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Violence Erupts Between Christians and Muslims in Cairo

Violence Erupts Between Christians and Muslims in Cairo

After the attacks on a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria on New Year’s Eve, and the subsequent fallout, the specter of religious violence in Egypt seemed to fade away, both because Christians and Muslims seemed eager to move past the bombings, and because the protests and fall of the Egyptian government left no space for religious conflict. 

Now, however, 11 people were killed in clashes between Christians and Muslims in the Cairo suburbs, as Christians protested the burning of a church in the village of Soul last week.  The church inflagration was apparently the result of conflict over an interfaith relationship in Soul.  Six Christians and five Muslims were killed.  The unrest represented the most significant violence since the protests that toppled the Mubarak regime, and pose a threat to the transitional government.

“We are being persecuted and killed here by Muslims,” protester Bishoi Edmund was quoted as saying in the NYT.  “We need international protection.”  Among his grievances was the “still-unresolved” issue of the New Year’s Eve bombing.  The protesters wanted the transitional government to rebuild the burned church; several thousand Christian protesters have been outside the state television headquarters for the past few days, getting angrier and angrier.

Even more disturbingly, in an article for the New Yorker, Jenna Krajeski reports that some people in the suburb claimed that the Egyptian Army fired on them.  “They presented bullet casings as evidence, pointing to engraved numbers on the bottom,” she writes. “Their trust in the Army was eroding.”

This raises the question, once again, of the unstable role that sectarianism could play in Egypt.  The response to the New Year’s Eve bombing was, in some ways, inspiring; some Muslims volunteered to act as “human shields” for Christians attending Coptic Christmas.  Now, Christians seem to be wondering whether they have the same right to protest as the interfaith masses who recently caused such dramatic change.

It’s interesting, too, how these larger conflicts can often be traced back to seemingly minor origins.  If the church was indeed burned because people in a village were troubled by an interfaith relationship, that also points to a problem that will be need to be addressed.  If individual conflicts can be magnified this way, it seems likely that religious violence will be sparked again.

 

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61 comments

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6:40PM PDT on Mar 23, 2011

Miss Thomson-DeVeaux,
Thank you for bringing us news of religious persecutions and some details about them, because the principal media outlets used to, disturbingly omit details about these news, avoiding the descriptions of the real causes, the historical fundamentals and the context of the conflicts, who and how many were the aggressors, who and how many were the victim, putting them vaguely in a single bowl, and describing the conflicts as "clashes". As a result, the news readers get disinformation on the subject and can not analyze it properly.
The subject of religious persecution is a very serious matter to be treated so lightly by the grand media.

10:36AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

So we fight and argue and kill.. Carl Sagan said it best when he saw a picture of the earth from outer space:

"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds."

8:53AM PDT on Mar 15, 2011

Merci!

9:05AM PDT on Mar 14, 2011

Emily W.

Your really going to great lengths to alter the definitions of word's to fit your purposes. Someone devoted to justice would be a lawman, a judge, or even a vigilante. That is NEVER is any dictionary the definition of a "Warrior", so stop pretending otherwise.

If that site is a joke, than the Bible is a absolute laughingstock. Sure the site contains errors, as many things, even textbooks often do. However, it readily points out the tons of actual errors within the Bible.

So no, that site is not the 100% accurate "word of god" or even on textbook level. But it still contains good information on Biblical errors. The world is not black vs white. Somethings, like that site, contain both good and bad information due to human error. However, I don't know how any intelligent person could thoroughly look at that site and still claim the Bible is the 100% true word of God.

When it comes to that website, just like the with the definition of warrior, it seems like you are going to great lengths to twist or outright ignore the truth when you see it.

I know that fatness was often looked up on in the ancient world. So was slavery, yet another thing God condoned in the Bible. It's amazing how God's views exactly coincide with those of whatever civilization claims to be on speaking terms with him/his chosen people. Even if the things he's condoning are as barbaric and cruel as slavery.

6:30PM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

@ Stephan Greg:

A warrior isn't always somebody who is devouted to war, but rather devoted to justice. The site was trying to make it seem like God liked bloodshed and war and used passages that they 'thought' meant that he liked war.

And yes this site is a joke. When they misinterprete passages and lie about them, than they are not using logic or pointing out errors int he bible.

