Inside the Middle East
January 5, 2011
Posted: 1245 GMT

Hundreds of security officers in riot gear herded supporters of Coptic Christians down the streets of Shubra, a suburb of Cairo yesterday. The Copts and their Muslim supporters expressed outrage over a New Year's bombing outside the Coptic Church of the Two Saints in Alexandria that killed at least 21 and wounded 97 others.

The bombed church had been listed as a threatened target on the al Qaeda affiliated web site, Shumukh al Islam website. The website lists other Coptic churches in Egypt and in Europe, advising bombers to strike on January 7, when the churches will be crowded for the Coptic celebration of Christmas. Copts are adherents to an Egyptian sect of Christianity and make up about 9% of Egypt's population. A suicide bomber was believed to be behind the blast, which left the church littered with broken glass and debris and the walls spattered with blood.

Photo: Ian Lee/CNN
Photo: Ian Lee/CNN
Photo: Ian Lee/CNN
Photo: Ian Lee/CNN
Photo: Ian Lee/CNN
Photo: Ian Lee/CNN

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Filed under: Christianity •Egypt •Protests

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Hany H.   January 5th, 2011 1:22 pm ET

Growing up in Heliopolis in Cairo, hiding being a copt was not an option, for some reason we were always being detected, for me small talk was a challenge when during a conversation you are supposed to have an answer for ' praise the prophet', hesitation only confirmed you are a copt, it gave me this feeling that I am less important than the illiterate newspaper man because he revealed my secret. In my 20's I had a tattoo of the cross on my wrist, might as well. But I have to admit that I still miss my muslim friends, I don't have lot of them, but they were the best I had, Assem and Amro and Ahmad from the bank were I worked, true friends. I say to all my coptic brothers and sisters, I am not a firy christian and might not be a 'martyr' matirial but I am still a copt like you, take a deep breath these people are our brothers and sisters too, maybe we did not love them enough?!!

Kristy   January 5th, 2011 1:52 pm ET

I'm just curious as to why we have not seen the United Nations and the rest of the world step in. This situation sounds similar to the genocides that occurred in Rwanda I just hope that it does not turn out the same with the global community only truly acknowledging after the fact the magnitude of what had happened/ is happening.

IK   January 5th, 2011 6:30 pm ET

These images reveal how Egypt is governed.

vkmo   January 5th, 2011 8:41 pm ET

There's a surge of Islamic religious violence. Egypt Jan 1 church bombing killed 21 people. UK arrested insurgents suspected of planning attacks. Muslim terrorists want to kill the Danish artist also who posted a cartoon of Mohammed in the Danish newspaper. Pakistan's Provincial Governor's killing of Jan 4 and the killer's garlanding by defense lawyers is disturbing. Pakistan has nukes which could be fired by religious extremists.

Hope   January 6th, 2011 6:05 pm ET

Pure evil...

proud zionist   January 7th, 2011 7:17 pm ET


Are you really that naive? The Muslims can do what they want, they are allowed to kill, murder, massacre, bomb, carry out 9/11.

The Christian world is afraid of them. Don't offend them. Freedom of the press (Mohamed cartoons) must be suspended. etc.etc.

You get it?

Christian and proud   January 12th, 2011 6:57 am ET

An Egyptian policeman shot at christians on board a train in Egypt last night. The officials are calling him "disturbed". If he was disturbed, why was he given a licensed gun?!?!?!?! If he's not "mentally disturbed" , then what was his reason for shooting at a christian family after yelling out "Allah akbar"? Somebody please explain.

Egyptian Muslim   January 12th, 2011 9:11 am ET

To all the world... Don't mix between Islam and Terrorism. This church blast which all Egyptians and all muslims condemn, has nothing to do with Islam. Islam condemns violence and Qoran clearly stated "don't attack" and only allowed attacking back if attacked first... This is Islam... The Profit had a Christian and Jewish wives just to give example to the world for Islam tolerance... he never forced any of them to turn into Islam... Terrorism is being done in the name of Islam as part of planned global hatred and uprise against Islam... This atrocious act is not done by any muslim, or any christian...If you want to know about Islam, don't use except one and only true source (Al Azhar)... Egypt (muslims and Christians) will always be one hand and will always stand as one against any terror .. God bless Egypt forever...

