The Nag Hammadi incident last January was whitewashed by the authorities as revenge by an individual whose honor had been violated. The perpetrators in that incident have yet to be convicted. Mr. Mubarak, how will you explain this latest inhuman behavior of extremist Muslims? Are you going to call them a violent minority over whom you and your government have no control? The belittling explanations you came up with for both the Naga Hammadi (local feud) and Alexandria incidents (foreigners are responsible) are equally reprehensible as the act itself. Why not go one farther and call it a ‘self-inflicted’ wound by a Copt with the knowledge of the Pontiff to draw attention to their pitiful plight in their homeland? After all there is precedent to this tactic with many examples. The sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 was allegedly instigated by Winston Churchill and blamed on German submarine U20 to force the USA into joining the World War. As the Arabic saying goes “The excuse is uglier than the sin.” Is this a case of “Terroristes sans Frontieres?” Al-Qaeda denied any role in this massacre, but by giving this as the excuse you have shown your true status as a statesman who fails to be in command of the affairs of the nation. It is a fact that the Egyptians secret service is one of the most efficient in the world; can you really assure us that this incident happened without the knowledge of some of the rank of this service? Especially when accusations that the police left the Saints church a mere hour before the attack; and that local police were overheard telling others to leave the bodies of Coptic victims “for the dogs?!” Let us for the sake of argument set aside the violation of human rights in this incident, but have you seriously considered that you are about to lose your grip over the country which could well lead to a bloody, protracted bloody civil war? The war will not be started by the Christians of Egypt but by those Muslims empowered by your lack of action in similar violent incidences. Your Excellency, most civil wars tend to have an unpredictable outcome. The reins of power will lie loose in your hands, particularly that there are very wealthy, influential and vicious players/countries from outside who egg on these extremist/jihadists. You claim to abhor “interference in Egypt’s domestic affairs,” yet you have allowed extremist ideas to foster in our country. I certainly don’t envy your position, but difficult times call for difficult actions.
A few days ago you met with His Holiness Pope Shenouda III in private. I am quite certain that both of you met in good faith. I am sure that you gave very placatory and reassuring statements in those thirty minutes to His Holiness. I hope that you do not find your words too bitter to have to swallow them.
I offer my deepest condolences to Egypt and its people, both Copts and Muslims. This sad tragedy affects people of both religions equally. Sadly, as a country we mourn not only those who were martyred on New Year’s Eve, but also the beginning of the drop of Egypt into a bottomless pit. Copts will continue to be steadfast in their celebrations of the Prince of Peace, as He promised “if God be for us, than who can be against us.”
To Mr. Mubarak, the President of our great Egypt, if you are true to your faith this is the time to speak out and show your true colors. If you do not act quickly to address growing sectarian problems in our society, then this will be the single reason for which you will not be re-elected, and any chances for Mr. Gamal Mubarak to succeed you will disappear. The alternative may be a Muslim brother, and this would be disastrous for Egypt for decades to come, as Egypt would undoubtedly be transformed into an Iranian style theocracy. Mr. President, this time you cannot straddle the fence, so please act on the side that your faith dictates to be right.