I do not think that there is any need to insist on the imam’s declaration”, concluded Father Lombardi. (see: Pope: The attacks in Egypt and Iraq are an offense against God and humanity).

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    See also

    03/01/2011 ISLAM - VATICAN - EGYPT
    Europe and Islam in the wake of attacks against Copts in Alexandria
    Absurd accusations against the Coptic community of keeping two women who converted to Islam captive. The psychosis of a country that prohibits changing of religion. Islamic attacks against Shenouda, the criticism of the imam of Al-Azhar against Benedict XVI. Europe must open up channels for cultural dialogue with Islamic countries, rejecting secularism and fundamentalism. Just like the pope said.

    12/12/2016 15:26:00 EGYPT
    Francis calls Tawadros II to convey his condolences and solidarity to Copts and victims

    Pope expressed his closeness to the affected community, especially women and children who represent the largest number of victims. He mentioned the blood ecumenism of martyrs and offered prayers for peace in Egypt and the world. Funerals took place in Cairo led by Patriarch Tawadros II. The attackers "have offended an entire nation."



    25/04/2017 17:21:00 EGYPT – VATICAN – ISLAM
    Catholic patriarch of Alexandria: Pope Francis’s visit will mark a renewal of the Church in Egypt

    Anba Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak describes his joy for Pope Francis’s visit and his uneasiness towards his country, hit by terrorism. He talks about the fraternal relations with Tawadros II and those with Al Azhar and President el-Sisi, as well as the renewal of the Church with new bodies, social tasks, and enhanced role for the lay men and women.



    18/03/2010 EGYPT
    Egyptian police arrest 13 Copts, victims of attack by Islamic extremists
    Four minors between 13 and 17, also stopped but later released. A detention order of 15 days issued for Christians and Muslims. Charged with damaging public property, arson and assault. Association for Human Rights promotes an international conference.

    19/04/2017 10:04:00 EGYPT
    Sinai: Isis commando kills policeman near the monastery of St. Catherine

    Gunmen attacked a checkpoint a few hundred meters from the place of worship. It is one of the most important Christian buildings Egypt. An agent killed and four others wounded.  Man arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attacks on the churches on Palm Sunday.





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