Thursday, April 20, 2006

Article: Economic woes add to tension in Egypt. And some confusing information.

An Article Economic woes add to tension in Egypt (4/20/06) (link)
This article (and read the comment by Peter to gain a full understanding of the people involved in the situation) tries to cover both sides, but is a perfect example of how difficult it is for the Ap to report on things that they have ignored covering for so long. But it has such quotes as:

"The strife didn't start yesterday in Egypt, or a quarter of a century ago in Lebanon, or three years ago in Iraq," columnist Khairy Mansour wrote in United Arab Emirates al-Khaleej daily. "The worm has been growing inside the apple, eating up most of its fabric."

and:

"Egyptian people don't distinguish between Muslims and Copts and no force can affect its national unity," Mubarak said.

and:

The opposition weekly al-Karama scoffed at the government's attitude. "Mubarak's regime is mentally deranged," it declared in a headline.


There is one thing that has confused me and this article says it as well:

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.

Ok, the man killed at the church on Friday is one person, but the story mentions:

Two people - a Christian and a Muslim - died, at least 40 were wounded and more than 100 were detained.

and that is from the violence that followed. I get a chill when I look at that and read the story from My Christan Blood (link), about the death of a 12 year old girl.

I have read the name of the Muslim who died in the following violence, but not the Christian.

May our prayers be with the Coptic people during this Holy Week, and always.

6 comments:

Egypeter said...

It was a decent article but it quoted a lot of false comments by some "false" people. I understand the reporter is quoting both sides of the story but certain quotes were pretty ignorant and aggravating.

For example:

"Those who have been clashing with Copts are in general people who don't pray except Fridays (the Muslim day of prayer)," said Magdi Shandi, a columnist for the UAE government-owned al-Bayan newspaper. "Some have never set a foot in the mosque."

Yah. I HIGHLY doubt that. First of all, there are very few non-religious muslims in Egypt. The ones that are are usually educated, western, elitist muslims living in Egypt. And obviously this guy is a fundementalist and those are the most religious of the lot.

And you also have to discredit anything Muburak says about how Egyptians don't differentiate b/w Christian and muslim. Pardon me, but it's all bull-****! That's all I ever hear from him after every single sectarian incident, blah, blah, blah. We're all sick of it. Take some measures! Drastic measures. Reform Education, curricula, schools, teachers. Something. Anything. Let us build our churches w/o fear of getting killed. You get the point.

And then you got Tantawi, who by the way, is basically the definition of, at best, a fundementalist and, at worst, a terrorist says:

"But Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, the grand sheik at Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam's most important seat of learning, also had a dismissive reaction. "We can't say that all Muslims or all Christians are angels," he said, insisting religious differences were part of life."

Notice the word, "dismissive." It's a recurring theme with everyone but the Copts. Doesn't that scream SERIOUS OPPRESSION. They all know about it.

And then there's the notorious Gamal Assaad. Who is a known "Coptic" tool of Muburak's National Democratic Party. Pure politics, as this guy does not serve the interest of the approx. 14 million Copts in Egypt. He only serves HIS and the NDP's personal interests by attacking the Church. He says:

"The behavior of the Church has added to the tense atmosphere. It acts as a political representative and protector of the Copts as religious adherents but not as Egyptian citizens," he said. "That's antagonizing the extremists on both sides."

It's really quite insulting and shocking to hear this guy attacking the Church. Excuse me, who the hell does he thing he is? How arrogant! So where do the Copts turn? Since it isn't the government...on any level, whether its National, Provincial, or Local. The whole system is infilltrated with apathetic if not extremist individuals. And it's also as if the muslims don't turn to their mosques? The mosques of Egypt are THE strongest political tool in shaping everything. So were do the Copts turn? The Church, obviously. Just like they've done for the last 2000 years. And then this guy has the audacity to say "extremists on both sides?" What? The "extremist" Copts who do what? Pray too much? The ones that defend themseleves when their places of worship and businesses are burnt? The ones who demonstrate to demand for equal rights? That Gamal Assaad is an idiot.

So, just wanted to explain some of the things I saw in that article that maybe some wouldn't realize not knowing who all these people are.

DavidNic said...

The article did repeat some of the same old excuses. i.e: "Welll, these people are not real Muslims."

Thanks for giving an overview of the people involved.

It is impossible to find a balanced article on the situation since the media wants to ignore the whole thing.

Egypeter said...

Exactly.

They continually try and whitewash the whole thing. It gets really frustrating.

Egypeter said...

Hey David.

As you know we are celebrating Holy Week. Check out my church's website we have this new thing we're doing which is a live webcast of our services if you'd like to see what a typical Coptic Orthodox Holy Week service sounds like. I'll probably be floating around in there somewhere.

You'll notice that it's done in three languages Arabic, Coptic and English. Also notice the black around the church. That's to commemorate the sadness of the impending Sarcrifice. We also have several different tunes in the church; some joyous and some more solemn. During this time we chant what we consider a solemn tune. And then on the Resurrection we take all the black down and the chants are in a joyous fashion. It's really awesome.

http://www.stmarkchicago.org/

DavidNic said...

That's Great! I'llbe sure to catch some of it. I took a CD out of the library here and was listening to the Coptic Services, but seeing it will help my understanding even more!

SweetLady_Tiger said...

egyptpeter,

I can certanily understand your anger and frustration. I am angry too, and I am not even Coptic. It does seem to me that the Main Stream Media and even the U.S. Government wants to ignore this. I say everyone needs to keep throwing this in their faces over and over until they can no longer ignore it.

My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go into your Holy Weekend. God Bless and Keep you all.