Sunday, January 2, 2011

Demonstrations in Egypt after bomb attack in Alexandria: anger towards a failing government

The video shows a demonstration that was held on Saturday evening in the Cairene area of Shrubra, which has a relatively large number of Christian inhabitants. Also on Saturday a few thousand demonstrators gathered in the area of Mar Morcos in Alexandria, where the bombed church and the Mari Girgis hospital are located, chanting “Muslims and Christians will not be disunited”, protestors told Ahram Online that they are residents of the area, and do not belong to any specific group or organization.
Torkeya Abdelsalam, one of the demonstrators and a Muslim, said she lives near the Saints church and has witnessed the explosion. AbdelSalam said, “this is not Islam,” and that she was taking part in the protest to demonstrate this.
However, there were also clashes between Copts and Muslims, in the area. Some media reports suggest that a dozen were injured in these clashes, which police succeeded in ending shortly after they began.

The same day president Mubarak held a tv- speech in which he promised that 'the head of the snake would be cut off'' and in which he  called for unity among the Egyptians. The blog Egyptian Chronicles furtheron mentions that Dr. Mohamed ElBaradie slammed the regime for its failure in protecting the citizens.The Muslim brotherhood has condemned the attack in an official statement.The Ghad part headed by Dr. Ayman Nour issued a statement calling for the dismal of Habib Al Adly , the minister of interior for his responsibility in that catastrophe.
Juan Cole reports on his blog that also the rector of al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmad al-Tayyib, expressed his utmost regret and pain at the criminal incident and sent his condolences to the families of the victims. Al-Tayyib said in his official statement that the criminal action is prohibited in Islamic law, since Islam obliges Muslims to protect churches the same way they protect mosques. He said, “The targets of this attack are not the Christians alone, but rather all Egyptians.” He said that the bombers were seeking to destabilize Egypt by dividing it.

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