Mel   January 12th, 2011 11:36 pm ET

I find the last comment either a lie or wishful thinking. Islam and terrorism has a definite link. Islam is being intolerant in almost all the Muslims countries against christians, as evidenced by daily reports from around the world. This isn't some conspiracy by non-muslims – this is done by muslims, in the name of Islam, against muslims and non-muslims. Having several wifes, including a Christian one, is not a sign of respect for Christians, because it tramples on the Christian belief in monogamy, as well you know. Imagine I said "I am tolerant towards muslims, I offer them free bacon sandwiches!". You'd think I was being insulting. Islam is on the war path. Plain and simple.

mary   January 13th, 2011 8:48 am ET

we have definitely love muslims not because they loved us because in most cases they do not give us a reason at all to love them, but simply because God asked us to. We love them because our Christianity teaches us to love everyone, even our enemies. Muslims have always built barriers around them to prevent any Christian from getting near them. At the same time, they do not allow us to mind our own business but rather carry on the endless daily fanatic harassment which is supported and even motivated by their muslim sheiks and by their religion islam. The atrocities committed by muslim civilians against Christians have reached the extent of kidnapping Christian girls, raping them and enforcing them into islam, also destroying property and burning Churches and killing Christians. Not to mention the daily verbal insults through the mosques loudspeakers and through the average muslim citizen. Christian girls are always an easy target because they do not wear veils. This is a case where both fanatic police and the sweeping majority of muslims are persecuting Christians with all their might. The situation is just too ugly to be believed. Its terrible. A Coptic in Egypt

mary   January 13th, 2011 8:57 am ET

@Hany! we haven't loved them enough?!!! Please say something other than that. Do you think that muslims need a justification to hurt us? they only obey their islam and what their islam and sheikhs teach them. The atrocities committed against Christians by muslims is triggered solely because muslims in the past 30 years have adhered to islam, leading their mentalities backwards. Their atrocities against Christians are simply because their islam teached them that they have to fight the non-muslims until they surrender to islam. Accordingly, every muslim citizen, man or woman, seeks to turn the whole country into a big mosque, starting from women and men who preach and pray out loud in public transportation systems to those who force others to prayer and wearing the hijab and niqab, to those who ban music and movies, to those who attack and harrass any christian woman who does not wear the islamic dress code, to those who consider it HALAL to destory a Christian property and oppress their Christian neighbors and kidnap the Christian girls and rape them. Their motto is: ends justify the means. For that, they committ all kinds of unspoken atocities against Christians.

Emil   January 16th, 2011 11:23 am ET

I think with all that is happening the U.S.A has to interviene to stop the killing and bad treatment that is happening to the Christians. If the Egyptian Government doesn't do something fast then Egypt will turn into... Iraq number 2 because the whole world is watching and the waiting for movement from the Egyptian Govt first, otherwise it will be a heavy hand from the foreign Govt to replace the discrased Govt in Egypt with a democratic Govt. We need to live in peace with dignity and respect and this is what the Christians have been living without in Egypt for a very long time and enough is enough.

If the police cannot catch these criminals I insist that the police commissioner and the Intellengnce Chief Commissioner should step down from their position. It seems they are aware of the situation but refuse to act upon it. This is corru...ptionin itself and the President needs to review his protocol and hire honest people who are willing to do the job correctly. Christians are only 10% of the population in Egypt, leave us alone, you are turning the country into hell. Bless all of the decent Muslims and God Bless all of the Christians in Egypt.

alina   January 16th, 2011 8:30 pm ET

Koran>Fight with those who fight with u..these words of prophet are how they explain themselves saying that they want peace as much as christians..while Christianity teaches us to forgive,forgive and u will be forgiven!

abdullah   January 19th, 2011 8:16 am ET

this is to proud Zionist,
your joking right, by the way its kind of funny that you guys pull the same stunts as your Nazi friends, oh i'm sorry did i hit a sensitive spot.

abdullah   January 19th, 2011 8:23 am ET

And this is to Mary,
Don't talk about things you know nothing about, we're not the ones who killed natives of several countries while trying to convert them and we're not the ones who held the crusades, funny thing is thats what you angelical Christians are all about , support Israel at all costs so the Messiah can come down and they all turn into Christians, your joking right, I mean you guys aren't even the original sect of Christianity and have an altered Bible, most of the shit you guys say makes no sense at all, so don't go around insulting my religion especially when your illiterate trailer trash

abdullah   January 19th, 2011 8:25 am ET

And Hany Thank You by the way its refreshing to see people like you didn't mean to insult your religion, being a Muslim you just get fed up after a while hearing all these people talking crap they can't back up

miriam   January 20th, 2011 1:46 pm ET


You need to learn a bit more about your religion!

Many "native" non-Muslms have been slaughtered in the name of Islam.
Many non-Muslims have been forced into conversion to Islam.
Muslim Holy Wars existed long before the first Christian Crusade.

BTW, diminishing the atrocities of the Nazis in a distorted attempt to falsely accuse Israel of crimes she does not commit is insulting to humanity, evidence of brainwashing and projectionist propaganda.

OneEarth   January 27th, 2011 1:47 pm ET

All of this has nothing to do with religion. If anyone truly attempted to understand why this sort violence happens, it is because of inequality and inequity. It all revolves around central people who are greedy, manipulative, and evil and have the ability to control those who are in desperate situations or have never been shown how to trust their own thinking and empathise with others. It is wrong to simply blame a religion, its not as 'complex' as that, it comes down to people who believe they are 'superior' using those less fortunate to get what they want.

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