Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Coptic Solidarity Statement on the Recent Violence in the Middle East and North Africa

Coptic Solidarity

We are deeply disturbed by the recent violence in the Middle East and North Africa. We fully support the right of those who have been hurt by the obscure, crudely-made, video mocking the prophet of Islam to express their views against the film in peaceful and civilized ways.

We believe that nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies the tragic loss of lives, especially those of the innocent US diplomats in Libya.

We emphasize that any Coptic individuals who were engaged in promoting the offensive film or might have been involved in making it, have acted entirely on their own. Their irresponsible actions do not represent the Coptic community, and were never condoned by its leadership or the church.

We regret the manipulation of the mobs by extremist leaders. In particular, we were disturbed by the inflammatory remarks by Egypt's president Mohamed Morsi just hours before a trip to Brussels. The sudden appearance of black al-Qaeda flags in several places points to the possibility that the film was only an excuse to launch regional attacks against Western institutions and symbols.

We strongly reiterate that we support the right of all people to peacefully practice their beliefs. This incident should not be used as an excuse by extreme elements to justify attacks on American interests or on the Coptic community in Egypt, nor should it be used politically by the Egyptian government to silence Coptic activists who call for justice and equality.

We also urge and implore the Egyptian Government to apply the law equally to all citizens. The citizen who tore and burned the bible in public should be arrested just like the citizen who has been arrested for posting the link to the subject video on his social net account. Both violated the same article of law.

Coptic Solidarity is an organization seeking to help minorities, particularly the Copts of Egypt, and support those working for democracy, freedom, and the protection of the fundamental rights of all Egyptian citizens. The international organization has headquarters in the Washington, D.C., area in the U.S., with key branches currently in Paris (for Europe) and Cairo.

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