It is a week since the New Year’s eve slaughter of innocent Christians in Egypt, but the murders still reveal deep seated problems within Egyptian society. Most when hearing the explosion thought it was fireworks, but within moments it became clear Christians were being killed inside their church as they prayed. Eye witness, George Murad told Al-Ahram, “I ran to the church and found heads, legs and hands everywhere, everybody, Christians and Muslims. were checking the faces of the bodies to recognize them. It was not easy. So many of the corpses were burned.” An hour after the explosion, furious Copts threw stones at the mosque facing the church and when the cleric tried calling for police by reciting prayers over the microphone, violence erupted between Muslims and Christians.
Father Makar Fawzi believes the incident will emphasize the need for cooperation between religions. “Unlike other countries, Muslims and Christians do not live in separate quarters. Muslim and Christian neighbors live side by side.” As Christians and Muslims gathered to discuss what happened, Ibrahim Maher, claimed the attack was not by Egyptians. “Whoever did this is not one of us. He is from Israel, or some other place that wants to destroy us and make us weak.”
Step one in working to end such violence is to cease blaming Israel or America or the West, and to examine what is not happening in Egyptian society. There is no democracy, there is no economic boom, there is corruption and inaction in addressing economic and social problems. The fault is not with Israel, it is with Egyptian society.