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» 05/09/2011
EGYPT
Threat of civil war looms over Egypt, an appeal to the international community
The spokesman of the Catholic Churches of Egypt calls on the international community to intervene to prevent the rise of an Islamic regime. The army locks down the capital to prevent further clashes between Christians and Muslims. Those who foment religious hatred could be sentenced to death.

Cairo (AsiaNews) - "Egypt is at the beginning of a great civil war. And this because of a small group of Islamic extremists who are stifling the ideals of the Jasmine Revolution, fomenting violence across the country”, Fr Rafic Greich, chief press officer for the Egyptian Catholic Church and spokesman for the seven Egyptian Catholic denominations tells AsiaNews. The priest calls on the international community to support the military led government and protect all Egyptians, Muslims and Christians, from discrimination and the advent of a fundamentalist Islamic regime. Today, thousands of Copts protested outside the headquarters of the Egyptian TV (Maspero) a few meters from Tahrir Square, calling for greater security, equal rights and the end of discrimination.

After the clashes last May 7 between Orthodox Copts and Muslims left at 12 dead and 189 wounded, this morning the army deployed thousands of troops in the capital and suburbs. To prevent further violence, the security forces have arrested 190 people, Christians and Muslims, threatening the death penalty for all those who foment sectarian hatred.

"The situation is very critical - points out Fr. Greich - the military government is too weak and fears Islamic extremist groups like the Salafis, who are eager to create unrest and chaos everywhere. " The priest also said that the Coptic Catholic Church is in danger, even though "for now, no Catholic church was attacked." However, immediately after the attack on the church of St. Mina Imbada (north-east of Cairo), the Coptic Orthodox priest of the parish took refuge in the nearby Catholic church spared from attacks by Salafists. "During the clashes - Fr.Greiche states - the Salafists retaliated and killed a sixteen year old nephew of the local Catholic bishop, shooting him in the head."

A few months after the fall of Mubarak, the ideals of the popular uprising are in danger of being suffocated by radical Islam and counter-revolutionary attempts carried out by men of the former regime. According to Father Greich latter are using the Salafists to create a climate of terror and fear. He stresses, however, that the ideology of radical Islam is spreading even among the main, once moderate, Egyptian Muslim leaders, who are increasingly drawing closer to fringe elements, figures such as Imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi and other members of Muslim Brotherhood.

For Father Greich the popular revolution of 25 February was a great event, but to date there no are leaders who can represent its values. "On the other hand - he says - the aim of the revolution organized by the young people at Tahrir Square was not to replace one regime with another regime."

Meanwhile, AsiaNews sources in Cairo, anonymous for security reasons, explain that the lay movements born after the revolution are fighting with all their might to transform Egypt into a secular state that respects human rights. But they need the support of the international community which must strongly condemn the acts by extremists and, together with the government draw up an aid plan to help revive the Egyptian economy. (S.C.)


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See also
01/25/2012 EGYPT
Tahrir Square flooded by people who want to continue the Jasmine Revolution
07/28/2011 EGYPT
Minya: young pregnant Coptic woman attacked by a Muslim man over Coptic church bell
04/02/2013 EGYPT
Muslim Brotherhood wants to gag every Egyptian, Jasmine Revolution leader says
05/20/2011 EGYPT
Obama's promises are not the only solution to Egypt’s problems
01/21/2012 EGYPT
Egyptian extremists against Copts, two wounded, houses burned and churches attacked

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

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