Second, the arabs did not write the bible and there is no evidence of it. You'll only find Islamic teaching saying this, when in reality no histoiran (christian or not) will say any evidence points towards it being Arab written. Accoridng to things like the Silver scrolls, dead sea scrolls, and the style it was written in historians will say that there is no way arabs wrote it.

Not to mention that 'fatness' was looked upon by most ancient cultures around the ENTIRE world. From Egypt to Maya, to everyplace else.

11:16AM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

Emily W.

I went to fat section and it never once said God hated fat people. In fact, God had an abnormal love of fat people. Passages suggested fatness was a sign of righteousness and all his followers were blessed with fatness.

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/says_about/fat.html

Which all reflects the values of the ancient arabs who wrote the Bible. In there ancient civilization where it was harder to get enough food than it was today, fatness was a sign of power and health, perhaps even beuty.

Are all of passages interpreted correctly on that site? No. However, many are, especially since many are very straight-forward. What you read on that site should be taken with a grain of salt, but the sight isn't a joke. It really does provide examples of moral, logical, historical, and scientific errors in the Bible, not to mention lists many things like contradictions and failed prophecies.

I believe a good (and objective) look at the site will prove to anyone with commonsense what a load of hogwash Christianity is. There are also countless youtube video's, Biblicalnonsense.com, Godisimaginary.com, etc. If you spent a day objectively browsing the internet, or even just the Bible itself, you should be able to tell that Christianity can easily be debunked

"...says that God is a man of war. No it does not... it says The Lord is a Warrior"

Warrior- a person engaged in, experienced in, or devoted to warfare.

10:11AM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

@ Stephan Greg:

Just to prove that this site is a joke you should look under 'fat people'. It says that God hates fat people and for "Evidence" it uses a verse that talks about using the fat of a burnt offspring... the man/woman who posted this clearly hasn't read the bible because he posted it like it was reffering to humans... in reality it was talking about sheep!

Not to mention I was skimming through the rest of the site and found that most of them were all jokes. He uses passages that don't even make sense. For 'polygamy' he uses Abraham having sex with Hagar (not his wife) and says that God must support polygamy... clearly he didn't read the next passage because God punished Abraham for it!

Most of these passages come form nothing more than the history books in the bible. HIstory books are created for the reason of learning your ancestors mistakes and not doing the same. For example: The story of Lot selling his daughters was put in the bible for the very purpose of making sure no Christian would ever do what he did... yet this site makes it seem like the bible supports Lot selling his daughters..

This site is an absolute joke.

10:03AM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

@Stephan Greg:

If we are going to look at history we need to look at it in a historical concept. Were the protestants to blame for what the Catholics did? No way. And the very reason is the one you mentioned: They hated each-other! They wanted nothing to do with eachother and therefore never had anything to do with eachother. And this includes the horrible events that happened... what-ever the Catholics did, the protestants would be far away from it and vise versa.

BTW, the website you showed me is probably the worst place to get anti-bible passages from. Its commonly used among skeptics but what they don't realize is that 99% of the time the person who put these passages on the site have no knowledge of the bible and therefore don't work.

Let me show you: The site you posted said that Exodus 14:3 says that God is a man of war. No it does not... it says The Lord is a Warrior... and it was saying he was a warrior because he saved a bunch of slaves fromt he egyptians. He is a hero in this passage.

Most of these passages either leave out the fact that the Isrealites asked for a peace treaty, or that they always rescued or gave the chance for innocent people to escape.

Christianity is not about pacifism anyways but it is about using war only if it was to help others (such as getting an evil dictator out of rule), or because a peace treaty didn't work and they needed to defend themselves.

1:53PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

Emily W.

You are still mistakenly placing the blame squarely in the Catholics corner. Obviously there are many Sunni and Shiite Muslims that claim the opposing group are not real Muslims, just like Catholics and Protestants sometimes claim the other group aren't real Christians. It's all just sectarianism and nonsense. Just like how peaceful Christians might claim that the LRA aren't real Christians.

Rachel, yes the Bible often advocates peace, but just as frequently it advocates violence or even holy war.

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/says_about/holywar.html

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/cruelty/long.html


8:44AM PST on Mar 12, 2011

This was inevitable as soon as firmly-established government was displaced by rabble-rule.

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