Collateral damage from the sectarian strife between Muslims and Copts in Dahshur, Giza, yields a death, dozens of injuries, burned homes and stores, a burglarized jewelry store, the eviction of 120 families, and agony and pain.
It is one of many spiraled incidents between Muslims and Copts since the revolution. In most of these occurrences, Copts end up dying, flee their livelihood and hometowns, have their churches torched, and suffer great injustices.
While repetition of similar confrontations is quite likely, for this isn’t the first conflict of its kind, Egyptian Copts and Muslims alike are flabbergasted.
Where is this going, President Morsi? And what are you doing about it? Remember: it is under your rule that these anguishes occurred. Shafik’s running for presidency was frowned upon because of the events that took place in Tahrir during his 15 days as prime minister. Yes, President Morsi, those in charge are accountable, or do you personally consider Copts not very significant?
Complacency is not an option. It actually sets the course and tells radical Islamists it is ok to torch a Copt’s home and evict him from it; it confirms your approval of the abuse and harassment.
Unless you react; unless you come out and condone in full force the happenings that have taken place, fanatic Islamists will consider it acceptable. Don’t do that! Go ahead; voice your disgust and call for justice.
Nasser, followed by Sadat, and later by Mubarak have all concluded that radical Islamists, are basically reaching for power. It didn’t matter whom they take out along that road. They have tried to kill Nasser in Manshia, Alexandria, and they succeeded in killing Sadat. Hence, Mubarak was extremely watchful jailing fundamentalists and going after them forcefully and vehemently.
In today’s Egypt no one should be judged for his beliefs; still, in today’s Egypt those who err should be detained, charged, and prosecuted if necessary. If they find it plausible to kill the president of Egypt, maim other Egyptians, and care very little for Egypt itself, they must be punished.
President Morsi, the onus falls on you today. You need to come out and tell the Egyptians that treating other Egyptians with such disdain is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Begin your presidency by setting certain guidelines that need to be followed and adhered to.
So, again, what are you going to do about it? How will you let Egypt as a whole, and fundamentalists in particular, realize that Copts are more Egyptians than anyone else. They have equal rights, Mr. President.
That is unless these fanatics consider Egypt a mere stepping-stone towards another identity altogether. Unless they plan to first eliminate Copts; from there they move on to moderate Muslims—remember the Muslim engineer from Suez who was murdered in broad daylight for walking with his fiancée? Finally, they eradicate the Egyptian identity altogether abolishing Egypt, as we know it, for it is a mere wrinkle in a wider and bigger empire. Don’t give them this chance.
This may be the first substantial incident since you have been elected. Unless you react, fundamentalists will have received the green light. But you see, this will never become the norm. Egyptians will never allow this to become the norm. Discrimination is not an option.
Needless to say, outsiders are watching and get disgusted that Egyptians are treating other Egyptians in such a fashion. Why would anyone want to set foot in such an Egypt? If we are to have the world look at us as a civilized country, we need to behave in a civilized fashion. We need to address our internal issues with wisdom and speed.
I’m depending on you to react. Many Egyptians doubted your ability to rule fairly and without bias. I personally am giving you the benefit of the doubt. Prove these Egyptians wrong, too. Show them that you can unite this country towards safety. You can set the course.
Let’s hope that you take these humble words seriously and react in a presidential and non-bias fashion. Sectarian strife may end being the most dangerous portfolio facing you and the new government. Deal with it!
I hope I have convinced you that it is crucial that Egyptians be treated equally and with the same respect. I call on you to play a pivotal role in leading this country towards peace and equality.