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Lady of Minya’s Shame

Saturday 28-05-2016 - 03:40 PM

It will be a shame if the state and citizens did not take any actions to regain the state’s prestige and common decency, again.

How could a group of Egyptian people allow others to strip an elderly woman naked due to a rumor that claim that her son committed a shameful act with his Muslim neighbor, an act that was repeated in a number of Egyptian governorates and cities, a tragedy that happens due to the absence of the state decisive intervention, it is time to talk about this wound that turned by time to a real tragedy.

The tragedy began from my point of view with the beginning of late President, Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat’s rule that began with the famous reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood and the major break with the men and symbols of Nasser era, the Khanka church incident was the reason that the Coptic file was given to the State Security Investigations Service after the formation of a fact-finding committee headed by Gamal Oteify, and after the committee has submitted a report that pointed to the instability in the relations between Muslims and Christians, and provided a program to solve these problems that are still happening, and after the parliament praised the report, it had been ignored, sending the whole file to the State Security service.

Al-Zawya Al-Hamra events came as the first model for State Security service to deal with that file, which was known as the sectarian strife file, President Sadat said what his Interior Minister, Nabawi Ismail wrote to him according to the security service reports, stressing that the incident is just a clash between a Muslim and Christian families due to some drops of dirty water that fell from one of the two families balcony on the other clothes, of course the matter was far beyond this, Al-Zawya Al-Hamra events were a rehearsal for a final show that was carried out by religious violent groups in Egypt such as the assassination of Sadat himself, and the strangest thing that the story was told by the president himself.

The matter did not differ in the nineties of the last century, when the riots wave rose to affect everyone and armed Egyptian Islamic Group held Copts hostages to force the regime to accept its demands, despite of the riots witnessed against Copts in nineties in Minya, Assiut, Sohag and Qena, which reached to the implementation of hudud on them at Islamic Group mosques in Upper Egypt, but the assaults against Copts have reached the peak at the current period, which witnessed the deaths of more than a hundred Copts in separate incidents, and security authorities always describe these incidents as isolated cases and the regime only organize kissing parties between Muslim and Christian clerics after every incident.

“Der Muharraq,” “Demiana,” “Izbat Al Aqbat,” “Izbat Dawood” and “Al Temsahya,” all these former names are in reference to villages and monasteries that witnessed ugly massacres against Copts between 1994 and 1997 claimed the lives of dozens.

The state kept dealing with the matter through the same approach, not sectarian events, but individual acts, no defendants were brought to court, and it was a real tragedy.

To lose prestige of the law, in a country that nations praise for its civilization, which dates back to seven thousand years, a country that allows opening of bars, gambling casinos and amusement dancing, then think a thousand times before taking a decision on granting permission for building a house of worship for Christian brothers !.

It was revealed to me, Mr. President, during the years of my follow up of this file, which amounted to nearly a quarter of a century, that most of the causes of sectarian strife comes from not approving the building of churches and showing leniency in applying the law to everyone and in respecting the state’s prestige.

Then, how could it be understood that a minor is allowed to get married just because she is a Christian who fell in love with a young Muslim and wanted to be attached to him. And how the law in Egypt allows the appointment of a guardian on such minor, other than her parents, to allow her to change religion?

And what will be the case if this happened to a Muslim girl?!, it's the problem of application of the law and its implementation on all without political or religious considerations.

In Luxor’s Odaysat, Giza’s Al Ayat and Samalout’s Manqatin, Ayat in Giza, and Mankateen Basmalout, in addition to many other cities throughout Egypt, a lot of Muslims burned churches where Christians worshiped for years, only because of rumors that surfaced of Copts were on their way to restore or construct their walls which were destroyed, without permission or authorization from the state.

The question here is how these ordinary Muslims turned into extremists?! These acts were, for many periods, restricted to the category of terrorists who have certain political demands.
What happened? Strangely, there is no one asking this question and no one seriously seeking to answer it, and despite of this question that were put forward, the solution is much simpler to remain an entire era until it is applied.

It is not only simple, but also, it is within the reach of the state, which only has the right in allowing the construction and renovation of churches, as well as protecting the worshipers at them.

But it seems to me that some people wanted to keep this file in a constant controversial matter in order to put pressure from time to time, but those people did not realize, or did realize and done what they did intentionally, that this file should not enter the political strife arena, whatever the reasons and motivations.

As, it must put it in the heart of the concerns of the state in general and its president in particular, as the most dangerous and important file in Egypt.

The Copts have clear and specific demands, Mr. President, as they were revealed by all the events and issues that took place in the country over the past five decades: a unified law for building houses of worship, whether Muslim or Christian, finding practical solutions to the problem of political representation, removing sectarian tension by creating law that provides respect for beliefs and prohibits sedition.

Also, among the Copts’ demands, the establishment of a supreme council for national unity, which includes civil society’s wisest from both sides, that has the a right for swift intervention and proposing specific measures for treating the reasons behind sectarian phenomena, which is something hoped to be achieved at the hands of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

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